Journal publishing is, at its best, a team effort. Handling ethical problems relating to journals is no exception, and publication ethics issues often give rise to or involve legal issues. We suggest that journals use these guidelines to establish clear policies and procedures, and as an initial point of reference when issues arise.
As a first step to addressing any potentially serious problem we suggest that editors, publishers, and other journal team members discuss the issues they are facing. We suggest that these discussions happen before taking any further action, and that legal advice is sought where needed and in particular where issues involve potential defamation, breach of contract, or copyright infringement.
Initial conversations may indicate the need to carry out further investigation or to widen discussions to: