Maintaining the integrity of what we publish is vital to the confidence of customers and other stakeholders. In 2011, following internal and external consultation, the Reed Elsevier Editorial Policy was updated to indicate the importance of making a clear distinction between fact and opinion and user-generated or other content. It lays out our responsibility for accuracy and our commitment to editorial independence, reinforcing editorial policies in place in our businesses. It encourages dialogue on our content, including through social media.
To ensure the quality of scientific papers submitted to Elsevier, primary research journals undergo peer review. This means that once received from the author, editors send papers to specialist researchers in the field. In most disciplines, this is done anonymously – thus the author will not be given the name of the peer reviewer. Read more about peer review.
The overall growth in electronic publishing and the wider dissemination of research has made it easier for authors, editors, and reviewers to identify questionable papers. Elsevier was one of the first scientific publishers to participate fully in CrossRef’s pan publisher plagiarism detection pilot to filter academic content. In 2011, Elsevier’s contribution to the organisation’s CrossCheck database rose to 9 million of the total 29 million journal articles, books, and conference proceedings from 130 different publishers. For the past four years, Elsevier has offered COPE membership to editors of all Elsevier journals providing them with a critical, independent support forum to discuss issues related to the integrity of scientific knowledge. Elsevier’s own Publishing Ethics Resource Kit also offers guidance to editors on dealing with disputes.
We recognise that once an article has been officially published it becomes part of the scholarly record. We work to ensure that published materials remain extant and unaltered as far as possible. In exceptional circumstances when editorial problems come to light, we take immediate steps to understand and remedy issues. Elsevier maintains a clear policy on article withdrawal, retraction, removal, and replacement.