Guidelines for Ethical Publication and Presentation of Scientific Information and Data

Members of the Teratology Society subscribe to the Code of Ethics adopted by the Society membership on June 8, 1990. These guidelines for publication and presentation are complementary to the Code of Ethics and are an extension of the philosophy embodied in the Code as it applies specifically to publication and presentation of information by members of the Teratology Society as they function as authors, reviewers, editors, consultants and experts to government, universities, industry and the courts.

Responsibilities for Authors
  1. Avoid the following unethical practices, which are unacceptable in publications or presentations:
    1. Plagiarism-presenting the work of others, in whole or in part, as one’s own.
    2. Fraud-fabrication of results or reports, in whole or in part.
    3. Suppression or distortion of data.
    4. Submission of the same data simultaneously to more than one journal unless it has been justified openly to both editors or upon request of an editor as in a review article.
  2. Co-authors should have full knowledge of and agreement with the contents and conclusions of the paper and have made a substantial contribution to the work.
  3. Manuscripts should reference published preliminary accounts or abstracts from the same work to permit association of preliminary and full reports of studies.
  4. “Personal communication” citations or references (oral presentations) should have the approval of the cited individual.
  5. The author must cite fairly the work of others. Appropriate citations are an important component of scholarship.
  6. For all studies involving human subjects or tissues, the following conditions should be met:
    1. The principles in the Declaration of Helsinki must be followed.
    2. These studies must have received formal approval from the appropriate institutional review board, ethical review committee or equivalent, and such approval should be indicated in the manuscript.
    3. If there is significant risk or discomfort to subjects, the manuscript must indicate that informed consent was obtained.
    4. Photographs of patients’ faces should be included only if there is scientific relevance, and written consent should have been obtained for the publication of such photographs.
  7. For all studies involving the use of animals, the following conditions should be met:
    1. All research animals must have been obtained and used in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and institutional regulations.
    2. The Society recommends that animals be maintained in accordance with the guidelines of the NIH (Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 1996). Any veterinary accreditation should be noted in the manuscript.
    3. The author must have received permission from their institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and the manuscript must indicate that such approval was received.
  8. Authors must specify all sources of funding for the submitted work and must also indicate any potential financial or other interests that might be perceived to bias the research. Some examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. The author acknowledges that he/she (or spouse or dependent) is employed by a company which owns the patent on the compound that appears in the manuscript.
    2. The author acknowledges that he/she (or spouse or dependent) do(es) consulting work for an organization that competes with the organization that holds the patent on the compound that appears in the manuscript.
    3. The author acknowledges that he/she has a grant from a company to do this research; the funding organization does not have control over the resulting publication.
    4. The author acknowledges his/her professional affiliation, whether it be academia, government, industry or special interest group. If the paper is the result of work-for-hire, the sponsor of the research is acknowledged.
  9. For reports of original data, at least one author (e.g., the corresponding or principal investigator) is expected to have full access to all of the data in the study and to take responsibility for its accuracy.

Responsibilities of Reviewers
  1. Reviewers are obligated to make expert, critical, and unbiased scientific and literary appraisals of reports of research, or other publications as requested, in the fields of the reviewers’ knowledge.
  2. Reviews should be done in a timely manner to not impede release of information. If a colleague of the reviewer is asked to review the paper, the person must be qualified in the opinion of the editorial staff of the journal, and the colleague’s name must be identified for the Editor as the actual reviewer prior to the review.
  3. A reviewer should not review a paper if:
    1. The reviewer does not feel it his or her area of expertise.
    2. The reviewer feels there may be a conflict of interest, or,
    3. The reviewer feels that a close personal, professional or competitive relationship with the author or one of the co-authors might bias the review.
  4. Reviewer’s criticisms must be sufficiently detailed to justify the conclusion and should be referenced if necessary to help the author.
  5. The reviewer should assess whether the work of others is properly cited.
  6. If the paper substantially resembles a published paper or another paper under review, this should be reported to the editor.
  7. Unpublished contents of a paper under review must be considered privileged information and must not be disclosed to anyone outside of the review process.

Responsibilities of Editors
  1. The editor manages and implements the policies of the journal and is responsible for the scientific and literary quality.
  2. The editor, to the best of his/her ability must assure that all authors receive confidential, expert, critical and unbiased reviews of their work in a timely fashion.
  3. An editor may not take part in the editorial management of the review of the editor’s own papers. The editor also should avoid conflict of interest in the review of papers closely related to the editor’s own work or organizational affiliation.
  4. If an editor becomes aware that the main substance or conclusion of a paper published in the editor’s journal may be erroneous, the editor should communicate such to the original author, if possible, and facilitate publication of a correction.
  5. If an editor becomes aware of scientific misconduct related to a manuscript published or about to be published in the editor’s journal, the editor should consult with Chair of the Publications Committee concerning the appropriate course of action.

Responsibilities of the Publications Committee
  1. The Teratology Society Publications Committee will investigate any breach of these policies and make recommendations to Teratology Society Council.


In preparing these guidelines, liberal use was made of the following sources:

1. Endocrinology instructions to authors. http://endo.endojournals.org/
2. National Research Council. 1996. Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
3. Toxicological Sciences instructions to authors. http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/
4. Teratology Society website. http://www.teratology.org/

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