Book Series 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 series editors.

Springer Nature Code of Conduct for Book Series Editors:

The Code of Conduct for Series Editors sets out the standards and expectations associated with the role of a Series Editor. Springer Nature is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE is an advisory body which provides guidance to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics.

As members, we are committed to:

  • adhere to their Core Practices;
  • follow COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of potential publication misconduct.

We aspire to a positive and proactive approach to preventing publication misconduct and encouraging sound and reliable research practices. Series Editor(s) is/are responsible for guaranteeing, as far as possible, the quality and ethics of everything that is published in the Book Series.

If there is more than one Series Editor, it is understood that the responsibility concerning editorship is shared between them.

Series Editors should 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.

Proposal for a Book

  • Series Editor(s) suggests to the Publisher which book proposals submitted to the Book Series should be considered for publication.

Publication Decisions

  • The decision to move forward is decided by (peer) review of the proposal to establish its fit with the aims and scope of the Book Series, its intended appeal to a certain readership, as well as other considerations such as market potential (amongst others). It is understood that readership differs per product type (monographs, edited volumes, reference works, textbooks, professional books and conference proceedings (amongst others)) and that the approach to assess the merit of the proposal should be aligned with both the expectations of the intended readership and the norms within a specific discipline.
  • Best practice is to solicit constructive feedback from an appropriate number of independent experts which may be series editorial board members.
  • Reviewers should be made aware of the expectations as set out in the Guidelines for Book Reviewers.

Contracted Work

Conflicts of Interest

  • Series Editor(s) are expected to inform the Publisher of any interests that may influence, or may be perceived to influence, their decisions as Series Editor(s) of the Book Series. Financial and non-financial interests (including, but not limited to personal relationships, professional interests or personal beliefs) should be disclosed. Please note that the declaration of these interests does not disqualify the Series Editor(s) from the role as Series Editor(s) of the Book Series. We would expect Series Editor(s) to respect the confidentiality of the (peer) review and editorial process.

  • Although Series Editor(s) may publish in the Book Series for which they are Series Editor(s), they are expected to ensure that a member of the Book Series’ editorial board is assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing (peer) review and making decisions regarding acceptance or rejection of any manuscript submitted and/or co-authored by the Series Editor(s). Alternatively, they may seek advice from the Publisher in absence of an editorial board.

Libellous and Defamatory Content

  • Series Editor(s) are expected to seek advice from the Publisher if they believe a manuscript contains potentially libellous or defamatory content.


  • To safeguard authenticity the Publisher may support the Series Editor(s) with plagiarism screening.

Field Specific Standards

  • Series Editor(s) are expected to ensure that manuscripts accepted for publication comply with specific research requirements and ethics standards for the relevant field. For example, where manuscripts contain any data from human or animal subjects, or endangered plants, Series Editor(s) are expected to ensure that the manuscript complies with internationally agreed or comparable national ethics standards for such research. For example, international standards for human research are set out in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki and national guidelines which are intended to protect the safety and rights of research participants (see next section). Research on endangered animal and plant species should be carried out in compliance with standards set out in the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Further information on these standards is available from the Publisher.

  • In cases of uncertainty, Series Editor(s) should seek advice from the Publisher.


  • Series Editor(s) should treat the following as confidential:

    • correspondence with direct representatives from the Publisher about the contract and contractual details of the series agreement;
    • contributions under consideration;
    • reviewers’ reports.
  • If Series Editor(s) 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

Series Editor(s) should take complaints concerning a book seriously. If there is a suspicion of misbehaviour or alleged fraud the Publisher, in cooperation with the Series Editor(s), 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 email address and given an opportunity to respond to the allegation.

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(s) (or editor(s)).
  • If the book has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:
    • a correction may be placed with the online version of the book and be inserted in the printed editions of the book (hardbound, MyCopy, paperback), or
    • in severe cases retraction of the book or book chapter may occur.
  • The reason must be given in the published erratum / corrigendum or retraction note. Retraction means that the electronic edition of the book 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 book are then no longer available. Or (dependent on the transgression) the electronic edition of the book is completely removed and an explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the metadata of the book.
  • 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.