B – Accountability in publishing

Mani H. Foot print of a paper: accountability in academic publishing. The Lancet 2016;338(1004):562-563
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31217-X)

At the moment, the publishing process is unaccountable to the readers and is not transparent. In a published paper, there is no record of previous submissions to other journals and the comments it might have received in the journey to the final publication. A transparent and openly recorded submission and review process would result in accountability, improve the quality of papers and the peer review process, and reduce the chances of previously reported systematic cheating. The scientific input of a reviewer can also be included in their academic activities. A database for registering any paper before submission could issue an internationally recognised identification number that could help to track the submissions.