Research integrity

Research Integrity at Springer Nature 

Robust editorial policies and processes, including those for peer review, form the foundation of research publishing integrity.  At Springer Nature there is a central advisory group, the Springer Nature Editorial Advisory Group (SNEAG), that not only maintains oversight of editorial standards and policies across all brands at Springer Nature, but also acts to ensure consistency of editorial standards in context of wider developments in the field of publishing. The SNEAG works closely with brand specific policy making teams, such as the Nature Policy forum, and with the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group (SNRIG) which is dedicated to promoting best publication practice and supporting editors to resolve publication ethics issues. 

Springer Nature recognizes the very important work done by peer reviewers in maintaining the integrity of the published record. We offer resources and initiatives to acknowledge the outstanding work of our peer reviewers. More information about our resources for peer reviewers can be found on our peer-reviewer pages.

The role of the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group (SNRIG) 

As custodians of the published record, editors and publishers have a responsibility to maintain its integrity and resolve potential breaches of publication ethics. With any publication ethics issue, there are likely to be a number of stakeholders involved, including authors, institutions, funders, reviewers and whistle-blowers. It can be difficult for an individual editor to effectively assess and manage such cases. 

The Springer Nature Research Integrity Group aspires to a positive and proactive approach to preventing publication misconduct and encouraging sound and reliable research practices. 

It achieves this via activities that raise awareness of best practice and ethical conduct in research, by investigating unethical practices, by providing training and resources as well as an advisory service for staff and editors, and by evaluating, via audits, Springer Nature’s own editorial practices and policies.

Our team

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Suzanne Farley

Research Integrity Director

Suzanne has a degree in Environmental Science and a PhD in plant physiology and molecular biology from the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Suzanne joined Nature Publishing Group in 2003. She spent 10 years in the Nature Reviews Division and 5 years at Scientific Reports (first as Head of Publishing then as Executive Editor) before joining the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group as Director in August 2018.

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Jigisha Patel

Head of Programme Management

Jigisha earned her first degree in Medicine and her PhD on postprandial physiology from Queen Mary, University of London, UK. She spent several years in hospital clinical practice and a year at the National Institutes of Health for her PhD, before joining BMC in 2007 as Medical Editor of the BMC series journals. While with BMC, she moved on to have overall responsibility for BMC’s strategy, standards and expertise in research and publication ethics before becoming part of the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group in her current role in 2017.

Jigisha manages the team’s programme of research integrity related projects and acts as a consultant for the issue handling team on complex cases.

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Tamara Welschot

Head of Advisory and Assurance

Tamara holds a Master’s degree from Tilburg University (Netherlands) and has been active in the publishing industry since 1997. Since May 2017 she has been Head of Advisory and Assurance in the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group. Tamara looks after resources on research integrity and publication ethics for editors, authors and peer reviewers, and oversees projects on preventing and detecting misconduct.

Previously, Tamara was Director of Research Integrity and Publishing Services with overall responsibility for Springer’s strategy and standards on publication ethics. She provided expert advice on ethical issues, and oversaw other activities such as annual year reporting for journal editors, abstracting & indexing, journal transition management and digital preservation.

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Jo Appleford-Cook

Training Manager

Jo has a PhD in neuroscience from Imperial College, UK. In 2005 she joined the BMC series journals as an Assistant Editor, handling manuscripts through the peer-review process. In 2006‒2007 Jo worked as a Senior Editor for The Lancet Neurology, before rejoining BMC, and in 2010 became Publisher for the BMC series.

She then took on the role of Editorial Training Manager, overseeing both internal and external editor training and resourcing, and has now progressed to Training Manager for research integrity for Springer Nature.

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Stephanie Boughton

Research Integrity Manager

Stephanie has a degree in Medicine from Brighton and Sussex Medical School. After graduating, she worked in hospital clinical practice as a junior doctor before joining BMC in 2010 as Deputy Medical Editor and then Medical Editor in 2014. In 2017 Stephanie became Research Integrity Manager in the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group where she oversees a team of Research Integrity Advisers who provide advice to in-house staff and external academic editors on research integrity issues.

She is also co-Editor-in-Chief of the Research and Publication Ethics section of Research Integrity and Peer Review, and has developed guidelines for editors in conjunction with COPE on text recycling and image manipulation.

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Maria Kowalczuk

Research Integrity Manager

Maria obtained a PhD in Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of Wroclaw, Poland in 2002 and held a permanent position there. In 2006 she joined BMC as an in-house Editor for a number of BMC series biology journals. In 2010 Maria moved to the Biology and Medical Editors team and in 2014 she was appointed Biology Editor in BMC’s Research Integrity Group which in 2017 was restructured to become Springer Nature Research Integrity Group.

In her current role as Research Integrity Manager, Maria oversees a team of Research Integrity Advisers who support in-house staff and external editors across Springer Nature in ensuring adherence to editorial best practice and standards in peer review. Maria continues to take part in debates, meetings and conferences related to research integrity and publication ethics. Maria is also a co-Editor-in-Chief of the Research and Publication Ethics section of Research Integrity and Peer Review.

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Pauline Starley

Research Integrity Manager

Pauline joined the Research Integrity Group at BMC in February 2015 as an Associate Editor. Previously she held senior editorial roles at Portland Press Limited (the wholly-owned publishing subsidiary of the Biochemical Society) working with the Editorial Boards of the Biochemical Journal and Clinical Science on peer review and editorial policies, journal development and editorial office management.

In April 2017 she became a Research Integrity Adviser in the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group providing advice and support to in-house staff and external editors on editorial policy and ethical issues in research and publication. Pauline is currently locum Research Integrity Manager. She has a degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Reading, UK.

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Maja Choma

Research Integrity Adviser

Maja gained a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Cambridge, UK. She then went on to do a postdoc at A* STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore working on the Golgi apparatus. She joined the Research Integrity Group at BMC in November 2016 as Associate Editor.

In 2017 she became a Research Integrity Adviser in the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group. She provides advice and support to in-house staff and external editors on editorial policy and ethical issues.

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Tim Kersjes

Research Integrity Adviser

Tim has a background in philosophy (University of Groningen, Netherlands). After his studies he worked at a number of Dutch NGOs to promote innovation in democratic processes and civil society, and as a conference producer and training developer at International Institute for Research.

Before joining the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group as Research Integrity Adviser in January 2017 he worked as a senior editor at Springer Nature subsidiary Rendement Uitgeverij, a multimedia publishing company specializing in content and advice on changes in legislation for professionals in SME companies.

Publishing ethics for journals

Find further information on editorial policies and standards for Springer Nature journals on our specific imprint sites.



To report or comment on any research integrity concerns about any Springer Nature journals, please contact the relevant journal in the first instance. Journal contact details can be found on the journal websites.

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