Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2015  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 225-

Publication ethics: Whose responsibility?

SM Balaji 
 Executive Editor, n Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, n Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Publication ethics: Whose responsibility?.Indian J Dent Res 2015;26:225-225

How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Publication ethics: Whose responsibility?. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 May 31 ];26:225-225
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Full Text

Publication ethics or self-imposed moral code of conduct during the publication process transcends legal boundaries. In scholarly publication, an author, by submitting a manuscript is assumed to promise that:

It is original work It is not being submitted or under active consideration in any other journal All guidelines of the journal have been followed and adhered too.

When this is the scenario, most of the journals ask at least two independent referees for an opinion. Based on their inputs, the section editor takes an informed decision, and in consultation with the editorial board a final decision is arrived at.

Usually in Indian setting, checking the manuscript for plagiarism is supposedly at several levels - at the time of submission; by the referee; by the section editors; and by the technical editing team. In situations, especially in narrative reviews, inadvertently or intentionally a large section of text may be incorporated into the manuscript.[1] At this juncture, whose error is this? Is it the authors? Editors? Referees?

There have been several such "inadvertent" errors that have crept in. Quite recently, in an interesting review manuscript in aerospace - dental biology, several passages were supposedly plagiarized.[2] The circumstances and the communications, in which the episode unfolds evoke this discussion. For this situation, who is to be blamed? All the authors, the corresponding author, the section editor, the editor-in-chief, the anonymous referees, or the copy/technical editors? Who stands to the share the blame?

From the point of submission of a manuscript to the publication, a huge amount of finance, technical expertise, and most importantly time are being involved. When a manuscript is "retracted" a huge wastage of resources, as well as credentials, go down.

As a part of the system, I suggest a solution. In this situation, when in doubt, especially with language or plagiarism related issue, it would be prudent for the authors to check their final manuscript with the numerous online professional, automatic language, and plagiarism checking services. For a few dollars, this automated services provides an in-depth solution. For a nonnative English speaker, an added advantage would be the English correction service available in this package. Had the authors involved utilized one of such services, which to my best of belief, would have solved the problem at bud itself.

In the best interest of science and research, all stakeholders need to discharge their responsibilities keeping science as their priority.


1Fang FC, Steen RG, Casadevall A. Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012;109:17028-33.
2Palus S. Proven Plagiarism Extracts Paper on Keeping Teeth Healthy in Outer Space. Available from:">">">"> [Last accessed on 2015 Jul 02].