Author Disclosure and Obligations

(Adopted by the AMS Council 22 September 2010)

These guidelines are based largely on guidelines published by the AGU, which are, to a great extent, based on “Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research” by the American Chemical Society (Copyright 1985, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2006 American Chemical Society). The AMS appreciates the permission of the AGU and ACS to quote extensively from these documents.

  1. An author's central obligation is to present a concise and accurate account of the research performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.
  2. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to public sources of information (literature and data) and methodology used to permit the author's peers to test the paper’s scientific conclusions.
  3. All funding sources should be identified in the manuscript. Authors should disclose to the editor any financial arrangement with a research sponsor that could give the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  4. An author should cite those publications that have been influential in determining the nature and motivation for the present work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, should not be used or reported in the author's work without explicit permission from the investigator with whom the information originated. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, cannot be used without permission of the author of the work being used.
  5. It is unethical for an author to copy text, figures, or tables (i.e., plagiarize) from other work without attribution. Even self-plagiarism (or autoplagiarism), defined as copying from previous work by the author, could be considered unethical as it may involve copyright infringement (i.e., as a condition of publication in AMS journals, authors are required to transfer intellectual property rights to the AMS—hence, authors no longer “own” previously published work).
  6. Fragmentation of research papers should be avoided. A scientist who has done extensive work on a topic or a group of related topics should organize publications so that each paper gives a complete account of a particular aspect of the general study.
  7. It is unethical for an author to publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one peer-reviewed paper.
  8. It is inappropriate to submit manuscripts with an obvious commercial intent.
  9. An author should make no material changes to a paper after it has been accepted. If there is a compelling reason to make changes (other than to correct typographical errors), the author is obligated to inform the editor directly of the nature of the desired change. Only the editor has the final authority to approve any such requested changes.
  10. A criticism of a published paper may be justified and is allowed in a “Comment and Reply” sequence; however, personal criticism is never considered acceptable.
  11. Only individuals who have made a substantive intellectual contribution to the published research should be listed as coauthors. The contributions usually involve significantly helping with the acquisition of data or analysis and/or contributions to the interpretation of information. A deceased person who met the authorship requirements may be designated as a coauthor. The corresponding author accepts the responsibility of having included as authors all persons who meet these criteria for authorship and none who do not. Other contributors who do not meet the authorship criteria should be appropriately acknowledged in the article. It is unethical for the corresponding author to submit work without all living coauthors having seen the final version of the article, agreed with the major conclusions, and have agreed to its submission for publication.