EMS Handbook: Standing Committees

2.3.6 Ethics

The EMS Ethics Committee was created in the spring of 2010. It focuses on unethical behaviour in mathematical research, publication, and related matters. This includes, for example, plagiarism, duplicate publication, inadequate citations, inflated self-citations, dishonest refereeing, failing to address conflicts of interest or incorrect handling of submissions. The committee is responsible for the following tasks:

  • to raise awareness of ethical issues in mathematics;
  • to maintain and update the Code of Practice and related documents;
  • to encourage journals and publishers to respond to allegations of unethical behaviour in a conscientious manner;
  • to provide a mechanism whereby researchers can ask the Committee to help them pursue claims of unethical behaviour.

The committee may take up any other relevant questions related to ethics in connection with its work.

In fulfilling their tasks, the committee is governed by the Code of Practice which was approved by the EC on October 29, 2012, and by the Internal policy on conflicts of interest of the EMS Ethics Committee.

The committee meets physically regularly once a year and otherwise meets and acts electronically. Submissions of potential cases of misconduct cases are sent to the chair, who presents any he receives to the committee members for discussion. The committee seeks to obtain any information required to understand the case. Independent referees may be asked for their opinion if necessary. The parties involved are informed about the opinion of the committee or alerted to any conflict with the Code of Practice. The committee is looking for cooperation with other EMS committees and with relevant organizations and initiatives outside the EMS.

The appropriate information about activities of the committee and about cases the committee has handled is included in regular reports to the EC.