Remarks on “ghostwriting”

The publication ethics and publication malpractice statement

Reliability in science is one of its qualitative pillars. Readers should be able to trust that the authors of the publication transparently, reliably and honestly present the results of their work, whether they are direct authors or were assisted by a specialized body (natural or legal person).

The ethical attitude of a researcher and the highest editorial standards are evidenced by clear information on parties contributing to the publication (substantive, factual, financial contributions, etc.), which is a manifestation of both good practices and social responsibility.
Opposing examples are “ghostwriting” and “guest authorship”.

The first one, “ghostwriting”, happens when a person made a significant contribution to the creation of the publication without disclosing own participation as one of the authors or without being listed in the acknowledgments at the end of the publication.

In “guest authorship” (“honorary authorship”), the author’s participation is scarce or none at all, and yet this person is the author/co-author of the publication.

To counteract “ghostwriting” and “guest authorship”, the Editorial Board of the Masuro-Warmian Bulletin implements the following procedures, solutions and requirements:

  1. The Editorial Board shall require that the authors disclose the information on each individual author contribution to the creation of the manuscript (including their affiliations) with main responsibility assigned to the author submitting the manuscript.
  2. The Editorial Board collects information about sources of the publication financing, contributions of scientific and research institutions, associations or other entities (“financial disclosure”).
  3. The Editorial Board requires that the author submits a “ghostwriting” and “guest authorship” declaration affirming that he/she was informed that all detected cases will be debunked, and all appropriate entities will be notified about them (institutions employing the authors, scientific societies, associations of scientific editors, etc.).
  4. The Editorial Board documents all manifestations of scientific unreliability, especially the violation and breach of the ethics in science.
  5. The Editorial Board uses the iThenticate — Similarity Check anti-plagiarism software. The journal routinely screen all manuscripts and articles submitted for print for plagiarism.
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