• Authors & Ethics

    Authors & Ethics

  • Authors & Ethics

    Authors & Ethics

  • Authors & Ethics

    Authors & Ethics

  • Authors & Ethics

    Authors & Ethics

Publication integrity is crucial to the fib. Our guidelines lay out the best practice principles we apply to the fib Bulletins. 

The fib bulletins series is a unique name and is of the sole property of the fib, the International Federation for Structural Concrete. This property is acknowledged in each bulletin and on the website. The series of bulletins is managed by the fib Secretariat, by each of the working groups that create each document and by the Technical Council, acting as Editorial Board of the series of bulletins. 

  • INTRODUCTION Welcome to the Author’s Resource page! This is where working groups conveners will find everything they need to prepare and submit an fib bulletin for publication. (If you wish to publish an article in the fib’s journal Structural Concrete, please visit Wiley’s page).

    Publication integrity is crucial to the fib. Our guidelines lay out the best practice principles we apply to the fib Bulletins. This document is based on the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) Guidelines on good publication practice.

    The fib bulletins series is a unique name and is of the sole property of the fib, the International Federation for Structural Concrete. This property is acknowledged in each bulletin and on the website. The series of bulletins is managed by the fib Secretariat, by each of the working groups that create each document and by the Technical Council, acting as Editorial Board of the series of bulletins.

    PREPARATION Once the group has been created by the Technical Council, and the convener has been chosen, the goal of the work and the scope of one or more publications (bulletins) is established. The work is distributed by the convener among the participants. Each contributor is responsible for what they write and the photos/figures they include in their contribution. The work is regularly reviewed among the working group members. The work of the individual authors and the whole group is approved by consensus in the first phase by the Working Group.

    The convener should let the fib Secretary General know:
    • the subject and scope,
    • the approximate number of pages, and
    • the approximate publication dates.

    Certain elements should be kept in mind when preparing an fib bulletin. The Author’s Guidelines cover the following aspects thoroughly:
    • Formatting, layout and hierarchy
    • Consistency
    • Redundancy
    • Language
    • Inclusivity
    • Acknowledgement & Copyright

    Please peruse the Author’s Guidelines for more information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the fib Secretariat; we would be delighted to help.

    COPYRIGHT Each author signs and provides a copyright form (text) stipulating that their submission is their own original work, that they haven’t published it anywhere else beforehand, that they properly credit the author of any work they may have quoted from, and that they have full permission to publish their submission as an fib Bulletin.

    They also sign a copyright form (figs.) for pictures and figures stipulating that the images are their own or that they have obtained permission to use them as part of their contribution.

    PEER REVIEW & APPROVAL The fib upholds high standards for peer-review and approval. Once the work is close to completion, it is anonymously reviewed by two experts who do not belong to the working group in question. The Commission Chair chooses the peer-reviewers. The work then undergoes revisions. This process can take place several times. The document is returned to the group so that it can acknowledge the comments of the reviewers, and then it is ready for further approval by the relevant bodies.

    Once the bulletin has been reviewed, the convener can apply for approval for publication from the relevant authority (as shown in the table below):

    CategoryMinimum approval required prior to publication
    Technical reportApproval by a task group and the chairpersons of the commission
    State-of-the-art reportApproval by a commission
    Manual, textbook, guide (to good practice) or recommendationApproval by the fib Technical Council
    Model codeApproval by the fib General Assembly

    SUBMISSION Once the bulletin has received the appropriate approval, the working group Convener submits the submission form and the final files and forms to the fib Secretariat. Each author also signs and provides a copyright form (text) stipulating that their submission is their own original work, that they haven’t published it anywhere else beforehand, that they properly credit the author of any work they may have quoted from, and that they have full permission to publish their submission as an fib Bulletin. They also sign a copyright form (figs.) for pictures and figures.

    The convener of the document sends the fib secretariat the copyright forms, the final approved text, the peer review forms and the figure files in high resolution as individual files along with the submission form. The convener sends also the main authors and other contributors for the whole document and for each chapter.

    Files to be submitted to the fib Secretariat (checklist):
    • The whole bulletin in PDF format, with all the equations and figures 1
    • All the chapters of the bulletins in Word format 2
    • All the figures as individual files in high resolution 3
    • The copyright file for each figure that requires it 4
    • The permission to publish signed by every author 5
    • The peer-review forms recommending publications
    • The approval for publication given by the relevant authority 6

    FORMS & GUIDELINES Please find below all the relevant forms for fib bulletins publication:

    1 This allows the fib editors to make sure they keep the elements in the right order.
    2 This allows the fib editors to import the text directly in InDesign.
    3 Figures embedded in Word are automatically reduced.
    4 This would mean any figure whose copyright is not owned by one of the authors.
    5 This is the form that gives the fib the right to publish the work as fib bulletins.
    6 Please see the category and minimum approval table above.

  • INTRODUCTION Publication integrity is crucial to the fib, the International Federation for Structural Concrete. These guidelines lay out the best practice principles we apply to the fib Bulletins. This document is based on the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) Guidelines on good publication practice 1.

    The fib bulletins series is a unique name and is of the sole property of the fib, the International Federation for Structural Concrete. This property is acknowledged in each bulletin and on the website. The series of bulletins is managed by the fib Secretariat, by each of the working groups that create each document and by the Technical Council, acting as Editorial Board of the series of bulletins.

    RESEARCH INTEGRITY Scientific integrity is defined as “the commitment of researchers to adhere to the fundamental rules of good scientific practice. Concern for the truth, open-mindedness, self-discipline, self-criticism and rectitude are essential characteristics of ethical behaviour. They represent the basis of all scientific activity and are prerequisites for the credibility and acceptance of science.” 2 The fib upholds the standards outlined in ALLEA’s European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (Revised Edition 2017):

    “Good research practices are based on fundamental principles of research integrity. They guide researchers in their work as well as in their engagement with the practical, ethical and intellectual challenges inherent in research. These principles are:
    • Reliability in ensuring the quality of research, reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources.
    • Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way.
    • Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment.
    • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring, and for its wider impacts.” 3

    All these aspects are acknowledged on the fib website that deals with the bulletins.

    EDITORIAL PROCESS Bulletins are made by one of the working groups that are created by the Technical Council to develop a specific task.

    Once the group has been created by the Technical Council, and the convener has been chosen, the goal of the work and the scope of one or more publications (bulletins) is established. The work is distributed by the convener among the participants. Each contributor is responsible for what they write and the photos/figures they include in their contribution. It can be a consensus full document or a document that has main authors per chapter. The work is regularly reviewed among the working group members. The work of the individual authors and the whole group is approved by consensus in the first phase by the Working Group.

    Once the work is close to completion, it is anonymously reviewed by two experts who do not belong to the working group in question (please see section 4 below for more information). The work then undergoes revisions. This process can take place several times. The document is returned to the group so that it can acknowledge the comments of the reviewers, and then it is ready for further approval by the relevant bodies.

    The work is developed following the fib bulletins Authors Guidelines. When the work is ready to be published, it is submitted for approval within the fib. The approval required depends on the type of publications. If it is a Technical Report, the final text must be approved by the Working Group in question and the relevant Commission Chair. If it is a State-of-the-Art Report, the final text must be approved by the relevant Commission. If it is a Manual, a Guide (to good practice) or a Recommendation, the final text must be approved by the Technical Council of the fib. If it is a Model Code, the final text must be approved by the General Assembly of the fib.

    CategoryMinimum approval required prior to publication
    Technical reportApproval by a task group and the chairpersons of the commission
    State-of-the-art reportApproval by a commission
    Manual, textbook, guide (to good practice) or recommendationApproval by the fib Technical Council
    Model codeApproval by the fib General Assembly

    Once the bulletin has received the appropriate approval, the Convener working group submits the submission form and the final files and forms to the fib Secretariat. Each author also signs and provides a copyright form (text) stipulating that their submission is their own original work, that they haven’t published it anywhere else beforehand, that they properly credit the author of any work they may have quoted from, and that they have full permission to publish their submission as an fib Bulletin. They also sign a copyright form (figs.) and permission to publish for pictures and figures. The convener of the document sends the fib secretariat the copyright forms, the final approved text, the peer review forms and the figure files in high resolution as individual files along with the submission form. The convener sends also to the fib Secretariat the main authors and other contributors for the whole document and for each chapter if it is the case.

    The fib Secretariat checks that all the necessary documents have been submitted and that all the forms have been signed. Once the forms are in order, a native English-speaking engineer reviews the text. The fib Secretariat then proceeds with the layout. Once the layout is ready, the fib Secretariat sends it to the convener for final comments. The convener shares the file with the working group members to collect their comments as well. This step is repeated several times, until the convener and the group are fully satisfied with the final result. The fib Secretariat then sends the final approved files to the printer.

    The final documents are placed on the fib website, available for members and for the interested technicians in general. A backup of the full collection is made in several servers and also as hardcopy at the fib headquarters. The series of bulletins are produced at a rate of 4 to 6 per year. The collection started in 1998. The approval of the documents and the layout process influence the number of issues published each year.

    PEER REVIEW As outlined in the previous part, bulletins undergo different peer-review processes and approvals based on their types. Reviewers fill in the peer-review forms, giving their comments and recommending or discouraging publications based on their impressions. The peer-review form includes the following questions:
    1. Your familiarity with the subject of this manuscript (1- 5)?
    2. Your opinion of the manuscript (1-5)?
    3. Do you recommend publication (1-5)?
    4. Does the technical content fit within the scope of fib Bulletins (1-5)?
    5. Are the Conclusions substantiated by the text of the manuscript (1-5)?
    6. Does the manuscript present sufficient in-depth information (1-5)?
    7. Does the manuscript present new information or new treatment of existing knowledge (1-5)?
    8. Does the manuscript represent advancement in state of the art or state of practice (1-5)?
    9. Is the manuscript written in understandable and correct English (1-5)?
    10. Are you aware of one or more similar manuscripts by the author(s)? Yes/No

    The review form type is: Encl. 5 191125 fib Bulletins PaperPeerReviewForm_002.pdf. The review forms are sent to the convener that acknowledges the comments for the final document before approval by the relevant fib body. The Commission Chair must select at least two reviewers for each Bulletin or Bulletin Chapter submitted who are experts in the subject matter. The review can be made for the complete Bulletin or by chapters. The Commission Chair sends the reviewers the review forms, and a copy of the manuscript to be reviewed. When the convener receives a completed review form, evaluates whether the reviewer performed an adequate review (for instance, a lack of comments from the reviewer is a hint of a cursory review). If the review appears to be cursory, the convener may need to discard that review and select another reviewer.

    Once the convener has two adequate reviews for a Bulletin or a chapter, the convener determines whether it should be published in the bulletin. Under “Do you recommend publication?”, if both reviewers have entered 4 or 5, the chapter or the Bulletin should be published. If both reviewers have entered 1 or 2, the chapter or Bulletin should not be included. If either reviewer has entered 3, the chapter or Bulletin should only be published if the convener determines that the author has addressed all comments adequately. If one reviewer gives a rating of 1 or 2 and the other reviewer gives a rating of 3, 4, or 5 the Commission Chair must select a third reviewer as a tiebreaker or review the Bulletin himself and render a decision. (Note: the “justification for publication” information, the answers to other questions on the review form cover sheet, and the review comments themselves contribute to the overall picture of the Bulletin and should be used in determining the suitability of the Bulletin for publication).

    For Bulletins or chapters that the convener has accepted for publication, sends the reviewers’ comments to the author. These comments must be anonymous. Removes the first page of the review form with the reviewer’s name before forwarding any information to the author, by following the instructions below:
    1. “Save As... ” (Ctrl + Shift + S) with a new file name.
    2. Delete (Ctrl + Shift + D) the first page with the reviewer’s name.
    3. Open “Document Properties” (Ctrl + d).
    4. Under the “Description” tab, make sure the “Author” field reads “fib", then click on “OK.”
    5. Save (Ctrl + s).

    Authors are required to address each review comment and submit a final version of their revised manuscript to the convener, along with item-by-item responses to all review comments. The convener must confirm that the authors have responded adequately to the review comments.

    For editor-authored chapters, the fib’s review procedures require anonymous reviews to avoid making reviewers feel constrained from making critical review comments. The fib Secretariat will facilitate the anonymous peer review and return the review comments to the convener.

    Review forms for all chapters must be submitted to the Convener as part of the final Bulletin submission package to the fib Secretariat. The Technical Council acts as Editorial Board of the series of Bulletins (ISSN 1562-3610) as it is the technical governing body of the fib. The members of the Technical Council are by the Statures of the fib: Presidium members, Chairs of the Commissions, Heads of Delegation and guests. The names and affiliations of the members of the Technical Council are listed and regularly updated on the fib website.

    AUTHORSHIP As established by the COPE Guidelines on good publication practice, “[t]here is no universally agreed definition of authorship […]” 4 . COPE further declares that “[t]he award of authorship should balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis and writing of the study against the collection of data and other routine work. If there is no task that can reasonably be attributed to a particular individual, then that individual should not be credited with membership” 5.

    To be included as authors, working group participants must:
    • Have substantially contributed to the conception of the bulletin.
    • Take responsibility for the content of their contribution.
    • Have the full rights to publish their submission.

    The convener of each group takes the relevant decisions of including each contributor of the group as author of the whole document or of the relevant chapter. For the fib bulletins every author confirms that they are the sole author of their contribution and that they have the right to publish it when submitting their contribution. Peer-reviewers also keep this aspect in mind while reviewing

    The Copyright form type in question is Encl. 2 191127 fib bulletins Copyright text transfer consent form.docx.

    PUBLICATION ETHICS The fib takes publication ethics very seriously. The current guidelines for publication and ethics are available on the fib website.

    PLAGIARISM COPE defines plagiarism as follows: “[p]lagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others’ published and unpublished ideas, including research grant applications to submission under “new” authorship of a complete paper, sometimes in a different language. It may occur at any stage of planning, research, writing, or publication: it applies to print and electronic versions” 6.

    The fib acts against plagiarism whenever is detected. The convener in the first place and the Technical Council are responsible for retracting any text that may have conflicts.
    DUPLICATE AND REDUNDANT PUBLICATION COPE indicates that “[r]edundant publication occurs when two or more papers, without full cross reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusion” 7.

    The fib does not support redundant publication. When submitting their work, the authors are required to confirm that their work has not been published before.
    CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND FUNDING The fib is independent. It is funded and run by individuals, companies, and national members, none of which can override the peer-review process. The Technical Council is the ultimate body to decide any conflict in the creation of the bulletins.
    RETRACTIONS, CORRECTIONS AND EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERNS The fib allows retractions, corrections and expressions of concern. The convener in the first place and the Technical Council are responsible for dealing with any issue that may arise.

    Anyone concerned with what seems to be a mistake is requested to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the fib. The working group convener, the reviewers and the Technical Council will check the potential mistake. If it is indeed found to be a mistake, a correcting statement is released through the fib website or any relevant communication channel.

    DOCUMENTS REFERENCED

    1 Guidelines on good publication practice, COPE, 1999
    2 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
    3 The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, ALLEA, 2017, p. 4.
    4 Guidelines on good publication practice, COPE, 2018, p. 44.
    5 Ibidem.
    6 Idem, p. 45.
    7 Idem, p. 44.

fib postal address

Case postale 88
CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland

Contact

p : +41 21 693 27 47
f : +41 21 693 62 45
e : info@fib-international.org
w : www.fib-international.org

Follow fib

Subscribe our newsletter

 Follow us on
        

Join the fib

Join the fib