IISE Policy on Publication Ethics

March 1, 2016; Revised July 15, 2016 | Updated Sept. 29, 2023

I. Preamble

The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Inc. (IISE) seeks to maintain the highest standards of professional ethics in all aspects of scientific inquiry and dissemination of knowledge. The principles of objective inquiry and evaluation, fairness and equal treatment to all investigators and respect for intellectual property rights are central to these ethics. This document describes the policies and procedures of professional behavior for IISE journal editorial board members, reviewers and authors defined to ensure these principles are upheld. Administrative processes for investigating potential violations and resultant sanctions for violation of these polices are enumerated. The policies and practices documented herein shall constitute a minimal set of standards for all journals owned by IISE.

II. General Policies

In the interest of fairness and good professional practice:

  • All submissions that pass an initial Editor screening for appropriateness of content and writing shall be double-blind reviewed. Information that identifies the author(s) will be available to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC), Focused Issue Editor (FIE), Department Editor (DE) and Area/Associate Editor (AE) (if applicable), but stripped from all correspondence to the reviewers. Likewise the names of the AE and reviewers will not be revealed to the author(s).
  • Reviewer comments to the editors are confidential and will not be revealed to the author(s). Reviewer comments to the authors will be anonymous with reviewer only identified by number.
  • All submissions are confidential, and the author(s) retain ownership of the copyright until transferred following acceptance of a manuscript. Editorial board members and reviewers may not reveal paper authorship or content nor may they use any original knowledge or intellectual property conveyed in that paper until after both a final decision has been reached on the paper and the permission of the author(s) has been obtained. In all cases appropriate citation will be required.
  • Any Editorial Board member or reviewer who has a Conflict of Interest (COI) as defined below with an author or manuscript shall declare that COI and refrain from participating in the review of that paper unless approved by the EIC. No individual may participate in the review of a paper for which they are an author.
  • The corresponding author shall receive detailed comments justifying the editorial decision within a reasonable time frame as defined by the journal.
  • All papers must be original, unpublished works that are not under review elsewhere. As such upon submission the corresponding author must attest that
    • The work is the original work of the author(s) and not previously published or under review elsewhere;
    • All closely related works by the author(s) are cited in the manuscript or, for purposes of ensuring double-blind reviewing, are listed in a separate document made available to the EIC, FIE, DE and AE;
    • The author(s) are properly listed and all have agreed to the ordered list of authors;
    • All potential conflicts of interest between the author(s) and the manuscript content have been disclosed in an accompanying document or in the manuscript;
    • The author(s) are aware of the IISE Journal policy including possible sanctions for ethical violations;
    • The author(s) must adhere to the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools as outlined by Taylor & Francis.
  • IISE supports and strives to adhere to the standards of the scientific publishing community. Authors are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these standards including those of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as outlined in the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practices Guidelines available at http://publicationethics.org and the Taylor & Francis Guidelines on Publication Ethics available at http://journalauthors.tandf.co.uk/othercategories/ethics.asp.

III. Conflict of Interest (COI)

a. Policy

To protect the integrity of the journals and avoid any potential bias, all real and potential financial conflicts of interest must be disclosed at the time of submission of a manuscript for evaluation. Normally, such conflicts should be included in an Acknowledgements section at the end of the paper, however, where appropriate for proprietary or other reasons, the EIC or FIE may approve an author(s)' request not to publish all or part of the COI detail. For instance, a company may support a project but not want its name revealed for competitive reasons, or the potential conflict may be deemed so minor as to be inconsequential.

COIs to be disclosed include but are not limited to the following:

  • Current, past or pending funding received from an organization that may be impacted by the results of the research study.
  • A personal or significant financial connection to an entity mentioned in the manuscript or that can be substantively impacted by the results. A significant financial interest is subjective and relates to a reasonable person believing the connection is sufficient to impact judgment. In any event financial remuneration less than $5,000 per year, or $10,000 in equity need not be reported nor do holdings in diversified mutual funds or trusts not under the control of the author(s).
  • In addition, the Acknowledgements section should list any and all sources of funding that supported the research including government and foundation grants.

b. Responsibilities of Editorial Board Members

It is the responsibility of the Editors and reviewers to

  • Use professional judgment to ensure the COI does not impact the manuscript content or results, including performing additional inquiry where necessary;
  • Provide an objective review and decision recommendation unaffected by bias for or against any COI source;
  • Declare any COI regarding a paper and decline from participating in the review process where such COI would impact the board member's judgment or may reasonably be assumed to do so. Having the same current employer or having co-authored with one of the submitted paper authors within the past 5 years would normally constitute a conflict of interest.

c. Responsibilities of Authors

All reported research must be conducted in an unbiased manner.

  • Responsibility. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring all submission standards are understood and met by all author(s) and the manuscript. This includes the list and order of authors.
  • Objectivity. Authors must not be influenced by any political, social or commercial interest nor other non-scientific preconception nor may the manuscript reflect any such inappropriate bias or commercialization.
  • COI Disclosure. All funding sources related to the research topic must be disclosed. This includes not only direct financial support for the work being documented but also any past or pending support that may reasonably be construed to influence the author(s) perspective or motivation.
  • Accuracy Disclosure. The corresponding author is responsible for promptly notifying the EIC or FIE of any significant error or inaccuracy discovered either during the review process or after publication.
  • Citation Completeness. All relevant work upon which the manuscript is based or upon which it builds should be cited and/or acknowledged.
  • Citation Relevance. Addition of unnecessary citations to the authors' work or articles in a particular journal for the purpose of enhancing its citation count is unethical and unacceptable.

d. Penalties for Violations

If an undisclosed COI or any violation of the author responsibilities listed above, including the stipulations attested to upon submission, is discovered subsequent to the submission of the manuscript, this shall be reported to the EIC. The EIC will then initiate the following process.

  • The EIC in consultation with the appropriate FIE or DE shall evaluate the relevance of the COI or violation and decide whether sufficient cause and seriousness exist to proceed with further investigation. (Note that failure to disclose a COI is considered sufficient grounds for rejecting a manuscript, or, publishing a retraction if the paper has been published).
  • If further investigation is deemed warranted, the EIC will convene an ad hoc committee consisting of the EIC, plus the FIE or DE, and at least one other member of the editorial board to examine the case. The ad hoc committee may decide that no penalty is warranted or that any or all of the following actions should be taken: rejection of the manuscript (or public retraction if already published), rejection of any other manuscripts by the author or authors currently in review, prohibition for one or more of the author(s) from submitting to any IISE journal for a specified period of time including up to a lifetime ban, exclusion from consideration of participation on any IISE journal editorial board, and a recommendation to IISE for exclusion from consideration of any IISE award. Any decision more severe than rejecting the current manuscript must be forwarded to and receive agreement from the IISE Senior Vice President (S.V.P.) for Publications.
  • If the IISE S.V.P. for Publications agrees to a more severe penalty than rejecting the paper, then the author(s) shall be notified of the finding in writing by the IISE S.V.P. for Publications and given 30 days to appeal. The appeal should include the reason for the appeal and any relevant documentation that supports the author's or authors' case and indicate whether the appeal relates to the investigative and decision process, the decision or the penalty imposed. The ad hoc committee shall consider the appeal and forward their final recommendation to the IISE S.V.P. for Publications who then makes the final decision and notifies the ad hoc committee and the author(s).

IV. Professionalism

a. Responsibilities of Authors

Accurate and complete discourse is essential for advancing knowledge. Thus it is incumbent upon authors to ensure the following:

  • Accuracy. That all statements and conclusions are true as far as the author(s) know and have been reasonably checked to ensure accuracy. While the work may be guided by hypotheses to be tested, evaluation must be thorough and unbiased.
  • Completeness. All relevant information and data are included without selection bias as to whether it supports the author(s) hypotheses. The author(s) must retain and make available upon request sufficient material to allow full replication of results for a period of at least five years.
  • Assumptions. All assumptions are clearly stated.
  • Authorship. The list of author(s) should include all individuals, and only those individuals, making substantive contribution to the paper through creative work including idea generation, modeling, analysis, testing and documentation. Upon request, the corresponding author must submit a statement describing the contribution of each author. All authors listed on the manuscript must agree to being included. Individuals providing only minor suggestions or support should be listed in an Acknowledgement section. The order of author names is left to the discretion of the authors.
  • Originality. Relationship to former work by the author(s) and others must be clearly specified and the original contribution clearly stated in all publications. All submitted works should contain significant, original contribution to the state of knowledge. Reuse of any portion of a published manuscript without proper citation constitutes plagiarism. Simultaneous submission of a manuscript to multiple journals for consideration is strictly forbidden and will result in an investigation and be subject to the penalties listed below. Attempted publication of overly similar publications with similar problem, methodology and results is unacceptable, is cause for immediate rejection and may initiate an investigation and suspension of submission privileges.
  • Attribution. All citations attribute ideas, models, proofs, data and results used in the work to the original source.
  • Human Subjects. Research involving human participants should follow procedures in accordance with the principles described in the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975, as revised in 2008. If human participants are involved, the manuscript must contain a statement indicating that the procedures were approved by the responsible institutional or national committee on human experimentation. For studies involving animals, the authors must state that procedures followed relevant institutional or national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals.

b. Responsibilities of Editorial Board Members

The Editorial Board is charged with in-depth and fair evaluation of papers submitted for publication. All materials sent to reviewers below the level of Area/Associate Editor should be made as anonymous as possible, including, at a minimum, removal of author(s) names and affiliations from the manuscript.

The EIC, FIE and DE are responsible for

  • Ensuring that all decisions on suitability for publication are based purely on the paper's engineering and/or scientific contribution and conformance to the published journal scope and guidelines. Factors such as author race, gender, nationality, institution, and economic consideration are not to be considered.
  • Ensuring that the journal's scope and guidelines are current and publicly available.
  • Ensuring that the journal's review process is executed in a timely manner and in accord with the processes described herein.

Reviewers and AEs are responsible for

  • Providing full and complete evaluation of the originality, impact, correctness and completeness of reviewed manuscripts including in-depth verification of technical results;
  • Disclosing any limitations to their review and expertise that may require additional evaluation of all or part of a manuscript;
  • Disclosing any potential conflict of interest with the manuscript including personal relationships to the author(s), substantial financial interest in any organization supporting or directly impacted by the research, or other vested interest in the outcome of manuscript review. It is recognized that identifying conflicts of interest may be difficult since author identities are not provided to reviewers, but reviewers are expected to use their best judgment and minimize bias to the extent possible. If uncertain they may contact the DE or FIE for guidance or state a conditional COI;
  • Impartial evaluation of each manuscript without bias to author, institution or subjective preference for research methodology. Any such biases should be disclosed to the editor prior to agreeing to review;
  • Maintaining confidentiality of manuscript material and respecting the author(s) intellectual property;
  • Provide a respectful review that avoids any offensive or libelous comments;
  • Timely response to review requests and submission of reviews in keeping with the journal's policy.

V. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is academic fraud and must be prevented to ensure the integrity of the journals and protection of Intellectual Property rights. In addition to inappropriate direct copying of other material, using another person's idea or work product without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism. Note that self-plagiarism, reuse of one's own work without proper acknowledgement and permission of copyright holder, is plagiarism and will be treated the same as copying the work of another person. Additional guidance and references are available in a white paper provided by iThenticate® (http://www.ithenticate.com/self-plagiarism-free-whit-paper/).While it is understood that author(s) may expand upon previous conference or journal papers reuse of copyrighted material is strictly forbidden without permission and disclosure, and all submissions must make a significant additional original contribution sufficient to warrant publication on their own merit.

a. Responsibilities of Editorial Board Members

The Editor-in-Chief, with support from the Focus Issue Editors and Department Editors, is responsible for ensuring

  • All policies regarding plagiarism and citation are kept current and appropriately administered for each paper;
  • All submissions are checked for plagiarism (such as use of iThenticate or similar check);
  • All suspected violations are fully and fairly investigated and appropriate sanctions applied for violation;
  • Any necessary retractions are published if violations are detected post publication.

Reviewers and AEs are responsible for

  • Ensuring that all relevant work is appropriately cited and the author(s) make clear their original contribution in the manuscript;
  • Any suspected violations are documented and reported to the appropriate editors (DE and EIC or FIE);
  • Participating on ad hoc investigative panels when asked.

b. Responsibilities of Authors

It is the responsibility of the author(s) to act professionally and avoid plagiarism. In particular author(s) have the professional responsibility to

  • Ensure all work taken from or motivated by other sources is properly cited;
  • Clearly communicate what is original in the paper vs. what is borrowed from other sources, including clear statement of how the work builds upon previous work and why the original content is important;
  • To understand and fully comply with the Copyright Act of 1976 (the "Copyright Act"), currently available at this link (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/ ), including, without limitation, complying with the fair use provisions (17 U.S. Code § 107) in the Copyright Act. 

c. Policy and Penalties for Violations

The EIC is ultimately responsible for ensuring the integrity of the journal and execution of any necessary investigation of ethical violations. All suspected violations of plagiarism standards should be immediately reported to the DE and EIC or FIE.

  • Upon receiving a report or discovering a suspected case of plagiarism, the EIC or designated FIE shall examine the evidence and make a determination as to whether there is insufficient evidence to warrant further action, sufficient evidence of minor self-plagiarism restricted to background material and not impacting the main original contribution, or sufficient evidence to merit full investigation. If insufficient evidence is concluded, the case ends. If the evidence only supports minor self-plagiarism then the EIC or FIE shall inform the corresponding author that the paper is being rejected for this reason and the author may resubmit a revised version as a new submission but any subsequent violations will result in a full investigation. When reasonable cause exists to suspect plagiarism more severe than minor self-plagiarism of background material, or for repeated violations, the following procedure should be used:
  • The Editor-in-Chief or designated Focus Issue Editor, shall convene an ad hoc committee to investigate the violation. The committee should include at least three individuals and include the EIC, FIE and/or relevant DE and a knowledgeable, independent reviewer. The panel shall collect the relevant information and judge the nature and severity of the violation. In doing so the panel may, at their discretion, request explanation from the author(s) or act fully in secrecy. If sanctions are deemed to be merited, the panel's majority recommendation shall be forwarded along with the evidence to the IISE S.V.P. for Publications for approval.
  • If the panel majority and S.V.P. Publications agree, then the IISE S.V.P. for Publications shall inform the author(s) in writing of the sanctions. Authors have 30 days from the receipt of the notice to appeal. Any appeal will be handled by a former EIC of the journal or a current EIC of another IISE publication as selected by the IISE S.V.P. in consultation with the EIC. The appeal should include the reason for the appeal and any relevant documentation that supports the author(s) case and indicate whether the appeal relates to the investigative and decision process, the decision or the penalty imposed.
  • Penalties may include rejection of the manuscript (or public retraction if already published), rejection of any other manuscripts by the author or authors currently in review, prohibition for one or more of the author(s) from submitting to any IISE journal for a specified period of time including up to a lifetime ban, exclusion from consideration of participation on any IISE journal editorial board, and a recommendation to IISE for exclusion from consideration of any IISE award.

VI. Certifications

IISE may require any author, reviewer, and/or editorial board member to certify to IISE in writing, from time to time, such person's continued compliance with the policies and practices documented herein. IISE may require delivery of such written certification to IISE as a condition precedent for such person being involved with, or publishing in, any of the journals owned by IISE.

VII. References

"Code of Conduct," Committee on Publication Ethics: http://publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct; Publishing Ethics, Taylor & Francis: https://taylorandfrancis.com/about/corporate-responsibility/publishing-ethics/