The ethics statements for the Virtual Economics are based on the documents entitled The Code of Ethics in Science: Annex to Resolution No. 10/2012 of the General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences of 13 December 2012 and ``The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity’, which, after a long period of preparation, was announced by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and All European Academies (ALLEA) as the model for national codes in European Union countries. Moreover, the ethics statements for the Virtual Economics are based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
I. UNIVERSAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND VALUES IN SCIENTIFIC WORK
1. Diligence in presenting the objectives of both the intended and the conducted research, in presenting research methods and procedures, the interpretation of findings, as well as revealing the information about potential threats and possible advantages and applications, predicted in a deliberate and well thought-out way:
2. Trustworthiness in conducting research, a critical approach to one’s own results, conscientiousness, concern with details and diligence in collecting, recording and storing data, as well as in presenting research findings; avoiding the use of one’s scientific authority to express opinions about issues from outside the area of
3. Objectivity: interpretations and conclusions are solely based on facts, valid reasoning and data which are subject to verification;
4. Impartiality in approaching the researched or presented problem or phenomenon and in sharing knowledge with others;
5. Resistance to any attempts of exerting external influence on the conducted research, on the part of those who commission the research or the expert opinion, but also political, ideological, or business pressure groups;
6. Openness with regard to the researchers’ own scientific work in discussions with other scientists, which is one of the key conditions of progress in science; also contributing to the development of knowledge by publishing research findings and sharing this knowledge with society as a whole;
7. Transparency in the collection, the analysis and the interpretation of data, which is determined by the proper storage of empirical data and making them available through publications;
8. Responsibility towards research participants and objects, including the environment and the cultural property. Research on living creatures can be conducted only with due respect to human dignity and animals’ rights, with the permission of the appropriate bioethical commissions;
9. Reliability in acknowledging the scientific achievements of other researchers by proper references to sources and truthful recognition of the contribution of other scientists, whether they are co-workers, competitors, or predecessors;
10. Concern with the future generations of scientists manifested by teaching the ethical standards and norms to one’s students and subordinates;
11. Courage in challenging views which contradict scientific knowledge and practices contravening the principles of scientific reliability.
II. PRACTICE IN AUTHORSHIP AND PUBLISHING
1) Scientists must publish their research findings and their interpretations in a reliable, transparent and detailed way, so that it is possible for other researchers to repeat or to verify the study. They are not allowed to conceal uncomfortable results, which refute the working hypotheses, or to withhold alternative hypotheses or
2) Delay in publishing research findings may be justified by the intellectual or commercial property protection (e.g. obtaining a patent);
3) Related studies should be correctly quoted;
4) The authorship of a publication must be based exclusively on the creative and substantial contribution to the research, i.e. taking an active part in initiating a scientific idea, creating the concept and research planning, also the significant contribution to collecting and analyzing data, interpretation of the findings, drafting and writing an article, or its critical proofreading focused on its intellectual content;
5) Obtaining financial resources, lending equipment or training in how to use it, collecting data, or the general coordination of the research team – by themselves are not a basis of co-authorship. Attributing authorship to a person who does not meet the above mentioned criteria, or transferring it to another person, are unacceptable.
All authors accept a full responsibility for the published content, unless otherwise specified (e.g. they are responsible for a particular part of the research in the area of their specialty). It is required that the authors’ affiliation should be accompanied by the character of their contribution;
6) The sequence of names of co-authors should result from the practice in the particular
discipline of science and should be accepted by all the co-authors at an early stage of
7) The substantial intellectual contribution of other persons to the published research should be duly noted;
8) The financial support, or any other type of support, should be duly noted;
9) Each author should reveal potential conflicts of interest at an early stage;
10) Publishing the same article (or its significant part) in more than one journal is acceptable on condition that their editors consent to it; the reference to the first publication should always be included. Articles related in this way must be treated as one item in the list of the author’s scientific achievements;
11) In contacts with the media and society the same standards of honesty and reliability apply as in publishing research findings. Overstating the research results and their practical applications is reprehensible. Another case of bad practice is announcing the findings in the public media before they are accepted for publication in appropriate scientific journals.
III. PRACTICE IN REVIEWING AND EVALUATING
1) Reviewers and experts must not undertake the task of evaluating other scientists’ scientific papers, scientific achievements, or research ideas if they go beyond their expertise;
2) Reviewers and experts participating in the evaluation of: research projects, publications, applications for positions for scientific institutions, etc. should decline to take part in the evaluation process if there is a conflict of interest between them and the evaluated person;
3) Reviews and opinions should be diligent, precise and objective and the evaluations should be justified. Unjustified reviews are always reprehensible, regardless of whether they are positive or negative;
4) Reviewers of research publications should maintain the confidentiality of their opinions until the moment they are published;
5) Neither reviewers nor editors of the scientific papers can make use of any data or concepts included in the texts they receive without the author’s consent.
IV, MISCONDUCT IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Misconduct in science is understood as an offence against the principles of ethics and good practice accepted in the scientific environment.
IVa. Flagrant misconduct
The types of misconduct which particularly undermine the ethos of scientific research, are, among others, fabricating or falsifying research findings, which gravely infringe the basic principles of science, as well as plagiarism, which is an unacceptable offence against other researchers.
1. Fabricating results consists in inventing them and presenting as genuine ones;
2. Falsifying is changing the findings or omitting uncomfortable data, which results in the false presentation of the finding;
3. Plagiarism consists in expropriating other persons’ ideas, research findings, or texts, without mentioning the source, which is an infringement of intellectual property rights.
IVb. Other types of improper behaviour
Apart from the cases of flagrant misconduct, there are also many other types of improper behaviour related to scientific research. For, instance, these are: not complying with the good practice of scientific work, especially a negligent approach to conducting research and to the analysis of its findings, slovenliness in handling data, negligence in attributing authorship, or malpractice on the part of reviewers and editors.
Virtual Economics ethics practices are based on COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION ETHICS (COPE): Procedures