Complaints against Research Ethics Monthly
Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services (AHRECS) is an Associate Member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE notes that journals should have a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher (COPE Core Practice #3).
All authors, editors, and reviewers are expected to be aware of, and comply with, best practice in publication ethics, human research ethics and research integrity.
Research Ethics Monthly (REM) is published by AHRECS. REM recognises its role in maintaining the integrity of the scholarly record. On occasion, it may be necessary to consider and respond to complaints about or to retract published articles, issue a correction or an expression of concern about published articles. In order to ensure that these decisions are reached according to best practice in academic publishing, the editors will consider the COPE Guidelines on retractions; where appropriate, REM editors will follow the step-by-step guidelines according to the COPE flowcharts. Where necessary, REM editors may respond to allegations of research or publication misconduct by contacting the relevant authors, institutions, funders or regulatory bodies.
The complaint should be submitted to the editors in writing at REM@ahrecs.com
- The editors will make a determination on the validity of the complaint. If they find for the complainant, they will act on that decision. If they find against the complainant but there is a prima facie case to answer and the complaint is neither vexatious nor frivolous, Research Ethics Monthly will appoint an independent external assessor with suitable expertise.
- Research Ethics Monthly will accept (though does not encourage) anonymous complaints, but in these cases the capacity of the editors or the assessor to verify information in the complaint may be limited.
- The assessor will review all correspondence relating to the case in question and, if necessary, obtain further written responses to queries from the parties involved.
- The role of the assessor is to establish whether:
- correct procedures have been followed,
- decisions of the editors are appropriate
- no personal prejudice or bias has influenced the outcome, and
- appropriate action has been taken.
- The assessor may also recommend how the editors should respond to the complaint.
- The editors may, at their discretion, retract published articles, issue a correction or an expression of concern about published articles, or take other actions necessary to maintain the integrity of the scholarly record.