IAHR Publications Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Why an IAHR Publications Ethics and Malpractice Statement?

The monitoring of publishing ethics is a major aspect of editorial and peer-review publications. IAHR is a long-established association, behind which there is deep mission of contributing to the community through knowledge exchange. Accordingly. IAHR takes seriously its ethics role. This Statement is designed to guide anyone directly involved in an IAHR publication.

IAHR’s portfolio of peer-review publications comprises journals (currently outsourced to the publishers Taylor & Francis and Elsevier), conference and congress proceedings, Hydrolink (a magazine), Water Monographs (monographs), books, and white papers.

Also, IAHR’s journals are part of the international agreement COPE (Committee on Publications Ethics). Additionally, IAHR has its own ethics code, developed by IAHR’s Publications Committee, and is reviewed annually.

Research Integrity

IAHR publications intend to uphold high standards and expect research published by IAHR to meet excellence in integrity. Integrity principles include

  • Fairness in all aspects of peer review

  • Respect of everybody involved in a research project or review

  • Support of disadvantaged people

Anyone who believes that research published by IAHR has not followed these principles must raise their concern to the corresponding editor of a journal, or to IAHR directly via Publication concerns expressed to IAHR will be addressed using the COPE Guidelines by relevant editors and, if necessary, by IAHR’s Publications Committee.

Editorial Process

IAHR is committed to editorial independence. Any decision rests on this principle, which keeps IAHR’s publications separate from undue corporate, commercial, financial, or political influences.

IAHR promotes gender, geographical and age diversity at every stage of the publishing process. In so doing, IAHR does not discriminate in terms of personal characteristics or identity of authors, reviewers, or editors. In this regard, IAHR does not tolerate abusive behavior or correspondence towards its staff, authors, or reviewers.

Further, IAHR’s publishing programme is overseen by IAHR’s Committee on Publications and a pertinent task force. For example, task forces exist for Water Monographs and White Papers. Also, each conference or congress has an International Scientific Committee that oversees the proceedings produced by each conference or congresses. 

IAHR’s journals and books are outsourced for publication and, thus, follow their publisher´s guidelines.

For non-outsourced publications, the editorial process at IAHR is as follows:

Proposals submitted for Water Monographs, White Papers, and Hydrolink are initially reviewed by the Chair of the appropriate decision-making group. If the proposal is deemed suitable for consideration for any of the above-mentioned publications, the proposal along with sample content will be sent to a minimum of two independent reviewers. The reviewers´ evaluations help the editor´s decide whether to recommend publication. A draft of the eventual publication is reviewed before publication.

IAHR’s Committee on Publications oversees the appointment of individual editors and advises on policy changes, ethics, or other publication matters for all of IAHR’s publications. However, the Committee does not decide on the publication of individual articles.

Peer Review

IAHR requires editors to be familiar with the best-practice guidelines for peer-review principles and procedures.

IAHR trusts its editors (and anyone involved in the review process) to identify and warn IAHR about undue fraud or manipulation. IAHR assists editors regarding suspected cases of fraud or manipulation.

IAHR protects the confidentiality of the review process when anonymity is compulsory for the review process. Accordingly, IAHR expects that anyone involved in the process follows the confidentiality requirement instituted by IAHR or designated publishing house.

Responsibilities in the editorial process

  • Editors and Associate Editors

The editor has the ultimate responsibility and control over the decision making for his/her publication. This authority may be delegated to, or shared with, an associate editor. Additionally, the editor and associate editor may contribute to the reviews of an article submitted to the editor’s publication. In this regard, the editor and associate editor must clearly state the reason for excluding a submitted article.

The editor and associate editor shall ask a minimum of two reviewers to review each submitted article. When a conflict in the review decisions occurs, a further reviewer, or reviewers, shall join the review process.

For each submitted article, the editor’s and associate editor’s decisions should be clear and thoughtful, as well as thorough. The reviewers should be acknowledged by the peer review process, and the reviewers should be listed when appropriate.

Conflict of interest

When the editor’s interest conflicts with a publication, the editor shall declare the conflict to the Publications Committee (or International Scientific Committee of a congress/conference). The editor must not decide on an article written by himself/herself or a colleague.

When a conflict arises between authors and reviewers of a submitted article, the editor shall follow COPE Guidelines.

Peer review and fairness

The editor requires peer-review to be impartial, without prejudice, and non-fraudulent. Two reviewers, as minimum, must review each submitted article. When the review recommendations are contradictory, one or more reviewers shall join the reviewing process. 

The editor verifies the peer review process to be based on intellectual evaluation, and not consider the genders, citizenships, political and religious beliefs of the submitted articles authors. As mentioned above, the reviewers should be acknowledged in the publication when appropriate.


The editor ensures the confidentiality of each submitted article, the ideas expressed, and the related correspondence. In circumstances of unjustified editor behavior, an editorial disagreement will be addressed by the Publication Committee. 

Safeguard of the published record

When misconduct is suspected regarding an article, the editor will contact the article’s authors/co-authors to address the suspected misconduct. The editor may also consider contacting relevant research bodies and institutions. 

When evidence of misconduct exists for a published article, the editor must arrange for a correction to be published regarding the article.

Reviewers’ responsibility

  • Contribute to editor’s decisions

An editor’s decision must be based on the recommendations from a minimum of two peer reviewers. Development and communication of these recommendations are key in the formal peer-review process. If a reviewer lacks the necessary expertise to review an article, the reviewer is required to inform the editor or associate editor, who then must select an alternative reviewer.

  • Confidentiality

Reviewers must keep submitted articles and ideas confidential until publication of the article. Reviewers must not start correspondences with authors without the consent of the editor. If the editor encourages discussion between reviewers and authors, everybody must ensure discussion confidentiality.

  • Similarity considerations

A reviewer is asked to consider the potential general similarity between a submitted article with an already-published article of which the reviewer is aware.

  • Objectivity and Conflict of interest

Reviews should consult the editor when a conflict-of-interest arises. Such conflicts may arise due to cooperation, competition, and other types of activities related to the article’s authors.

If a reviewer suggests an additional reference for citation, the reference must scholarly benefit the submitted article and not just promote the reviewer’s (or associates’) work. Otherwise, the editors may remove such a recommendation from a review. 

Authors’ (or Co-Authors’) responsibility

  • Reporting standards

Submitted articles should be objective, provide enough data and detailed description of the work, to provide opportunity for future studies to compare or replicate the work described by in article. Intentional provision of false data is not acceptable.

  • Data access and record retention

Authors/co-authors are required (when possible) to provide data enabling the review process. Also, they must accept the publication’s data-access and -retention policy and the publication’s copyright agreement.

  • Originality of resources and citations

Authors/co-authors of submitted articles must include original work and accessibly cite other important publications or works. If the authors’ work is inspired by previous publications or work, those publications and work must be cited. Plagiarism is prohibited.

  • Confidentiality

Information from confidential documents can be used in an article only when the article’s authors/co-authors provide written consent from the authors/co-authors of a confidential document or involved parties associated with those documents.

  • Authorship

Authorship is limited to people who have had significant input to the article. The corresponding author must ensure that the list of co-authors includes individuals who contributed substantially to the article. The order of the authorship list is agreed by an article’s co-authors. 

The corresponding author must ensure that the article’s co-authors have read the final version of the submitted article. Each co-author is responsible for answering the questions related to the quality and integrity of the article. Following the COPE Guidelines, the authors should describe what each co-author contributed to the reported research. Each submission should include an Author Contribution Statement specifying authors/co-authors contributions in respect to: Conceptualization; Data Curation; Formal Analysis; Funding Acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project Administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Writing – Original Draft Preparation; Writing – Review & Editing. People should not be added as co-authors if they have not contributed significantly to the article. 

  • Declaration of competing interest

Authors/co-authors should state any relationship (financial and personal) that can be considered as bias in their work. 

Approved by the IAHR Publications Committee

July 2023

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