Ethics Policies & Standards

Ethics Policies

ASME Publishing supports and promotes ethics in publishing. To this end, ASME is committed to deterring and actively addressing plagiarism and self-plagiarism. The ASME Journal Program screens all submissions using CrossCheck's iThenticate software to determine the similarity to existing published material.

ASME is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and has implemented COPE recommendations for handling cases of plagiarism. For more information, please contact


The Office of Research Integrity has the following guide that may be a useful reference: Avoiding Plagiarism, Self- Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing.


The corresponding author must provide the full name, email address, and institutional affiliation for all of the coauthors during submission.

The list of authors for a paper is a declaration that each individual has made a substantive and material contribution to the development and composition of the paper.

The affiliation for each author should reflect the primary institution where the research was conducted. If an author has changed their affiliation before publication, an author’s current affiliation can be included in a footnote to the author’s name where it appears on the first page.

The removal of an author from a paper after submission requires written confirmation from all of the authors originally listed. Requests should be forwarded to:

Changes to affiliations cannot be accommodated after the publication of a paper online.

Authorship Changes

  • Authors are expected to validate the correct authorship listing at the time of submission. Approving requests for changes in authorship post submission are at the discretion of the Editor. Requests to the Editor must include (1) an explanation of why the change is being requested; and (2) written confirmation from all authors agreeing to the change, including authors that are being added or removed. Each author must complete and sign the form found here. The corresponding author is responsible for collecting the forms. Requests to change authorship should be sent to the Editor only after all completed forms have been received.
  • After acceptance, changes will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Publication will be suspended while requests are reviewed.
  • If the accepted manuscript has been published online, approved requests will be handled with an Erratum.
Retractions are a mechanism for correcting the ASME journal archive and alerting readers to publications that contain such seriously flawed or erroneous data that their findings and conclusions cannot be relied upon. Unreliable data may result from honest error or from research misconduct. The main purpose of retractions is to correct the scholarly record and ensure its integrity.

Retractions are also used to alert readers to cases of redundant publication (i.e., when authors present the same data in several publications), plagiarism, and failure to disclose a major competing interest likely to influence interpretations or recommendations. 

Retracted articles are not removed from the publication archive to keep the scholarly record intact. 

Retracted articles will be clearly identified in all electronic sources (e.g., on the journal website and any bibliographic databases). ASME will label retractions so that they are identified as such in bibliographic databases with a link to the retracted article. The retraction should appear on all electronic searches for the retracted publication.

If only a small part of an article reports flawed data, and especially if this is the result of genuine error, then the problem is best rectified by a correction or an erratum. The erratum will appear in both print and electronic records of the article.

As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), ASME abides by their guidelines and recommendations in cases of potential retraction. Please visit their homepage for additional information.


Ethical Standards for the Publication of ASME Journals


The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) serves the international mechanical engineering community and society at large in several ways, including the publication of technical journals that present the results of current engineering and scientific research and practice. Fundamental to that service is the responsibility of editors, authors, and reviewers to maintain high ethical standards relating to the submittal, review, and publication of manuscripts. These ethical standards derive from the Society's definition of the scope of the journal and from the community's perception of standards of quality for engineering and scientific work, and its presentation. The ethical standards that follow reflect a conviction that the observance of high ethical standards is so vital to the entire engineering and scientific enterprise that a definition of those standards should be brought to the attention of all concerned.

Ethical Obligations of Authors

  1. An author's central obligation is to present a concise and accurate account of the research, work, or project completed, together with an objective discussion of its significance.
  2. A submitted manuscript shall contain detail and reference to public sources of information sufficient to permit the author's peers to repeat the work or otherwise verify its accuracy.
  3. An author shall cite and give appropriate attribution to those publications influential in determining the nature of the reported work sufficient to guide the reader quickly to earlier work essential to an understanding of the present work. Information obtained by an author privately, from conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, shall not be used or reported in the author's work without explicit permission from the persons from whom the information was obtained. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, shall be treated in the same confidential manner.
  4. The submitted manuscript shall not contain plagiarized material or falsified research data. ASME defines plagiarism as the use or presentation of the ideas or words of another person from an existing source without appropriate acknowledgment to that source. The Society views any similar misappropriation of intellectual property, which may include data or interpretation, as plagiarism. [This definition is based on one used by the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. ASCE added the sentence on misappropriation of intellectual property.]
  5. Fragmentation of research papers shall be avoided. An engineer or scientist who has done extensive work on a system or group of related systems shall organize publication so that each paper gives a complete account of a particular aspect of the general study.
  6. In submitting a manuscript for publication, an author should inform the editor of related manuscripts that the author has under editorial consideration or in press. Copies of these manuscripts should be supplied to the editor, and the relationships of such manuscripts to the one submitted should be indicated.
  7. It is unethical for an author to submit for review more than one paper describing essentially the same research or project to more than one journal of primary publication.
  8. Scholarly criticism of a published paper may be justified; however, in no case is personal criticism considered appropriate.
  9. To protect the integrity of authorship, only persons who have significantly contributed to the research or project and manuscript preparation shall be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author attests to the fact that any others named as co-authors have seen the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. Deceased persons who meet the criterion for co-authorship shall be included, with a footnote reporting date of death. No fictitious name shall be given as an author or co-author. An author who submits a manuscript for publication accepts responsibility for having properly included all, and only, qualified co-authors.
  10. It is inappropriate to submit manuscripts with an obvious commercial intent.
  11. It is inappropriate for an author either to write or co-author a discussion of his or her own manuscript; except in the case of a rebuttal or closure to criticism or discussion offered by others.
  12. An author should make no changes to a paper after it has been accepted. If there is a compelling reason for any changes, the author must inform the editor. Only the editor has the authority to approve such changes.
  13. The authors should reveal to the editor any potential conflict of interest, e.g., a consulting or financial interest in a company that might be affected by publication of the results contained in a manuscript. The authors should ensure that no contractual relations or proprietary considerations exist that would affect the publication of information in a submitted manuscript.

Ethical Obligations of Reviewers

  1. Because qualified manuscript review is essential to the publication process, all engineers and scientists have an obligation to do their fair share of review
  2. If a reviewer feels inadequately qualified or lacks the time to fairly judge the work reported, the reviewer shall return the manuscript promptly to the editor.
  3. A reviewer shall objectively judge the quality of a manuscript on its own merit and shall respect the intellectual independence of the author(s). Personal criticism is never appropriate.
  4. A reviewer shall avoid conflicts of interest and/or the appearance thereof. If a manuscript submitted for review presents a potential conflict of interest or the reviewer has a personal bias, the reviewer shall return the manuscript promptly without review, and so advise the editor.
  5. A reviewer should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.
  6. A reviewer should treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. It should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought. In that event, the identities of such persons should be disclosed to the editor.
  7. Reviewers shall explain and support their judgments adequately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Negative judgments, in particular, should receive a clear, complete, and cogent explanation from the reviewer.
  8. A reviewer shall call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published manuscript or any manuscript submitted concurrently to another journal.
  9. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a submitted manuscript are confidential and shall not be used in the research of a reviewer, or otherwise disseminated except with the consent of the author and with appropriate attribution.
  10. If a reviewer has convincing evidence that a manuscript contains plagiarized material or falsified research data, or evidence of simultaneous submission, the reviewer shall notify the editor, who will determine the final disposition of the matter

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

Ethical Obligations of Editors/Associate Editors

  1. The primary responsibility of an ASME journal editor is to ensure an efficient, fair, and timely review process of manuscripts submitted for publication, and to establish and maintain high standards of technical and professional quality. Criteria of quality are: originality of approach; clarity and conciseness; concept and/or application; profundity; and relevance to the mechanical engineering profession.
  2. An editor should give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, seniority, citizenship, professional association, institutional affiliation, professional association, or political philosophy of the author(s). An editor may, however, take into account relationships of a manuscript immediately under consideration to others previously or concurrently offered by the same author(s).
  3. The sole responsibility for acceptance or rejection of a manuscript rests with the editor. Responsible and prudent exercise of this duty normally requires that the editor seek advice from associate editors, who are expert in a specific area and will send manuscripts submitted for publication to reviewers chosen for their expertise and good judgment, to referee the quality and reliability of manuscripts. However, manuscripts may be rejected without review if considered inappropriate for the journal.
  4. The editor and editorial staff shall disclose no information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than those from whom professional advice regarding the publication of the manuscript is sought. The names of reviewers shall not be released by the editors or editorial staff.
  5. An editor should consider manuscripts submitted for publication with all reasonable speed. Authors should be periodically informed of the status of the review process. In cases where reasonable speed cannot be accomplished because of unforeseen circumstances, the associate editor has an obligation to withdraw himself/herself from the process in a timely manner to avoid unduly affecting the author's pursuit of publication.
  6. An editor who authors or co-authors a manuscript submitted for consideration to the journal with which that editor is affiliated, shall not review that work. If after publication, the editor-author's work merits ongoing scientific debate within the journal, the editor-author shall accept no editorial responsibility in connection therewith. .
  7. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest. Such conflicts include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.
  8. An editor should respect the intellectual independence of authors.
  9. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a submitted manuscript are confidential and shall not be used in the research of an editor or associate editor, or otherwise disseminated except with the consent of the author (s) and with appropriate attribution.
  10. If an editor is presented with convincing evidence that the substance, conclusions, references or other material included in a manuscript published in an ASME journal are erroneous, the editor, after notifying the author(s) and allowing them to respond in writing, shall facilitate immediate publication of an errata. If possible, an editor shall also facilitate publication of appropriate comments and/or papers identifying those errors.
  11. Editors should be alert to possible cases of plagiarism, duplication of previous published work, falsified data, misappropriation of intellectual property, duplicate submission of manuscripts, inappropriate attribution, or incorrect co-author listing. The editor may deal directly with such ethical lapses, or, if deemed necessary, may forward the manuscript to the ASME Publications Committee

The ASME ethical standards for journal publishing has been to a large extent compiled from the existing standards of The American Chemical Society and ASME acknowledges its appreciation to ACS for granting permission to quote from the ACS Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research, (Chem. Rev. 1995, 95, pp. 11A-13A. Copyright 1985, 1989, 1995, American Chemical Society). Acknowledgment is also given to ASCE and AGU for drawing on their guidelines in the development of this document. As recommended by the Board of Editors and adopted by the ASME Publications Committee, November 1999. COPE guidelines used with permission.

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