The goal of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles is to promote herpetological research and conservation and to disseminate that scientific knowledge. Ethical behavior is important to accomplish this goal and to enhance public acceptance of scientific knowledge. Members of the Society are expected to display ethical conduct in all professional contexts. They will be honest, respectful, and impartial and not discriminate against others, nor practice or condone harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, race, color, national origin, age, economic status, or disability.
Members will seek to minimize adverse effects of their work. In conducting their work they will comply with all applicable standards, rules, and laws enacted to protect researchers or study organisms. This includes obtaining Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) permits, collection permits, export and import permits, and any additional required permission. In addition, members must be sensitive to local customs and needs, whether working locally or abroad.
The reputation and integrity of the Society are tightly linked with its publications, which must remain free of fraud or impropriety (for definitions of inappropriate behavior see 65 FR 76260-76264: Fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or reporting research results, which can be obtained at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/regs/fedreg/notices/2003023248.htm).
1.Authorship. Researchers will only claim authorship of papers on which they have made substantial contributions, including conceiving the study, obtaining funding, designing the work, executing the research, analyzing and interpreting the data, or writing the manuscript. Authors may not be added or removed without their agreement, nor be named on a manuscript unless they have approved the final version of the manuscript.
2.Veracity. Members will not commit scientific fraud (e.g., through fabricating or falsifying data, suppress results, or deliberately misrepresent findings). All statements made regarding methods used and data collected will be factually correct. All interpretations made in the Introduction and Discussion will be truthful representations of the author’s understanding. Relevant literature and data not compatible with the conclusions must not be intentionally omitted. Error does not constitute scientific misconduct but must be promptly reported to the Editor.
3.Attribution. Knowingly presenting another’s work as one’s own is plagiarism. Authors will not submit data or language taken from other sources without permission or attribution.
4.Conflict of Interest. In cases where funding (e.g., as a consultant or grant recipient) could place authors in potential conflict of interest, they will clearly disclose this in their submission letter and in the text of the manuscript.
5.Reporting. Authors must obtain all necessary permits prior to submitting a manuscript. Permit numbers should be provided in the Materials and Methods section of manuscripts, and bodies and individuals granting required permissions should be thanked in the Acknowledgments.
Reviewing Manuscripts and Grant Proposals
1.Timeliness. Editors and reviewers will act expeditiously to ensure the timely refereeing of articles and grant proposals.
2.Confidentiality. Editors and Reviewers recognize that authors retain the intellectual rights to submitted manuscripts and grant proposals. Submissions will not be shared with unnecessary persons, nor will material encountered by reviewers and editors be used by them without the expressed permission of authors. The anonymity of reviewers will be strictly kept unless they specifically ask to be named.
3.Conflict of Interest. Bias must be avoided in publication and funding decisions. Members are expected to decline to review work they may not be able to objectively evaluate. Individuals will provide objective evaluations and not hamper publication or funding of competing work.
The Society will investigate allegations of unethical conduct brought before it and will take punitive steps against individuals if they have behaved improperly. Where related to publications, the Editor will refer such matters to an ad hoc Professional Ethics Committee while continuing the normal review process. The Committee will investigate the issue in a timely manner, maintaining confidentiality and due process. It will report its findings and recommendations to the Editor, who will determine the appropriate course of action in consultation with the President.
Manuscripts found not to adhere to the standards set above will be removed from electronic circulation and a statement published to that effect. Authors of such manuscripts may be banned from publishing in Society journals for an appropriate period. In extreme cases, membership may be revoked. Editors and reviewers found not to adhere to these standards will not be allowed to serve in such roles again and this decision may be publicized. In extreme cases, membership may be revoked.
The principles outlined above were guided by statements from the ESA , AAAS, the Toronto Resolution , AMS, SCB, ACS, ASM, TWS, RSNZ , AAPS, PWS, the Federal Register , Bullock and Panicker 2003 (Ethics for all: Differences across scientific society codes. SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING ETHICS 9 (2): 159-170), and information available on http://www.ethicsweb.ca/codes/.