Academies outline principles of good science publishing

13 December 2016

A joint statement published today by the Royal Society and the National Academies of France and Germany outlines the best practice for high quality science publishing. 

The statement will be presented to the EU Commissioner for Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, in Brussels this week.

The number of scientific publications and journals is increasing constantly. In this rapidly evolving landscape it is vital that the integrity of the scientific record is protected by ensuring existing and emerging journals follow best practice in terms of peer review. The Academies have drawn on the expertise of their Fellows and specialists in academic publishing to provide advice to publishers of scientific journals.

The advice is based on four fundamental principles:

  • Efficient dissemination of high quality scientific information
  • Avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Fair review of submitted articles based on sound scientific criteria
  • Selection and editing of articles under the control of recognised scientists

Dr Stuart Taylor, Publishing Director at the Royal Society said:

“There are increasing pressures on researchers (especially early career researchers) to publish their work in high impact journals. These pressures are having a number of negative consequences on the research system and it is important that the communication and assessment of research evolves in ways which mitigate these effects. It is also important that science publishing moves towards more efficient and open models while maintaining the standards of rigour, accuracy and reproducibility that is so vital to the progress of research.

“I hope the principles produced by the Royal Society and the National Academies of France and Germany will be helpful as scientific publishing develops to meet the challenges of the future.”