In the last year, CHEST has encountered more
ethical problems than in the first 6 years of my editorship. Whether
this increase results from better review and investigation by the
consultants or reflects a real increase in ethical lapses is not clear.
I want to take this opportunity to reinforce the rules by which this
journal operates and to point out the violations that have been
punished or investigated in the past year.
The first problem is plagiarism. An author may not copy any of the
writings of previous publications without attribution. We have had
three separate instances in which sentences, paragraphs, or whole
articles have been copied. This practice is not only unethical but may
be illegal in the United States. These three instances have been found
at various stages of the review process. These stages include the
initial consultant review, the review by the editor-in-chief, or review
by the copy editors. For those readers who want instant publication of
material on Web sites, the unearthing of unethical processes during the
review process should make you rethink your desires.