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Code of Publishing Ethics

This code of ethics is written to provide guidance to editors, authors and reviewers in the process of scientific publication in Lithosphere. It draws heavily on similar codes of conduct drawn up by the Geological Society of America and the Geological Society of London. Ethical standards for publication exist to ensure high-quality scientific publications, public trust in scientific findings, and that people receive credit for their work and ideas. GeoScienceWorld is applying to be a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and abides by its core practices.

  • Governance
    • Editorial Policies are developed by the Managing Editor in consultation with Society Partners active at the relevant time.
  • Editors
  • The term editor as used below refers to Section Editors, Associate Editors, and other Editorial Board members when delegated to serve in an editorial capacity.
    • Editors are expected to carry out editorial duties in a manner consistent with policies set by COPE. They should work closely with the appropriate GeoScienceWorld staff.
    • Editors have full responsibility for editorial decisions on journal content. GSW staff should not intervene or comment on editorial decisions on individual manuscripts unless specifically requested to do so by the responsible editor.
    • Editors will give manuscripts unbiased consideration.
    • Editors should process manuscripts promptly and diligently.
    • Editors must ensure that all articles are subject to peer review before acceptance. In most cases two reviews should be sought. The editor or other members of the editorial team can act as reviewers where they are appropriately qualified. If an article is substantially changed after revision or if new material is added, this must undergo further review.
    • The editor has sole responsibility for acceptance or rejection of a manuscript. Manuscripts should be subject to peer review, but the editor may exercise his/her own discretion to reject a manuscript for a particular reason (e.g. outside the remit of the journal, of poor scientific or presentational quality, contents previously published elsewhere, etc.)
    • The editor and editorial staff should not disclose information about submitted manuscripts except to reviewers, editorial board members, and GeoScienceWorld staff.
    • Responsibility for manuscripts submitted by an editor should be delegated to another editor or editorial board member. If an editor is listed as an author on an article, however minor his or her input, he or she cannot be involved in the review process for that article.
    • The editor should not handle manuscripts for which there is a real or perceived conflict of interest. Examples include, but are not restricted to, past or current collaboration, past or current employer or employee, past or current graduate supervisor or supervisee, personal or family relationship, institutional relationship, someone with whom the editor has had a past or ongoing scientific controversy, or situations where the editor could stand to gain financially by publication or rejection of the manuscript. In these cases, past means within the past 5 years. In any of these cases, editorial responsibility should be delegated to another editor or editorial board member.
    • The editor will disclose any business, financial, and organizational interests and affiliations which may constitute an actual, apparent or potential conflict of interest with the mission and activities of the Journal.
    • The editor should not use information, data, theories, or interpretations of any submitted manuscript in her/his own work until that manuscript is published unless the author has given permission to do so.
    • If an editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a publication are erroneous, they should facilitate publication of a report (e.g., correction, followup manuscript, or other appropriate means) pointing out the error and, if possible, correcting it. The report may be written by the person who discovered the error or by the original author, who should be asked if they wish to make a formal reply.
  • Authors and Co-authors
    • Manuscripts should contain original, new results, data, ideas or interpretations, and should not have been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Articles based on content previously made public only on a preprint server, institutional repository, or in a thesis will be considered.
    • Authors should be encouraged to avoid fragmentation of their published submitted work where practical. For example, full data sets should be published where possible and in press and or unpublished references to data that are germane to the paper should be avoided at all times. Please read the Lithosphere Data Policy.
    • Authors should inform the editor of related manuscripts under consideration elsewhere and provide copies if requested.
    • Fabrication of data, results, selective reporting of data, theft of intellectual property of others, and plagiarism are unacceptable.
    • Information obtained privately (for example, in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties) should not be used or reported in a manuscript without explicit permission from the party with whom the information originated. Information obtained in the course of confidential services (for example, refereeing manuscripts or grant applications) should be treated similarly.
    • Manuscripts will contain proper citation of works by others, especially publications of the original hypotheses, ideas, and/or data upon which the manuscript is based.
    • Data and/or samples (especially unusual or rare materials) upon which a publication is based should be made available to other scientists, except in special circumstances (patent protection, privacy, etc.), in the manuscript or through accessible data repositories, databases, museum collections, or other means when requested. Please read the Lithosphere Data Policy.
    • Authorship
      • Authorship should be limited to those who have made significant contributions to the concept, design, execution or interpretation of the work reported in a manuscript; others who have contributed should be acknowledged.
      • Nonhuman artificial intelligence, language models, machine learning, or similar technologies do not qualify for authorship because they cannot take responsibility for the submitted work. AI tools cannot be listed as an author of a paper. Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must disclose in the Methods or Acknowledgements how the AI tool was used and which tool was used.
      • Author order should be agreed on by all authors as should any changes in authors and order that occur while the manuscript is under review or revision. Changes in authorship must be submitted to the editorial office and must be approved by all authors involved. Changes to authorship are not permitted after acceptance of a manuscript.
      • Authors and co-authors should review and ensure the accuracy and validity of results prior to submission; co-authors should have the opportunity to review the manuscript before submission.
    • Authors should reveal to the editor any potential conflict of interest (for example, a consulting or financial interest in a company), that might be affected by publication of the results contained in a manuscript. The authors should ensure that no contractual relations or proprietary considerations exist that would affect the publication of information in a submitted manuscript.
    • Authors are encouraged to disclose major funding sources (for example, government agencies, private foundations, private industry, universities) for reported research.
    • Authors are bound by the copyright policy of the publisher, as specified at the time of original manuscript submission.
  • Reviewers
    • A reviewer should disclose any real or perceived conflict of interests to the editor before agreeing to write a review. Examples include, but are not restricted to, past or current collaboration, past or current employer or employee, past or current graduate supervisor or supervisee, personal or family relationship, institutional relationship, someone with whom the reviewer has had a past or on-going scientific controversy, or situations where the reviewer could stand to gain financially by publication or rejection of the manuscript. In these cases, past means within the past 5 years. The responsible editor will decide if the conflict is severe enough to prevent the reviewer from writing a fair, objective review.
    • A reviewer should decline to review a manuscript if they feel technically unqualified, if a timely review cannot be done, or if the manuscript is from a scientific competitor with whom the reviewer has a conflict of interest as defined above.
    • Reviewers should be encouraged, but not required, to declare their identities. The editor will endeavor to preserve anonymity should a reviewer elect to remain anonymous. (However, it is the responsibility of anonymous reviewers to maintain their anonymity by using an appropriate means of communication, bearing in mind that many software packages automatically attach source identities both to files and corrections to existing files).
    • Reviewers should treat the manuscript and their review as confidential.
    • Reviewers should ask the editor for permission to discuss the paper with others for specific advice, giving names and reasons for such consultation.
    • Reviewers should not pass the manuscript to another to carry out the review without permission from the editor.
    • Reviewers should not use information, data, theories, or interpretations of the manuscript in their own work until that manuscript is in press or published unless the author has given permission to do so.
    • Reviewers should clearly support and justify the basis for their review analysis.
    • Reviewers should alert the editor to similar manuscripts published or under consideration for publication elsewhere in the event they are aware of such. However, it is the responsibility of the editor, not the reviewer, to decide on the proper course of action once so informed.
  • Sample and data collection
    • Samples used for data or illustrations in articles submitted to Lithosphere must have been collected in a responsible manner in compliance with the Geologists' Association Geological Fieldwork Code or, where appropriate, with their Code of Conduct for Rock Coring
    • Data from samples that have been collected without permission from protected sites are not acceptable and should not be used in any paper submitted to Lithosphere. Where material from protected sites is used, authors must provide evidence that permission to collect samples was obtained.
  • Breaches of the code
  • GeoScienceWorld takes seriously all allegations of potential misconduct. Lithosphere will follow the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct.
    • Suspected breaches of our publication ethics policies, either before and after publication, as well as concerns about research ethics, should be reported to the Managing Editor.
    • In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, it may be necessary for the Editor to contact and share manuscripts with third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s). GSW may also seek advice from COPE and discuss anonymized cases in the COPE Forum.
  • Appeals and complaints
    • Authors who wish to appeal a rejection or make a complaint should, in the first instance, contact the Managing Editor, who will provide details of the journal's complaints procedure.
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