Publishing Ethics Guidelines

Publishing Ethics Guidelines

SSA is committed to upholding the integrity of the work published in Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), Seismological Research Letters (SRL) and The Seismic Record (TSR).  Scientific research, and the preparation of the results, must be free of any impropriety or undisclosed conflicts of interest. Intentional plagiarism, fabrication, or falsification are unacceptable and have no place in SSA publications.  These Publishing Ethics Guidelines, based on the standards and best practices developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), aim to help authors, reviewers, and editors continue to maintain the highest level of scientific integrity and professional ethics in all phases of the SSA publishing process.


  • Upon submission of manuscripts to BSSA, SRL, and TSR, authors must warrant to the originality of the submitted manuscript and confirm that the manuscript is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors also must confirm that the manuscript has not been published previously.
  • All authors must confirm authorship prior to acceptance for publication.
  • Authors are required to disclose funding sources as part of the submission process. They also must disclose any conflicts of interest in the manuscript.

Additional guidelines and requirements for authors are included in the SSA Journals section of the SSA website. See BSSA Submission Guidelines, SRL Submission Guidelines  and TSR Submission Guidelines.

Alleged Misconduct

Suspected instances of ethical misconduct, including but not limited to plagiarism, duplicate publication, authorship issues and data fabrication or falsification, are initially reviewed by the journal Editor in Chief, SSA’s Executive Director, SSA’s Publishing Consultant and/or the Chair of the Publications Committee to assess the nature of the alleged misconduct and determine a course of action, which typically involves  making a preliminary assessment and sending a letter of inquiry to the corresponding author. Letters of inquiry detail the allegation(s) and request an explanation from the author. If an allegation is raised pre-publication, the manuscript is placed on hold until resolved.

In many instances of suspected misconduct, per the COPE guidelines, the co-authors and authors’ institutions will be notified of the alleged misconduct, requesting an investigation into the allegations. Based on the outcome of the institution’s investigation, if misconduct is confirmed and depending on the severity, the journal may issue an author correction or article retraction.

In instances where the investigation is lengthy, the Chair of the SSA Publications Committee may decide to issue an “expression of concern” indicating allegations of misconduct are under investigation. At the discretion of the Chair of the Publications Committee, SSA may issue sanctions on the author(s) depending on the severity of the misconduct. Sanctions may be in the form of warnings, increased scrutiny of future submissions, and temporary or permanent bans from publication in BSSA, SRL and/or TSR.