Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions

Posted March 23, 2004

Decisions to edit and publish manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals should be based on characteristics of the manuscripts themselves and how they relate to the journal's purposes and readers. Among these characteristics are importance of the topic, originality, scientific strength, clarity and completeness of written expression, and potential interest to readers. Editors should also take into account whether studies are ethical and whether their publication might cause harm to readers or to the public interest.

Editorial decisions should not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish should not be determined by the policies of governments or other agencies outside of the journal itself.

Editors should defend this principle, as they do other principles of sound editorial practice, and enlist their colleagues' support in this effort if necessary.