Supplements are collections of papers that deal with related issues or topics, are published as a separate issue of the journal or as part of a regular issue, and are usually funded by sources other than the journal’s publisher. There is evidence that supplement content can be of lower quality than the content of the parent journal (6). Because funding sources can bias the content of supplements through the choice of topics and viewpoints, journals should consider adopting the following principles. These same principles apply to theme issues or special series that have external funding and/or guest editors.
1. The journal editor must be given and take full responsibility for the policies, practices, and content of supplements, including complete control of the decision to select authors, peer reviewers, and content for the supplement. Editing by the funding organization should not be permitted.
2. The journal editor must retain the authority to send supplement manuscripts for external peer review and to reject manuscripts submitted for the supplement. These conditions should be made known to authors and external supplement editors before beginning editorial work on the supplement.
3. The journal editor must approve the appointment of any external editor of the supplement and take responsibility for the work of the external editor.
4. The source of the idea for the supplement, sources of funding for the research, publication, and products of the funding source that are considered in the supplement should be clearly stated and prominently located in the supplement, preferably on each page. Whenever possible, supplements should be funded by more than one sponsor.
5. Advertising in supplements should follow the same policies as those of the rest of the journal.
6. Journal editors must enable readers to distinguish readily between ordinary editorial pages and supplement pages.
7. Journal editors and supplement editors must not accept personal favors or remuneration from sponsors of supplements.
8. Secondary publication in supplements (republication of papers published elsewhere) should be clearly identified by the citation of the original paper. Supplements should avoid redundant or duplicate publication. Supplements should not republish research results, but republication of guidelines or other material in the public interest might be appropriate.
9. The principles of authorship and disclosure of potential conflicts of interest discussed elsewhere in this document should be applied to supplements.
- About the Recommendations
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors
- Author Responsibilities—Conflicts of Interest
- Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer-Review Process
- Journal Owners and Editorial Freedom
- Protection of Research Participants
- Publishing & Editorial Issues
- Corrections and Version Control
- Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction
- Overlapping Publications
- Supplements, Theme Issues, and Special Series
- Electronic Publishing
- Journals and the Media
- Clinical Trial Registration
- Manuscript Preparation