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 authors (contributing authors to edited volumes and monograph authors).
Springer Nature Code of Conduct for Book Authors:
Authors should follow the minimum standards as set out in the Springer Nature Code of Conduct for Book Authors.
Research and author conduct
- Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image-based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
- The author will deal with the Publisher and its staff in a professional and courteous manner, ensuring their communications are appropriate in both volume and tone, and address all queries received relating to the work in a timely manner.
- Authorship should be limited to those who contributed substantially to the scholarly work such as drafting and / or revising critically the intellectual content of the work or significant parts of it.
- “Honorary authorship” is not permitted. Third parties who added something substantial to the work but do not qualify as Authors should be mentioned in the acknowledgment section.
The Corresponding Author listed on the manuscript ensures that all appropriate co-authors are included on the manuscript, that all co-authors have approved the final version of the chapter, section or entry or full manuscript (where appropriate) and have agreed to its submission for publication. All co-authors share collective responsibility and accountability for the results. Please note that the naming of Authors is not merely a question of scientific ethics; it is also a copyright / moral rights issue and has therefore to be considered carefully.
Please include all Author names (in case of contributions to an edited work also the names of the book editors) and the addresses of the Authors' institutes, and please ensure that the sequence of the Author names is correct when the manuscript is submitted. Once the manuscript has been delivered to production, changes to authorship are no longer possible.
- Authors are recommended to add their ORCID identifier to their manuscript.
- The submitted work must not contain any plagiarism and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (unless it is a complete work that follows up on a published preliminary report like an abstract, poster, conference presentation or journal article; the work substantially re-analyses study findings or re-interprets results for a different audience; it is a translation of an original work; it 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.
- Recycling data and texts from an Author’s own published manuscripts is generally not allowed. In case of overlap with a previously accepted / published paper transparency should be provided on how much is new in comparison to the previous publication or work under consideration in a letter to the series editor and / or Publisher and consequently in the work itself.
Acknowledgement of sources
- The work of others should always be properly acknowledged. Authors should cite and / or list publications that have influenced the reported work. Clarity should be provided on which text is the Authors' own and which text has been used from others (either verbatim, summarised or paraphrased).
Related manuscripts under consideration for publication
- Authors should inform the Editor or Publisher of related manuscripts under consideration for publication by the same Author(s) with another publisher and provide details of these relevant manuscripts. Authors should make sure that proper acknowledgement is given to any publication of related manuscripts in subsequent publications. For example: a journal article (not published yet) where material will also be used in a book chapter. If the journal article gets published first, the book chapter should include a note that it is based on [journal title, full reference].
Concurrent / secondary publication
- Concurrent or secondary publication of material in other books is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples (amongst others) are: translations or works with different target audiences and / or co-authors. The Authors, Editor or Publisher must agree to the concurrent or secondary publication; there may be a publication interval negotiated; the secondary version may need to include a note or an acknowledgment that it is based on another first reported manuscript in [journal title / book title, full reference] and the secondary version should cite the primary version or a note or an acknowledgement that the same manuscript was concurrently published in [journal title / book title, full reference].
- Authors should secure permissions for the unlimited reuse of material (text and images) where necessary (i.e. third-party material) including for print and electronic use. A basic rule is that if the Author is not the creator of everything in the manuscript, they must get permission from copyright owners or have a valid license to use their content, unless it is ‘fair use / fair dealing’ or in the ‘public domain’. Authors are free to reproduce their own work, but may have to ask for permission for reuse if they have transferred the rights to another party, for example another publisher.
There is no clear definition for ‘fair use / fair dealing‘ or number of words that Authors can use without permission from the copyright holder. Fair use / fair dealing depends on:a) The purpose of the use;
b) The character and interest of the original work;
c) The scope and impact of the use in relation to the original work.
If in doubt we recommend to contact the copyright holder.
- Content is in the public domain when no intellectual property rights apply or a copyright term (which may vary per country) does not apply or has expired.
Content that is freely accessible on the Internet is not necessarily content that can be freely reused unless there is an explicit license allowing reuse.
Figures and illustrations
- Illustrations, plans, tables, photographs, videos, animations (amongst others) (hereinafter together referred to as “images”) may be protected by copyright. Reusing images with openly editable content (e.g. Wikipedia) or reusing images found via a search engine (Google, Bing, etc) may require permission to reuse the image. Authors should verify the information source of all content found on Wikipedia and the website hosting the image and check if the person or entity who posted the material has the authority to grant permission for reusing it. If the Author is unable to find the copyright holder and / or secure permission it is recommended to find (or create) a replacement image.
Authors modifying an existing image must secure permission from the creator of the image for the modification itself. Modifications to the original image do not imply transfer of ownership of the original image to the creator of the modified version.
When integrating images, it should be considered that not only the copyrights to these images must be observed, but also the rights of the persons depicted and possibly also the rights to the objects depicted. Please be aware that apart from copyright other rights (like personality rights of depicted individuals or trademark rights of depicted objects) may also need to be observed when using images. This is especially true concerning images of vulnerable people (e.g. minors, patients) or the use of images in sensitive contexts. In many instances Authors will need to secure written consent before including images.
- In most countries of the world, Authors enjoy protection of their intellectual property that appears in books, proceedings, journal articles and parts thereof. Protected works include literary and scholarly works, such as writings, figures and illustrations, speeches and computer programs. For more information on copyright basics from an Author perspective please visit the Springer Nature Guide to Copyright and Permissions.
Conflict of interest
- Authors 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 judgements 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 position on 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).
Ethical approval and informed consent
- When reporting studies that involve human participants and / or animals and their data or biological material, Authors should make sure to include statements in a methods (or similar) section in the manuscript that the studies have been approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and / or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Authors must - in all situations - include the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate. In addition, Authors should include a statement that informed consent (to participate and / or to publish) was obtained from individual participants (or parents or guardians if the participant is minor or incapable).
- Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behaviour or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person. General rule: Authors should make sure that what they write is true or in case of opinions be fair comment.
Dual use of research
- Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript. Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research / technology (amongst others).
- Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in his / her own published work. 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 manuscript are impacted by the error.
- Authors should treat all communication with the Editors and / or Publisher (where appropriate) as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives from the Publisher or volume editors, series editors, series editorial board members or advisors (or similar roles) and reviewers’ reports unless explicit consent has been received to share information. Manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents.
Suspected transgression of ethical standards
If there is a suspicion of misbehaviour or alleged fraud the Publisher will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the accused Author 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 manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the Author.
- 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 then are 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 institution may be informed.
- A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards may be included as part of the Author’s and book’s or chapter’s bibliographic record.