2011/2012 marked an important year for research and publishing ethics. The world press highlighted numerous data fraud scandals, Science published papers and commentaries on the use of coercive citations among journals, and journals faced criticism for engaging in tactics more focused on engorging impact factors than the advancement of science per se. At the same time, this period showcased public dialog on the topic of research ethics among major professional associations, and journals featured special issues seeking to define the normative ethical practices of authors, reviewers, and editors.
In response to this, a group of Editors from the fields of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Management assembled to draft a voluntary Code of Conduct defining some general behaviors we agree are important to maintaining the ethics and integrity of scientific inquiry. We have since circulated this Code to other editors to gain their support. Since that time our list of signatories has grown to include over 200 Editors and Associate Editors.
At the dawn of 2014, issues of research ethics continues to pervade the public discourse, as journal retractions are on the rise, and issues of ethical misconduct continue to surface. Based on feedback and comments received since the Code’s inception, a second edition (Editor Ethics 2.0) has been drafted by an advisory board of outgoing and incoming editors from top journals in management and applied psychology. Additions to 2.0 include edits of clarity, more examples of ethical and unethical research practices, and new sections on author fairness, non-transparent post-hoc theorizing, and appropriate behaviors of reviewers and action editors.
Our goal is that these efforts will have a positive impact on the way journal editors conduct themselves, and on the quality and integrity of organizational research in general. We encourage our fellow Editors and Associate Editors to publicly affirm this code, and for anyone to post comments on the Code related to issues and concerns observed in practice. We will continue to revise the Code as our open dialog evolves. The Editor Ethics codes are living documents designed to grow with our science and to help promote research integrity now and in the future.