The editor has complete responsibility and authority to accept a submitted paper for publication or to reject it. The editor may confer with other editors or referees for an evaluation to aid in making this decision.
An editor must give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s).
An editor must respect the intellectual independence of authors.
Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor's journal must be delegated to some other qualified person, such as another editor of that journal. If an editor chooses to participate in an ongoing scientific debate within their journal, the editor must arrange for some other qualified person to take editorial responsibility.
Editors must avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest in which the relationship could bias judgement of the manuscript. Such conflicts may include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those at the same institution. Please see also our competing interests policy.
The editor and the editorial staff must not disclose any non-public information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than referees and potential referees. Referee reports and referee identity can be shared with another editor if the processing of the submission is transferred.
Referees might suggest to the author the inclusion of additional references. Such suggested literature should be relevant and well-reasoned in the review, and balanced regarding authors, journals, working groups, and institutions. The editor should in such cases point out to the authors that inclusion of references is at their own discretion. In case of unbalanced suggestions, the editor should contact the referees to discuss the background of the recommendations.
Editors themselves should be extra careful in suggesting additional literature.
If an editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a paper published in an editor's journal are erroneous, the editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate paper pointing out the error and, if possible, correcting it.
Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research except with the consent of the author.