Book Editors' Code of Conduct

Research is important to confirm, change or advance knowledge. Intellectual honesty and (research) integrity are essential in all scholarly work. These guidelines set the standards of proper ethical behaviour and responsibilities for book editors (including proceedings, encyclopedia, handbook and textbook editors).

Springer Nature Code of Conduct for Book Editors:

Editors should follow the minimum standards as set out in the Springer Nature Code of Conduct for Book Editors.

Submitting a proposal for a volume

  • The submitted book proposal must be original and must not contain any plagiarism.
  • The decision to move forward is decided by (peer) review of the proposal to establish its intended appeal to a certain audience as well as other considerations such as market potential, fit with the publishing portfolio in that specific field, related publications, previous experiences (amongst others).
  • Editors may suggest (or request to exclude) reviewers. It is at the sole discretion of the Publisher (whether or not) to use them.

The tasks of editors

The tasks of editors include the following:

  • organise and structure the work as a whole (when there are multiple book Editors it is understood that all contributed sufficiently to this process),
  • select the appropriate contributing Authors and / or Contributions,
  • ensure the contributing Authors (including the Editors, if they also serve as contributing Authors) are aware of and compliant with the expectations as set out in the Code of Conduct for Book Authors,
  • ensure that the list of contributing Authors including who is acting as Corresponding Author (names, affiliations and sequence) as well as the Editor names, affiliations and sequence are correct and final when the manuscript is submitted. Once the manuscript has been delivered to production, changes to Author- or Editorship are no longer possible,
  • critically review, approve and accept responsibility for the final manuscript,
  • support the Publisher in clarifying any doubt or misunderstanding with contributing Authors in relation to any of the topics specified below.

(Peer) review of the contracted work

  • This Code describes best practices regarding (peer) review of Contributions that make up a book. Springer Nature endorses (peer) review as a key factor in developing and validating high quality scholarly publications. It is understood that readership differs per book type (edited volumes, reference works, textbooks, professional books, and conference proceedings (amongst others)) and that the approach to assess the merit of the Contribution should be aligned with both the expectations of the intended audience and norms within a specific discipline. Best practice is to solicit constructive feedback from an appropriate number of independent experts.
  • Reviewers should be made aware of the expectations as set out in the Guidelines for Book Reviewers.

  • The decision to include a Contribution in the final work is the responsibility of the Editor.  

Originality

  • The submitted work must not contain any plagiarism and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (unless the work is a translation of an original work; permission has been granted for reuse; the work is a new iteration of the same work with some degree of change (“revised edition”); and / or permission has been granted for reuse and / or is allowed under the Publisher’s reuse policy).
  • Important note: The Publisher may use software to screen for plagiarism.

Related manuscripts under consideration for publication

  • Editors should inform the Publisher of related works under consideration for publication and provide details of these relevant works (if applicable). For example: involvement with a major reference work as well as developing an edited volume on a similar topic. This ensures transparency and allows for proper citation of the first reported work.

Conflict of interest

  • Editors are requested to disclose interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication.

  • Disclosure of interests provides a more complete and transparent process and helps readers form their own judgments of potential bias. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organisation that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate. Interests may include but are not limited to the following: funding (grants, other forms of research support such as salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses), employment, financial interests (stocks, shares, consultation fees, patents and patent applications) and non-financial interests (professional interests, personal relationships or personal beliefs such as a position on an editorial board, advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships; writing and / or consulting for educational purposes; expert witness; mentoring relations).

Fundamental errors

  • Editors have an obligation to share with the Publisher any significant error or inaccuracy in the published work either discovered by themselves or of which they are informed by an Author. A decision on how to correct the literature depends on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction and will be the decision of the Publisher following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. The retraction note must provide transparency as to which parts of the work are impacted by the error.

Confidentiality

  • Editors should treat the following as confidential:

    • Correspondence with direct representatives from the Publisher about the contract and contractual details of the work;
    • Contributions under review;
    • Reviewers’ reports.
  • If Editors are asked for information, for example, to help out a hiring or tenure and promotion committee, they should only share information about the project’s current status: out for review or in press.

Suspected transgression of ethical standards

Editors should take ethical complaints concerning a published work seriously. If there is a suspicion of misbehaviour or alleged fraud the Publisher, in cooperation with the Editor, will carry out an investigation following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.  If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the accused Author (or Editor) will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue.

Dependent on the situation, this may result in the Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to: 

  • If the book proposal or work is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the Author (or Editor(s)). 
  • If the Work has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:
    • an erratum / corrigendum may be placed with the online-version of the Work and be inserted in the printed editions of the Work (hardbound, MyCopy, paperback), or
    • in severe cases retraction of the Work may occur.
  • The reason must be given in the published erratum / corrigendum or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the electronic edition of the Work is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted”, and explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked typescript. The printed editions of the Work are then no longer available. Or (dependent on the transgression) the electronic edition of the Work is completely removed and an explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the metadata of the Work.
  • The Author’s (or Editor’s) institution may be informed.
  • A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards may be included as part of the Author’s (or Editor’s) and book’s or chapter’s bibliographic record.

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