Is there a role for publication consultants and how should their contribution be recognized?

Kendall, G., Yee, A. and McCollum, B. (2016) Is there a role for publication consultants and how should their contribution be recognized? Science and Engineering Ethics, 22 (5). pp. 1553-1560. ISSN 1353-3452

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When a scientific paper, dissertation or thesis is published the author(s) have a duty to report who has contributed to the work. This recognition can take several forms such as authorship, relevant acknowledgments and by citing previous work. There is a growing industry where publication consultants will work with authors, research groups or even institutions to help get their work published, or help submit their dissertation/thesis. This help can range from proof reading, data collection, analysis (including statistics), helping with the literature review and identifying suitable journals/conferences. In this opinion article we question whether these external services are required, given that institutions should provide this support and that experienced researchers should be qualified to carry out these activities. If these services are used, we argue that their use should at least be made transparent either by the consultant being an author on the paper, or by being acknowledged on the paper, dissertation or thesis. We also argue that publication consultants should provide an annual return that details the papers, dissertations and thesis that they have consulted on.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-print of an article published in Science and Engineering Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Keywords: Ethics ; Agency ; Consultant ; Research misconduct ; Transparency
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Science > School of Computer Science
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Kendall, Graham
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 10:57
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:14

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