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The Farmington Consensus

The Farmington Consensus 2.1 (revised, July 11, 2017)


The purpose of this statement is to define the basis for shared identity, commitment and purpose among journals publishing in the field of psychoactive substance use and associated consequences and conditions. Our aim is to enhance the quality of our endeavours in this multidisciplinary field. We share common concerns and believe that we do well to join together in their solution. To that end we accede to this document as a statement of our consensus and as a basis for future collaboration.

Commitment to the peer review process

1.1       We are committed to peer review and would expect research reports and scientific reviews to go through this process. As regards the extent to which other material will be so reviewed, we see that as a matter for editorial discretion, but policies and provenance should be declared.

1.2       Referees should be told that their access to the papers on which they have been requested to comment is in strict confidence. Confidentiality should not be broken by pre-publication statements on the content of the submission. Manuscripts sent to reviewers should be destroyed or permanently deleted. Referees should be qualified to review submitted manuscripts.

1.3       Referees should be asked to declare to the editor if they have a conflict of interest in relation to the material which they are invited to review, and if in doubt they should consult the editor. We define ‘conflict of interest’ as a situation in which professional, personal, or financial considerations could be seen by a fair-minded person as potentially in conflict with independence of judgement. An international standard for declaring conflicts of interest can be found here. Conflict of interest is not in itself wrong-doing.

1.4       We are committed to enhancing the quality and efficacy of the peer review system that our journals operate. To that end we will, within our own journals, audit the quality of peer reviews on a continuous basis and, where possible, provide training to enhance the quality of peer reviews.

Expectations of authors

We communicate the following expectations to authors:

2.1       Authorship: All the authors listed on a paper should have been personally and substantially involved in the work leading to the paper.  An internationally accepted standard can be found here.

2.2       Avoidance of double publication: Authors are expected to ensure that no significant part of the submitted material has been published previously and that it is not concurrently being considered by another journal.  An exception to this general position may be made when previous publication has been limited to another language, to local publication in report form, or to publication of a conference abstract. In all such instances, authors should consult the editor if there is no clearly stated policy. Authors are asked to provide the editor at the time of submission with copies of published or submitted reports that are related to that submission.

2.3       Sources of funding for the submitted paper must be declared or otherwise be made accessible to readers.

2.4       Conflicts of interest experienced by authors: Authors should declare to the editor if their relationship with any type of funding source might be fairly construed as exposing them to potential conflict of interest.

2.5       Ethical Approvals: Authors should give an assurance that ethical safeguards have been met, including protection of human and animal rights.

2.6       Technical preparation of papers: Authors should follow the “instructions for authors” that journals should publish on the technical preparation of papers. The form of these guidelines is at the discretion of individual journals.

Formal response to breach of expectations by an author

Working in collaboration with our authors, we have a responsibility to support the expectations of good scientific publishing practice. To that end each journal will have defined policies for response to attempted or actual instances of duplicate publication, plagiarism, or scientific fraud.

Maintaining editorial independence

4.1       We are committed to independence in the editorial process.  To the extent that the owner or another body may influence the editorial process, this should be declared, and in that case sources of support from the alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, or other relevant interests should be published in the journal, on the journal’s website, or otherwise posted publicly.

4.2       We will publish declarations on sources of support received by a journal, and will maintain openness in regard to connections which a journal or its editorial staff may have established which could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

Funding and refereeing of journal supplements:

5.1       When we publish journal supplements, an indication will be given of sources of support for their production and the role of funders.

5.2       An editorial note will be published to indicate whether supplement articles have been peer-reviewed.


6.1       Acceptance of advertising will be determined by, or in consultation with, the editor of each journal.

Qualifications and Expectations of Editors and Editorial Board

7.1       Each journal should publish on its website or in the journal’s masthead information indicating that the editor, the editorial staff, and its review board members are appropriately qualified to be publication gatekeepers in the journal’s field (e.g. institutional affiliation, relevant experience). Board members must be experienced or otherwise qualified to make substantive contributions to the journal’s mission.

7.2       The journal’s editorial/review board members must be actively involved in the work of the journal (e.g. reviews, consultation), beyond the publication or posting of their names and/or photographs.

Expectations of Publishers

8.1       The publisher of an academic journal is expected to:

  1. a)       demonstrate transparency in publishing operations;
  2. b)       have policies or practices for digital preservation or archival storage of print copies;
  3. c)       provide accurate information about the journal’s impact factor (where appropriate), as well as abstracting and indexing services;
  4. d)       provide accurate information showing, when true, that its contents are indexed in legitimate abstracting and indexing services, and should not make claims that its content is indexed in resources that are not abstracting and indexing services;
  5. e)       provide accurate information about the locations of the journal’s and the publisher’s headquarters (e.g. publisher, owner, editorial offices).

8.2       Journal publishers should adhere to the high ethical standards established by journal editors’ organisations, COPE, WAME, ICMJE, etc.

If the journal operates as a for-profit entity, the journal editors must be independent of the journal’s publisher and the two positions should be functionally separated.