The recently published Good Publication Practice 3 (GPP3) guidelines, updated from the 2009 GPP2 guidelines, provide recommendations that are intended to help individuals and organisations maintain ethical, balanced and transparent publication practices that comply with legal and regulatory requirements. GPP3 was initiated and sponsored by the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), and covers publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as presentations at scientific congresses.
Following the release of the GPP3 guidelines, the ISMPP Ethics Committee has published a perspectives piece on publication planning. This article discusses issues in publication ethics and the role and importance of well-organised publication planning in improving the overall integrity of the research process. In particular, the topics of authorship, acknowledgements, transparency and duplicate publications are debated. Indeed, rigorous publication planning can avoid such oversights as missed acknowledgements and guest authorship, both of which are serious ethical breaches, and can help avoid inappropriate practices, such as duplicate publications or untimely publication of partial results.
The authors conclude that effective publication planning can ultimately ensure that the scientific objectives of research are communicated to the medical community, health authorities and patients in a timely manner, and can provide important support for maintaining scientific and ethical research standards.