Ethical Guidelines
  • (Established on January 17, 2004, 4th Revised September 10, 2021)
  • Introduction
  • In order to realize genuine academic development in the polymer field, Polymer(Korea), the academic journal published by the Polymer Society of Korea, must fairly evaluate the research results of polymer researchers, mutually acknowledge the values of such results, and share the details. Therefore, polymer research papers must be selected and published in Polymer(Korea) in accordance with strict criteria.
    In this respect, it is intended in these Guidelines to clearly indicate the ethical standards to be observed by editors of the journal, authors of research papers, and reviewers, and thereby require them to faithfully assume their responsibility as polymer professionals of the relevant academic and industrial fields and society at large.
    The details of these Ethical Guidelines, enacted for such purposes, have already been observed on a customary basis, but these Guidelines are aimed at reaffirming to all interested parties the ethical standards pursued by the Polymer Society of Korea with regards to the processes of writing, reviewing, and editing research papers. These Ethical Guidelines do not vary among countries, academic societies, or journals and commonly apply to all scientists, and the details are as follows.
  • A. Ethical Obligations of Journal Editors
  • 1. Editors shall give unbiased consideration to each manuscript submitted for publication based on its quality and guidelines for submission, regardless of the author’s gender, age, institutional affiliation, or any editor’s personal acquaintance with the author.
    2. Editors shall process a manuscript without undue delay.
    3. Editors shall bear sole responsibility for accepting or rejecting a manuscript for publication.
    4. Editors may seek advice on the quality and accuracy of a manuscript from a third party who has expert knowledge and the ability to provide unbiased judgment in the relevant major field of study. However, editors may return a manuscript without reviewing, if it is deemed inappropriate for publication in the journal.
    5. No editor shall disclose the details of a manuscript to any person other than the reviewer, until the point the publication of the manuscript has been decided.
    6. Editors shall respect the author’s individuality and intellectual independence.
    7. Any manuscript submitted by one editor shall be reviewed by another editor.
    8. An author may request the chief editor to exclude a specific person from the reviewers for his/her manuscript. In such cases, the chief editor shall make a decision in consideration of the details of the manuscript.
  • B. Ethical Obligations of Authors
  • 1. Authors shall present an objective and accurate account of the details and importance of the research performed, and shall not exclude or add any part of the research results at their discretion. They shall also do their best to ascertain whether identical research results have not already been published.
    2. Manuscripts shall comprehensively contain conclusions with sufficient academic value, and grounds supporting such conclusions. Any manuscript submitted with conclusions identical to those in another paper already published must have significant academic value for new grounds for argument. Presenting research results in several different manuscripts in a fragmented manner shall be avoided, since such act degrades the value of research manuscripts.
    3. Manuscripts shall contain research details sufficient to allow experienced researchers to repeat the relevant research.
    4. Authors shall clearly indicate in their manuscripts any toxicity, danger, and methods for safe handling of specific chemicals, equipment, devices, or process used for experiments they performed.
    5. Authors shall make every reasonable effort to accurately describe any reference material already open to the public, and shall clearly indicate the relevant source of any material that is not part of common knowledge. Resources obtained from the evaluation of research papers or research plans or from personal contacts may be cited only where the researchers who provided such information have clearly granted their consent.
    6. Authors shall cite, as references, all open publications of importance, except for those belonging to common knowledge, that have been greatly influential in determining the nature of their research or that may help readers understand research details. It is also advised to cite papers contradictory to one’s own research results or opinions.
    7. It is inappropriate for authors to simultaneously submit manuscripts containing the same research results of a paper published in an academic journal or under the review process. It is generally acceptable to re-submit as a complete manuscript the research results already published in the form of a brief preliminary report, such as a “communication,” but in such cases, the newly submitted manuscript shall contain important details that were not included in the preliminary report already published, and cite the preliminary report in an adequate manner.
    8. Authors may clearly indicate in a manuscript their opinions to criticize the research results of other researchers, but no personal criticism is allowed.
    9. All researchers who have made an important academic contribution to a manuscript and will share the responsibilities and achievements arising from the relevant research results shall become co-authors. In cases of manuscripts written based on the entirety or part of a paper, it is advisable for the student submitting the paper and his/her research advisor to become co-authors, except for “reviews.” Those who have not made an academic contribution to the relevant research results shall not be included as co-authors, and it is advised that authors indicate in footnotes or an “Acknowledgement” the details about persons or institutions that have provided non-academic support, such as administrative support, for the research. The principal author of a manuscript shall obtain clear consent from all coauthors about their participation as co-authors. In principle, the order of listing co-authors shall preferably be decided through agreement among co-authors, and it is desirable to list first the researcher with the greatest contribution. All authors whose names appear on the submission shall 1) make substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; 2) draft the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content; 3) approve the version to be published; and 4) agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. The affiliation of an author shall be the one at the time of conducting the relevant research, and if the affiliation at the time of submitting a manuscript is different, such details must be appropriately indicated in a footnote.
    10. Authors shall ensure that no contractual or ownership issues will arise as a result of the publication of their research papers.
    11. Authors shall accept, in a favorable light, the opinions presented by editors and reviewers during the reviewing process and try their best to reflect them in their research papers; if authors do not agree with such opinions, they shall notify the chief editor of detailed grounds and reasons.
    12. In the event of serious infringements of ethical obligations of authors, such as significant duplication of authors’ own papers or uncredited partial use of other people’s research results, a special committee will be formed by the editorial board to decide the appropriate sanctions including the retraction of the articles and the prohibition of publication in this journal.
  • C. Ethical Obligations of Reviewers of Manuscripts
  • 1. All reviewers have an obligation to faithfully review manuscripts commissioned by the chief editor within the period determined by the reviewing guidelines and thereby contribute to academic development.
    2. Reviewers shall objectively evaluate the details of experiments and theories included in a manuscript, interpretation of research results, and quality of explanation, by adequately maintaining a high level of scientific and academic criteria. It is not acceptable to review a manuscript on the basis of an individual’s academic beliefs or assumptions that have not been completely verified, and reviewers shall make every effort to impartially review a manuscript, regardless of their own research or their personal acquaintance with the author.
    3. Reviewers shall respect the individuality and independence of the author as a professional intellectual. In the reviewers’ report to be sent to editors, reviewers shall provide a detailed description of their opinions on the relevant manuscript and parts that need further supplementation, together with grounds. It is not appropriate to require authors to provide supplementary materials or explanation in order to satisfy any reviewer’s personal purposes.
    4. Reviewers shall protect the confidentiality of manuscripts presented for reviewing. Unless seeking extraordinary advice for the relevant manuscript, it is not appropriate to show the manuscript to another person or discuss its details with another person. If reviewers complete the reviewers’ report after obtaining advice from another person, they shall notify the chief editor of such fact. Reviewers shall not cite a manuscript without obtaining consent from its author, until such manuscript is published.
    5. Reviewers shall pay due attention to whether important research results and data related to the details of the manuscript submitted are accurately cited. If the details of the manuscript under review are similar to those in another paper already published through another academic journal, reviewers shall notify the chief editor of a detailed account about such facts.
    6. Reviewers shall complete the reviewing process within the shortest possible period and send the reviewers’ report to editors. If any reviewer believes that he/she is not suitable for reviewing the manuscript, he/she shall immediately notify the chief editor of such fact.
  • D. Ethics Violation- (Review on research and publication misconduct)
  • 1. Among the papers submitted, reviewed, or published in Polymer (Korea), in the case of paragraph D-2, deliberation and follow-up measures for research and publication-related misconduct are carried out according to the following procedure.
    2. Ethics violations include cases under items 2-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and actions that seriously deviate from the ethics guidelines normally accepted in science and engineering.
    2-1. Forgery: An act of falsely creating, recording, or reporting non-existent research data, or research results.
    2-2. Falsification: An act of artificially manipulating research materials, equipment, processes, etc., or distorting research contents or results by arbitrarily changing or deleting research materials or research data.
    2-3. Plagiarism: The act of making a third party perceive as one's own creation by using someone else's original ideas or creations without proper acknowledgment of the source. In case the source is not indicated while partially using the words and sentence structure of another person's work, if the source is not indicated while using other people's original ideas, etc.
    2-4. Unfair authorship: If authorship is granted even though there is no contribution or contribution to research contents or results, if authorship is not granted despite contribution or contribution to research contents or results. This includes cases where the academic advisor's paper is published and presented in an academic journal, etc. under the advisor's sole name.
    2-5. Unfair duplicate publication: An act of a researcher who publishes a work that is identical or substantially similar to his or her previous research results without acknowledgment of the source, and then obtains unreasonable profits, such as granting research funds or being recognized as a separate research achievement
    2-6. Obstructive conduct of investigation into research misconduct: An act of intentionally obstructing the investigation of one's own or others' misconduct or harming the informant
    3. Polymer (Korea) Editorial Board deliberates and judges violations of research and publication ethics. If a violation of research and publication ethics is judged, the editorial committee requests the author to be withdrawn in the case of a paper under review in submission, and in the case of a published paper, the editor-in-chief ex officio or the ethics committee conducts an investigation to cancel or take action to ban the citation of the paper.
    4. The Ethics Committee deliberates on follow-up measures for members and paper judged as violations of research and publication ethics.
  • E. Follow up on research and publication misconduct
  • 1. Follow-up measures for research and publication misconduct are as follows.
    1-1. Disclosure and preservation measures by specifying the fact and reason for the withdrawal of the paper
    1-2. Prohibition of submission of papers by the author(s) in the future (at least 3 years)
    1-3. Notify the National Research Foundation of Korea about the details (including the results of related meetings such as the institutional ethics committee)
    1-4. In the case of a paper written with research funding support, details are notified to the research support institution
    1-5. Written warning to paper authors
    1-6. Notification of details to the affiliation of the author of the paper
    1-7. Members and papers who commit research and publication ethics misconduct are handled according to the results of follow-up review
    1-8. The Ethics Committee specifies the composition, duties, deliberation procedure, follow-up action items, and process of deliberation results through the ethics committee bylaws, and carries out work according to the relevant by laws
    1-9. Other appropriate measures
    2. Follow-up actions by the Chairman of the Investigation Committee
    2-1. (Notification of results) The chairperson of the investigation committee shall prepare the committee's decision on the investigation result in writing and notify the relevant person, such as the person under investigation, without delay.
    2-2. (Re-investigation) If the whistleblower or the person under investigation is dissatisfied with the decision, he/she may request a re-investigation to the Committee in writing or by e-mail within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice in E. 2-1.
    2-3 (Follow-Up Measures such as Restoration of Honor) If it is determined that there was no violation of research ethics as a result of the investigation, the investigation committee shall endeavor to restore the honor of the investigated person and take appropriate follow-up measures.
    2-4 (Retention and Disclosure of Records)
    2-4-1. Records related to the investigation shall be kept for 5 years from the end of the investigation
    2-4-2. The decision result must be immediately reported to the board of directors and executive board of the society.