ethical publishing policy

CopeCrossref Similarity Check

The IUCr is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and endorses its recommendations, including the Code of Conduct for Editors, which are available at

The editorial policies of the IUCr conform to the ethical guidelines published in Acc. Chem. Res. (2002), 35, 74–76 and Graf et al. [Int. J. Clin. Pract. (2007), 61 (Suppl. 152), 1–26]. Authors, editors, editorial board members and reviewers are expected to comply with these guidelines.

IUCr Journals have adopted the Joint Statement of Principles by the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications, see

Editorial independence

We aim to keep the editorial decision making processes of our publications completely separate from any commercial interests, and try to ensure that in all cases editors are free to judge submissions on their scholarly merit and on their potential importance to the community that the journal serves.

Author warranty

Authors are asked to sign an author warranty when they submit an article for publication in an IUCr journal. The wording of the warranty is as follows:

`By agreeing to this declaration you certify that your contribution is your original work, has not been published before (in any language or medium) and is not being considered for publication elsewhere; that all authors concur with and are aware of the submission; that all workers involved in the study are listed as authors or given proper credit in the acknowledgements; that you have obtained permission for and acknowledged the source of any excerpts from other copyright works; that any conflicting interests are declared in the acknowledgements; and that to the best of your knowledge your paper contains no statements which are libellous, unlawful or in any way actionable.'

The co-authors of an article should be all those persons who have made significant scientific contributions to the work reported, including the ideas and their execution, and who share responsibility and accountability for the results. Other contributions should be indicated in the acknowledgements. Changes to the list of authors will normally require the agreement of the editor and all authors.


We aim to ensure that all submitted material is treated as strictly confidential until published, according to COPE guidelines. This means that we expect that all stages of the peer-review process will be carried out confidentially, including correspondence that arises during peer review.

Editors and reviewers are requested to handle all submitted manuscripts in confidence and only share information about submitted manuscripts with other parties after obtaining the agreement of the editor.

Editors and reviewers are not expected to take advantage of information gained during the peer-review process.

Multiple or redundant publication

Authors should not publish essentially the same research in more than one primary journal. However publication of work in the following examples is not considered as multiple publication: publication in the form of an abstract, as an academic thesis, as an electronic preprint, in a newsletter.

Plagiarism and text recycling

The US Office of Research Integrity has defined plagiarism as including both the theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work. It does not include authorship or credit disputes (

When submitting an article for publication in an IUCr journal, authors have a responsibility to ensure that they have not plagiarised others' work. Plagiarism checks are carried out on articles submitted to IUCr journals via Crossref Similarity Check.

Crossref Similarity Check is a tool provided by iThenticate and Crossref to help publishers screen articles for plagiarism ( When plagiarism is detected, the relevant COPE guidelines are followed (for COPE flowcharts, see

If extensive excerpts or figures and tables have been taken from other published works, authors should ensure that appropriate permission has been obtained from the copyright holder.

Text recycling (also known as self-plagiarism) is when an author replicates text from their own previous publications.

A certain amount of overlap of text between an author's publications may be unavoidable and acceptable, for example, in methods sections where descriptions are given of methods/techniques that have been used in the study. Editors may wish to consider whether the author has given an appropriate citation for a method that has been described in full previously.

The editors at BioMed Central have developed a set of guidelines for journal editors on how to deal with text recycling, a copy of which is available at

The US Office of Research Integrity has published a document on this topic: Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing

Conflict of interest

Authors, editors and peer reviewers have a responsibility to disclose interests that might appear to affect their ability to present or review data objectively. Such interests may be financial or non-financial and some examples are given below.

Examples of financial conflicts of interest include

  • Stock ownership
  • Employment or consultancy work
  • Patent ownership or application
  • Board membership
  • Research grants
  • Speaker's fees

Examples of non-financial conflicts of interest include

  • Personal relationships (e.g. friend, family member, mentor, adversary)
  • Personal beliefs (e.g. religious, political)
  • Acting as an expert witness
  • Membership of government or advisory board, or lobbying/advocacy organization
  • Academic links (e.g. with institution or funding bodies)

Authors should declare any conflicts of interest in the Acknowledgements section of their article. In general, interests that apply in the five years leading up to submission of an article are relevant.

Editors may consider not publishing details of authors' interests when, in their opinion, these interests have no relevance to the content being published.

In addition, authors should declare all sources of research funding and other sources of support in the Acknowledgements section of their article.

Editors and peer reviewers should disclose conflicts of interest, and if necessary exclude themselves from the peer-review process.

Allegations of research misconduct

As a member of COPE, the IUCr will follow the COPE guidelines for dealing with allegations of research misconduct. In the first instance, allegations should be brought to the attention of the Editor of the journal, who will liaise with the Editorial Office.

Informed consent

Information and images from individual participants/subjects or patients should only be published where the authors have obtained the individual's explicit consent.

In the case of technical images (for example, radiographs, micrographs) all information that could identify the subject must be removed from the image.

Human and animal rights

Authors are asked to state that the study they are submitting has been approved by the relevant research ethics committee or institutional review board (as defined by the lead investigator's national standards), and that it conforms to Good Clinical Practice (e.g. US Food and Drug Administration Good Clinical Practice in FDA-Regulated Clinical Trials; UK Medicines Research Council Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice in Clinical Trials) and/or the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. If human participants were involved, manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent of each. If experimental animals were used, the materials and methods (experimental procedures) section must clearly indicate that appropriate measures were taken to minimize pain or discomfort, and details of animal care should be provided.

Diversity and inclusion

We affirm that all aspects of the publication process, as well as the research undertaken in support of publication, should be conducted in such a way as to maximize inclusion and diversity in all its forms, wherever possible.

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