Ethical Practices of Journal Editors

A voluntary Code of Conduct for journal editors now exists. Editors can affirm their support for the five points, which include refraining from coercive citation practices, keeping marketing strategies separate from the peer review process, encouraging data transparency, and communicating relevant ethical standards to the editorial board. One of the two editors that started the code, Steven Rogelberg of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (editor of Journal of Business and Psychology), said a letter in Science in February about coercive citation practices convinced him of the need for a code. Inside High Ed defines coercive citations as:

those that editors seek to add to authors’ pieces not because they are needed, but to make various journals appear more influential. Many people use various measures of journal influence that are based on counting how many times journals’ articles are cited — so extra citations yield a more influential journal.