The ASHA Journals Academy is happy to unveil its latest Peer Review Excellence Program (PREP) Development Module: Publication Ethics. Navigating ethical issues related to scholarly publishing is always challenging for editors and reviewers, and it’s no different for those involved with the ASHA Journals. The ethics module provides current and potential editors and reviewers with important information on identifying and dealing with a variety of difficult ethical situations that may arise in the review process.

Even experienced editorial board members can benefit from the guidance provided on complicated issues such as understanding what qualifies as plagiarism, recognizing self-plagiarism, and identifying and reporting scientific misconduct. In addition, editors learn about the importance of protecting journal autonomy and their role in keeping the editorial board free of outside influence.

The ethics module also helps reviewers understand their role in protecting the integrity of the review process and also the scientific process. Reviewers learn to assess when they might have conflicts of interest, recognize when they might have trouble remaining objective and impartial, and determine when they should disqualify themselves from reviewing. They also learn what steps to take if they identify possible author misconduct.

Since they were first introduced in May 2019, the PREP Development Modules have been providing current and potential reviewers with information on peer review in a new and engaging manner. The ethics module joins the existing modules covering topics such as an overview of the ASHA Journals’ editorial board model, the basics of peer review, and the steps involved in reviewing manuscripts for the ASHA Journals. You can read about the other three PREP Development Modules or access all four on the ASHA Journals Academy.

Like the other PREP Development Modules, the ethics module course is eligible for up to 0.5 Certification Maintenance Hours (CMHs) and includes a printable certificate at the end. You can submit a compliance form through your My Account section of the ASHA website. Be sure to check with your state licensing board about whether this is an approved activity for the purposes of maintaining your state license. Please note: ASHA CEUs are not available for the modules. For questions regarding ASHA certification maintenance and accepted activities, please visit ASHA’s Certification Maintenance webpage.