Accuracy is one of the fundamental qualities in science. Readers should be assured that authors present results of their work in a transparent, accurate and honest way.
Proof of the ethical attitude of the researcher and the highest editorial standards should be information transparency on persons who contribute to preparing the publication (professional input, contribution in kind, financial contribution, etc.), which is a sign of not only good habits but also social responsibility.
“Ghostwriting” means when someone made a significant contribution to a publication, without disclosing his or her participation as one of the authors or without mentioning his or her role in the acknowledgements. “Guest authorship” (“honorary authorship”) means when the author’s participation is negligible or did not occur at all, and yet he or she is the author/co-author of the publication.
To counteract cases of “ghostwriting” and “guest authorship”, the editorial board of Materiały Zachodniopomorskie have introduced the following solutions, in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education:
Statement by the authors of the publication on the percentage contribution of the individual author in its preparing (with providing the authors’ affiliation). Failure to comply with the rules shall be considered as scientific unreliability and unsavoury practice.
All persons included as authors of the publication have to participate in its preparation and take responsibility for its content. It is unacceptable to indicate as an author (or co-author) a person whose contribution to the creation of the work is negligible or did not take place at all (“guest authorship”). In case of papers prepared by more than one author, a contribution of an individual author to the creation of the work should be presented: to the preparation of the research project, the work on the project (data collection, conducting research), performing analysis, interpretation of results, compiling bibliography. Members of groups who do not meet these criteria should be listed, with their consent, in acknowledgments. It is unacceptable that a person who made a significant contribution to the creation of the work was not indicated as a co-author or mentioned in the acknowledgments (“ghostwriting”). Responsibility for indicating the authors of the work lies with the author who is sending the paper to the editor.
2. Statement by the author/authors of the scientific article
Materials which have already been presented elsewhere, e.g. contained in conference proceedings or through digital media, have to be provided with an appropriate annotation, indicating where they were published.