Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR) adheres to the ethical guidelines for journal publications put forth by The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). This ethics statement is based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for journal editors, peer reviewers and authors.
HDSR is committed to the highest standard of publication ethics and critical scholarly review and to supporting ethical research practices. Below, please find HDSR’s practices and policies for conducing ethical review and publication of submitted content.
Content submitted to HDSR remains confidential throughout the peer review process. Publication staff and reviewers alike do not share submitted content with anyone outside of those involved in the review process and relevant content generating process (e.g., discussions, media summaries) without the permission of the authors and of the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) or a Co-Editor as authorized by the EIC.
When an author or the institution of the author has a relationship, financial or otherwise, with individuals or organizations that could influence the author’s work inappropriately, a conflict of interest may exist. Perceptions of conflict of interest can be as important as actual conflicts of interest.
Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships or adversarial rivalries. Authors should avoid entering into agreements with study sponsors, both for-profit and non-profit, that interfere with authors’ access to all of the study’s data or that interfere with their ability to analyze and interpret the data and to prepare and publish manuscripts independently when and where they choose.
Members of HDSR’s advisory board, editorial board, and staff do not receive preferential treatment on submitted content. If an affiliate of the journal is an author or a co-author on a submission, that submission must receive the same review process and fair and rigorous treatment as all other submissions to the journal.
Editors who share a direct work affiliation (e.g., work in the same department) with the author(s) of a given manuscript do not oversee review of those manuscripts to prevent conflicts of interest. Reviewers may not share a direct work affiliation with the author(s).
When reviewers receive their invitation to review, they must confirm that they have no conflict of interest. If reviewers feel that they cannot provide impartial feedback or that there is a potential conflict of interest, they should decline the invitation to review. If reviewers are not sure if they have a conflict of interest, they should contact the EIC directly.
Peer review must be conducted and logged through our submission management platform, Editorial Manager. Entering comments and (possibly confidential) recommendations in the system ensures that HDSR has a written record of the review process and proof of reviewer and editor participation.
Authors, reviewers, editors, and administrators are each responsible for managing their own tasks through Editorial Manager. Some tasks are handled exclusively through an account with administrative access, in which case one should contact the editorial office (firstname.lastname@example.org). However, administrators do not invite reviewers, enter review comments, nor make recommendations or decisions on the editor’s behalf. This policy is in place to avoid both potential errors or miscommunications, as well as any ethical concerns of having a go-between enter content that influences final decisions.
Comments from editors and reviewers appear separately in decision letters to authors. Comments from reviewers will be clearly labeled as reviewer feedback. Comments from editors will be clearly labeled as editorial feedback. Co-Editors will have a decision template email to work from, but their comments should be integrated in the body of the email and thus are also separated from Associate Editor and Reviewer comments. In this way, the journal is fully transparent with authors as to how many different individuals reviewed the submission (for example, Co-Editor, Associate Editor, Reviewer 1, Reviewer 2, Reviewer 3—letting authors know that five individuals have read and provided comments on their work prior to a decision being made).
Authorship. The corresponding author is responsible for the appropriateness and completeness of the authorship list, appropriate credit attribution, and agreement of all authors to the journal’s open access, ethical, and if applicable, data sharing policies (please see our Author Guidelines for more details). HDSR follows the guidelines set out by the Contributor Roles Taxonomy Project (CRediT) to assign author contributions. The corresponding author is responsible for declaring these contributions, which are required for all submissions where such declaration is meaningful.
Originality. All content published in HDSR represents original work in the sense that it does not overlap with existing peer-reviewed publications in substantive ways, as determined by HDSR’s review process and the information available to HDSR. While under consideration for publication, content cannot be submitted for publication elsewhere.
Plagiarism and Research Fraud. A determination of plagiarism or fabrication by HDSR will require contacting the corresponding author’s institution and possibly funding agencies, whenever permissible by relevant governing law. If plagiarism or fabrication is determined post-publication, HDSR will investigate potential courses of action, up to and including formal retraction of the article.
Retraction Statement. In the event that an article is determined to have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct or honest error, a Notice of Retraction will be attached to all versions of the article on the HDSR site. For full Retraction Guidelines, please visit the following COPE webpage: COPE Retraction Guidelines
Editorial Expressions of Concern. In the event that a published article is found to contain materials that may raise questions about its integrity, but they do not necessarily warrant a full recreation (e.g., a shared dataset is not longer accessible), an Editorial Expressions of Concern will be attached to all versions of the article on the HDSR site to warn the readers about the nature of the concerns.