Scientific misconduct includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification including deceptive manipulation of images; and plagiarism. Some people consider failure to publish the results of clinical trials and other human studies a form of scientific misconduct.
When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of work described in submitted or published papers, the editor should initiate appropriate procedures detailed by such committees such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts) and may choose to publish an expression of concern pending the outcomes of those procedures.
Editors may ask the author’s institution to assure them of the validity of earlier work published in their journals, or they may retract it.
Expressions of concern:
Journal Editors should consider issuing an expression of concern if:
There is inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors.
There is evidence that the findings are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case.
It is believed that an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive.
An investigation is under way but a judgment will not be available for a considerable time.
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