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International Mathematical Union : Best Current Practices for Journals

On 16 August 2010, the International Mathematical Union adopted the text Best Current Practices for Journals, which summarises the rights and duties of the different actors in scientific publishing, from the author to the publisher.

Rights and responsibilities

Authors– Careful and impartial peer review
– Know the selection process
– Know the reasons why an item is accepted or rejected
– Maintain high standards of integrity and seriousness in their research
– Clear and correct language level
– The manuscript should not be sent to several journals at the same time
– Respond to correspondence from the newspaper by designating a spokesperson for all authors of an article
– All authors must have participated in the publication
– It is customary in mathematics to list authors in alphabetical order
Reviewers– Right to anonymity – Keeping to the timetable
– Respect for confidentiality
– Do not use research from revised manuscripts for your own purposes
– Inform authors fully about the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript
Editorial committee  – Propose a clear submission and review procedure, including the roles of editors and reviewers, that is publicly accessible
– Ensuring the integrity of the proofreading process
– If an article is rejected before it is sent to the reviewers, this must be done in a fair and objective manner
– Inform authors of the reasons for acceptance or rejection of their paper and provide access to all evaluation reports
– Be prepared to apply sanctions in case of unethical practices
Publishers – Respect the principles of integrity, transparency and timeliness
– Publish detailed information on the journal and evaluation procedures
– Ensuring access to and referencing of publications
– Flexibility in payment
– Distinguish and isolate the evaluation process and editorial decisions from monetary considerations
– Layout and publication online or in print
– Clearly present their copyright policy
– Indicate the date of publication of the articles
– Respond to and investigate allegations of plagiarism or other unethical behaviour


  • The editorial board needs to question the vision of the journal and its processes.
  • To ensure a professional manuscript management system throughout the submission, review and publication process. Clear procedures should be established to avoid errors.
  • To propose tools to detect and deal with plagiarism in submitted articles.
  • The editor and the editorial board determine the quality standards, including the quality of the language.
  • Members of the editorial board should be actively involved in the editorial process of the journal. If they are not active, they should be listed as “honorary members”.
  • Editorial board members should be aware of and accept their responsibilities and the review processes of the journals.
  • Pricing policies should be clearly stated by the publisher.

The IMU is an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organisation whose objectives are to promote international cooperation in mathematics, to support international scientific conferences and to support all activities that contribute to the development of mathematics.