The Editors, Editorial Board and SSSI Publications Committee invite your final views on the proposed SI Statement on Publications Ethics, prior to its presentation for adoption at the Business Meeting in New York in August.  Please download it from Here.

Why do we need something like this?  There are three main reasons:-

1. In an increasing global scholarly community, it is important that everyone is clear what the ground rules are.  There is a certain amount of variation in custom and practice between disciplines and countries.  Having a clear statement means that everyone knows how SSSI expects these issues to be approached and everyone can be treated equally.

2. Scholarly communities rightly expect journal editors to be transparent and accountable in their work.  In our experience, ethics cases are rare, result from inexperience or misunderstandings and are best dealt with confidentially.  However, a public statement is a way to reassure the journal’s authors and readers that editors do have clear standards and protocols to protect the academic integrity of the journal.

3. If we do not produce our own statement, then we are likely to have one forced upon us.  Many of you will have experience of ethical codes or integrity statements drawn up by biomedical or bioethical practitioners that have serious unintended consequences for social scientists.  This statement contains important elements on covert research, enforcement of IRB decisions, duplicate publication and plagiarism, which differ significantly from the practices of the biomedical world.  Collective ownership of this statement makes it clear that we are concerned about these issues, but that they have a different impact on us and should rightly be managed in different ways. 

Please engage with us in this process and send your comments to If you would like to share the draft with other colleagues or journals that you are involved with, please do so.  We intend to publish it eventually under a Creative Commons licence so that any other journal that wishes to may adopt it.