The Society of Exploration Geophysicists serves the advancement of science, industry, and society by publishing journals, meeting abstracts, books, and other publications that present the results of scientific research and ensuing applications.
Each type of SEG publication follows guidelines for reviewing and accepting submitted material, and inherent in these are expectations of the SEG membership and the scientific community that the publications achieve high standards of quality and that they reflect the participants’ commitment to behavior consistent with the SEG Code of Ethics.
These guidelines derive from a desire to maximize benefits to society through knowledge sharing between individuals. The ethical guidelines presented here for editors, authors, and reviewers of SEG publications and staff that support them reflect a conviction that adherence to high standards is vital to the advancement of applied geophysics as a science and a profession.
These guidelines draw heavily on ethical guidelines prepared by other scientific societies, most notably the American Chemical Society, which has granted SEG permission to adopt verbatim many of the guidelines in Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research, last revised in July 2015. SEG also has taken some cues in the development of these guidelines from those of the American Mathematical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America.
SEG believes that most of the guidelines offered here already are understood and subscribed to by the majority of experienced geoscientists. They may, however, be of substantial help to those who are relatively new to research. Even well-established scientists may appreciate an opportunity to review matters so significant to the practice of science.
All SEG staff members involved in Society publications should act in full support of and in concert with ethical guidelines for SEG authors, editors, and reviewers. This includes acting with similar levels of discretion, fairness, speed, objectivity, and absence of conflict of interest expected of authors, editors, and reviewers. The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring that the staff follows these guidelines.
In cases in which authors, editors, or reviewers are deemed to have acted in a manner grossly and knowingly in conflict with these guidelines, the Vice President, Publications may take punitive action up to suspension of the individual’s SEG publication privileges for up to three years.
Leaders of SEG editorial committees and boards may independently impose probation on individuals for no more than three years for what they may deem as minor ethical violations related to activity involving the publications for which the leaders have direct responsibility. Under probation, an individual loses no publications privileges yet is placed on a watch list and may become subject to sanctions if further ethical transgressions come to light. In cases involving repeated or more serious transgressions, editorial leaders may make requests of the Vice President, Publications for punitive action, as may any individual who thinks such actions might be warranted. Suspensions levied by the Vice President, Publications may be appealed to the Publications Committee by the person subject to suspension or by chairs of editorial committees and boards. Publications Committee decisions may be appealed to the SEG Board of Directors by the Vice President, Publications, chairs of editorial committees and boards, or the individual(s) whose actions are under review.
The President may elect to have a publications ethics case reviewed and adjudicated according to the process specified in the SEG Bylaws for alleged Code of Ethics violations. All such matters should be handled in confidence. The goal of punitive action shall be to preserve the integrity of SEG publications and prevent further unethical publications behavior through example as well as through prohibition.
Approved by the Executive Committee in August 2010.
Amended by the Publications Committee and the SEG Board of Directors in July 2020.
SEG Procedures Manual: Chapter IV. Sections 6.A.13–18