Ethical charter

The ethics policy of the RDM journal is based on the Code of Practice of the European Mathematical Society Ethics Committee, with adds required for issues related to education (based on the reflection undertaken by the British Educational Research Association

Responsabilities of authors

  1. Individual researchers and authors should understand and uphold high standards of ethical behavior, particularly in relation to the publication and dissemination of their research. An aspect of good practice is the granting of proper credit, and the referencing of the work of others, with appropriate bibliographic references. It is important to note that it is not unethical to be mistaken in the attribution, or lack of attribution, of results, provided that authors have carefully sought to determine whether their claimed results are new, and provided that errors of attribution are corrected in a timely and appropriate manner, as they are discovered or pointed out.
  2. Each co-author should have contributed significantly to the research reported in any published work, and each person who contributed significantly to the relevant research should be named as a co-author. Further, all named authors should accept joint responsibility for any submitted manuscript and final publication. It is misconduct for one author to submit and to publish joint research without the consent of his or her named co-authors.
  3. Translations of published or unpublished works should always fully acknowledge the source of the work.
  4. All educational researchers should aim to protect the integrity and reputation of educational research by ensuring that they conduct their research to the highest standards. Researchers should contribute to the community spirit of critical analysis and constructive criticism that generates improvement in practice and enhancement of knowledge.
  5. Educational researchers should never criticize their peers inappropriately.
  6. It is recommended that researchers, in communications or published information about research projects, identify an appropriate contact whom participants or other research stakeholders can contact in order to raise questions or concerns, including those concerning formal complaints procedures.
  7. Plagiarism is the unattributed use of text and/or data, presented as if they were by the plagiarist. All sources should be disclosed, and if large amounts of other people’s (or the researcher’s own) written or illustrative material are to be used, permission must be sought and acknowledgement made. In clear cases of plagiarism, the author should be contacted in writing, ideally enclosing documentary evidence. If no response is received, the advice is to ‘contact the author’s institution requesting your concern is passed to the author’s superior and/or person responsible for research governance’.
  8. Attribution should include explicitly recognizing authors of digital content, in all cases in which an author or creator can be identified. As well as text, this includes images, diagrams, presentations, multimedia content and other forms of content. Researchers need to be aware that a great deal of digital content is subject to copyright, and cannot be freely reused or modified unless it is explicitly licensed as such – for example by means of one of the ‘Creative Commons’ (CC) licenses. Authors retain copyright of CC-licensed material (which may be published in print or digitally), but choose to permit reuse, distribution and sometimes adaptation, depending on the license terms; any copies or modifications have to be made available under the original license terms and must link to that license. Researchers have the responsibility of checking the conditions for reuse, and for attributing the author(s) in all cases.
  9. Subject to any limitations imposed by agreements to protect confidentiality and anonymity, researchers should endeavor to make their data and methods amenable to reasonable external scrutiny. Ideally, researchers will make shareable anonymized versions of data available for secondary analysis. They should be fully aware (and make participants aware) of when funding bodies require this.
  10. Educational researchers should communicate their findings, and the practical significance of their research, in a clear, straightforward fashion, and in language judged appropriate to the intended audience(s). Researchers have a responsibility to make the results of their research public for the benefit of educational professionals, policymakers and the wider public. They should not accept contractual terms that obstruct their exercise of this responsibility.
  11. Researchers must not bring research into disrepute by in any way falsifying, distorting, suppressing, selectively reporting or sensationalizing their research evidence or findings, either in publications based on that material, or as part of efforts to disseminate or promote that work.
  12. The authorship of publications normally comprises a list of everyone who has made a substantive and identifiable contribution to the research being reported. In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work and to provide co-author(s) contributions with CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) author statement (CRediT offers authors the opportunity to share an accurate and detailed description of their diverse contributions to the published work). In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.
  13. Academic status or any other indicator of seniority does not determine first authorship. Rather, the order of authorship should reflect relative leadership and contributions made. Alternatively, co-authors may agree to a simple alphabetic listing of their names. Consensual agreement on authorship should be gained as early as possible in the writing process.
  14. Researchers should not use research carried out with co-researchers as the basis of individual outputs without the agreement of the co-researchers concerned.

Responsabilities of editors and publishers

  1. It is recommended that journals publishing mathematics should establish and conspicuously present their standards for ethical behavior in publishing, and specify their responsibilities and the steps to be taken to investigate and respond to suspicions or accusations of misconduct. Journals should respond to an author’s complaints with respect and due process.
  2. Editors should adhere to high standards of ethical treatment of all authors in arriving at a responsible and objective decision about publication. An editor should withdraw from any editorial duties that would involve a personal, commercial, or professional conflict of interest. An editor should also avoid any misuse of their privileged position or of information received as part of their editorial duties to influence the handling of their own papers, or those of colleagues, students, or personal acquaintances. Certainly, no information received in confidence should ever be used in the editor’s own work.
  3. An editor or publisher should acknowledge receipt of a manuscript. A publisher should ensure that the progress of consideration of a submitted manuscript is monitored, and seek diligently to avoid excessive delays in either the refereeing of a paper or the decision process. The publisher must obtain consent to publish either from one author acting on behalf of all authors, or from all authors. The date of submission of, and the date of any significant changes to, a manuscript should be published; this is important, in particular, in cases of disputes concerning priority
  4. Publishers have an obligation to present papers in a clear and precise format, and they should ensure that the mathematical symbols, words, and sentences that are used in the published work are clear and are not a barrier to understanding. They should ensure that the guidelines and APA rules are followed and that the quality of images is correct. It is misconduct on the part of publishers merely to reproduce without improvement submitted manuscripts that are badly written or presented.
  5. Editors and publishers should consider carefully and make objective judgements about the acceptance of submitted manuscripts. Normally this will be on the basis of reports from appropriate referees, but it will sometimes be clear to editors that a submitted manuscript is considerably below the standards of the journal, or not in an appropriate subject area, and can therefore be rejected without submission to referees; in this case, the authors should be courteously informed of this rejection in a timely and reasoned manner.
  6. The editors should inform potential authors of decisions taken in a courteous and timely manner, always passing on constructive criticism and information provided by the referees. Editors may decide that it is appropriate that certain comments provided by the referees should be confidential to the Editorial Board, and not passed on verbatim to the authors.
  7. In rare cases, the editors may become convinced that parts of a work that they have published have been plagiarized from another source. In these cases, the editors should request the authors to submit for publication a substantial retraction; if this is not forthcoming, the editors themselves should publish a statement giving details of the plagiarism involved.
  8. A publisher of journals should not list on any of its publications a person as ‘editor’ or ‘editorial advisor’ or similar without full disclosure of this to the person concerned and receipt of his or her explicit agreement. The name of any person who resigns from such a position must quickly be removed from the displayed list.
  9. Any person listed as editor or editorial advisor should be aware of, and content with, the standards and editorial procedures and policies of the journal, and be willing to act in extreme cases when it is clear that the publishers are not following this Code.

Responsabilities of referees 

  1. Referees should adhere to high standards of ethical treatment of all authors in arriving at responsible and objective recommendations about the publication of material that they assess. Referees should seek to validate the significance, novelty, and clarity of a manuscript under consideration, and then report their findings to the editor in a careful and constructive manner. Nevertheless, final responsibility for the published work lies with the authors
  2. A person asked to accept the task of refereeing a paper may feel that there is a potential personal or professional conflict of interest, for example, when he or she is asked to referee a manuscript from a recent student, collaborator, or colleague. In such cases, the potential referee should discuss with the editor any possible conflicts of interest, and continue to act only with the agreement of the editor.
  3. Once they have accepted the task of refereeing a manuscript, referees should seek to report in a timely manner, taking into account the length of the manuscript and the requests of the editors. The editors make sure deadlines are met.
  4. A referee should eschew the use of privileged information gleaned from a manuscript under review.
  5. A referee who suspects any element of plagiarism in a manuscript under consideration, or any other unethical behavior, should quickly report these concerns to the editor.