Statement on the Scientific Integrity of Dissemination Venues

Our society is experiencing a rapid technology-assisted expansion in the number of venues for the dissemination of science.  Because many venues do not adequately ensure the integrity of the scientific knowledge that they transmit, it is necessary to clarify the venue practices that ensure integrity, to address the threat that low-integrity venues pose to the advancement of science, and to highlight positive actions that will mitigate this threat.

  1. Venues for the dissemination of scientific knowledge (e.g. journals, magazines, and conferences) demonstrate scientific integrity by (a) managing conflicts of interest according to the ethical principles of science, (b) ensuring high standards of quality through the adequate involvement of independent and qualified scientists in the process of content selection, review, and delivery, and (c) providing authors and consumers with fair and transparent access to scientific content and science-dissemination services at reasonable cost.  Venue integrity, which is a multi-spectral rather than binary measure, is generally not a simple function of size, longevity, popularity, or technology.
  2. Low-scientific-integrity venues reduce the impact of science by diverting the limited resources available for scientific inquiry, diluting the quality of scientific output, eroding confidence in the scientific process, and weakening public support for science, which ultimately undermines the well-being of people everywhere.
  3. Scientists and administrators at research institutions should work together to adopt healthy internal measures and standards of venue integrity, including incentives for supporting and participating in venues with high-scientific integrity.
  4. Research administrators should recognize and support their scientific staff in their efforts to maintain the integrity of their scientific venues.