Supplements, Theme Issues, and Special Series

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 may be funded by sources other than the journal’s publisher. Because funding sources can bias the content of supplements through the choice of topics and viewpoints, journals should adopt the following principles, which also apply to theme issues or special series that have external funding and/or guest editors:

  • The journal editor must be given and must 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.
  • The journal editor has the right to appoint one or more external editors of the supplement and must take responsibility for the work of those editors.
  • The journal editor must retain the authority to send supplement manuscripts for external peer review and to reject manuscripts submitted for the supplement with or without external review. These conditions should be made known to authors and any external editors of the supplement before beginning editorial work on it.
  • The source of the idea for the supplement, sources of funding for the supplement’s research and publication, and products of the funding source related to content considered in the supplement should be clearly stated in the introductory material.
  • Advertising in supplements should follow the same policies as those of the primary journal.
  • Journal editors must enable readers to distinguish readily between ordinary editorial pages and supplement pages.
  • Journal and supplement editors must not accept personal favors or direct remuneration from sponsors of supplements.
  • Secondary publication in supplements (republication of papers published elsewhere) should be clearly identified by the citation of the original paper and by the title.
  • The same principles of authorship and disclosure of potential conflicts of interest discussed elsewhere in this document should be applied to supplements.

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