Standards in scholarly publishing

Subject: Standards in scholarly publishing
From: "Thomas A Sklarsky, Technical Editor, Sacramento, CA (Thomas Sklarsky)" <sklarsky -at- USGS -dot- GOV>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 09:52:33 -0700

To: Editors & managers of scholarly papers & journals:

Re: Standards in scholarly publishing

Good morning. I would appreciate any thoughts that you have regarding the
following three questions. If you state facts, please cite sources if
available; if you have firm opinions, please support your reasoning.

1. If one of the coauthors of a paper, which has been submitted to a
journal for publication, has a nonfederal affiliation under his name, and
the remaining coauthors have a federal affiliation, is the paper considered
in the public domain or is it copyrighted by the journal? From my reference
sources,* I understand that a paper is in the public domain only if all the
authors have federal affiliations (i.e., all the authors have performed the
research at a federal agency -- the "leading research institution" --
regardless of who their employer is, federal or nonfederal).

2. When a paper is submitted to a journal, is the affiliation under the
author's name the place of employment or is it the leading institution
where the research was performed (which is the same as the place of
employment 99% of the time)? From my reference sources,* it is the leading

3. If a federal establishment hires a contractor (let's say John Jones who
works for ABC Company and has a special assignment at DEF federal agency)
to do research at the location of the federal agency (and is basically
supervised by, and uses the facilities of, the federal agency), and the
contractor (John Jones) submits a paper to a journal, it seems to me that
the author affiliation should be the federal agency (i.e., the leading
research institution) and not the contractor's employer (if the affiliation
is not the leading institution, it could give readers a false indication of
where the research was done). The contractor's company name and address
would then be mentioned in a footnote or in the Acknowledgments section. Do
you concur?

*sources include the American Chemical Society style guide, the Council of
Biology Editors style guide, and several other key sources on scientific
writing and scholarly publishing (sometimes the sources are not in
agreement or are a bit vague).

Thank you,

Tom Sklarsky
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Division
Sacramento, CA
sklarsky -at- usgs -dot- gov
phone: 916-278-3051

Thomas A. Sklarsky
National Water Quality Assessment Program and
Pesticide National Synthesis Project
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Division
6000 J Street, Placer Hall
Sacramento, CA 95819-6129
phone: 916-278-3051
fax: 916-278-3071
email: sklarsky -at- usgs -dot- gov

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