Comptes Rendus

Code of ethics and good practices

Research published in the Comptes Rendus journals of the French Academy of Sciences must be conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and must comply with all applicable legislation, including the French Code de la propriété intellectuelle.

This Code of Ethics and Good Practice summarizes the responsibilities of each of the actors in the editorial process (authors, editors and reviewers) to produce a responsible and transparent scientific publication. It does not claim to be exhaustive.

The French Academy of Sciences fully endorses the good research practices advocated by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


Responsibility of the authors


Identification of authors. All contributors to the manuscript submitted to the journal or to the research that led to the manuscript must be included in the list of authors, and their precise contact information (e-mail address and exact affiliation) provided to the journal.
The list of co-authors should be limited to those who have made a truly significant contribution. In the event of doubt, more details on the contribution of each co-author may be requested by the journal.

Author information. The corresponding author must ensure the agreement of all co-authors at each stage of the editorial process: initial submission, but also submission of revised versions following exchanges with reviewers, and submission of the final version before publication. If the agreement of a co-author is lacking at any stage of the editorial process, including after acceptance for publication, the article may be rejected.


Intellectual Property

Liability. All co-authors are equally responsible for the content of the article submitted to the journal.

Authorship. Authors must guarantee the originality of their article and not submit to Comptes Rendus any text that would be, in any form whatsoever, an infringement as defined by any intellectual property law. The submission of an article already published in another language, in particular, is strictly forbidden (unless identified and expressly authorized by the journal).

Reuse of copyrighted material. Any quotation or reuse of previous works, including those of the authors of the article themselves, must be identified as such, and the original works must be properly cited. In the case of re-use of copyrighted material (e.g. illustrations), written authorizations must be obtained by the authors of the manuscript from all copyright holders (including commercial publishers) and forwarded to the Académie des Sciences. A lack of response from a copyright owner does not constitute authorization for reuse.
The authors remain solely responsible for any use that violates the intellectual property of third parties.

Disclosure of confidential information. The authors must obtain all the necessary authorizations for the disclosure of information obtained in a private context (conversation, correspondence...) or information protected by various secrets (professional, medical, industrial, etc.). They remain solely responsible for any use contrary to the law.
Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute behaviour contrary to the ethics of scientific publication; they are therefore unacceptable.


Good editorial practices

Multiple, redundant or simultaneous publications. Authors agree not to submit their article to several journals at the same time.
They also agree not to fragment their research object into multiple articles ("salami slicing"), and not to propose articles that are based exclusively on data already exploited or on work already published.

Review of the article. Authors agree to participate in the paper review process, including revising their paper to take into account the suggestions and arguments of the reviewers.
They also agree to follow the technical and/or linguistic instructions provided by the editorial team of the journal.


Scientific ethics

Defamatory statements. The authors commit themselves not to exceed, in the submitted articles, the rules of scientific debate and not to make defamatory statements that could be interpreted as attacks on the reputation of a third person.

Declaration of interests. Authors whose publications in Comptes Rendus could cause them or a third party to have an interest other than a scientific one, whether financial or not, are required to declare these competing interests when submitting their manuscript, and to provide as much detail as possible about them. These interests will be published at the same time as the final article. If in doubt, please do not hesitate to contact the journal's editors.

Examples of competing interests (non-exhaustive list, inspired from F1000Research):

If you have no conflicts of interest to declare, please include the following text in the Declaration of Interests section of your manuscript (see the Instructions to Authors for each series): The authors do not work for, advise, own shares in, or receive funds from any organization that could benefit from this article, and have declared no affiliations other than their research organizations.


Post-publication corrections

Any author who discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own work after publication is required to inform the journal's editorial team without delay and to cooperate with the editorial team in issuing a corrigendum or withdrawing the article.

Any error or inaccuracy reported by a third party will be communicated to the authors of the article. The authors of the article will be required to take action in consultation with the journal's editorial team.


Reviewers' responsibilities


Manuscripts submitted to the Comptes Rendus of the French Academy of sciences are systematically reviewed by specialists in the subject matter. These referees are called upon by the editors of each journal to verify that the quality of the article conforms to the expectations of the journal, and to suggest corrections and areas for improvement. Reviewers and authors work together, sometimes discussing several versions of the same text, in order to obtain a text accepted for publication that is as complete, interesting and relevant as possible.

The evaluation reports provided by the experts should enable the editors in charge of the manuscripts to make an editorial decision as to their future within Comptes Rendus: rejection, request for revision (minor changes), request for resubmission (major changes) or acceptance for publication.

By accepting to review a submission, reviewers confirm that they are experts in the subject matter. If they are not, they should decline the editors' invitation and, if possible, suggest other names of experts in the field. This can be done at any time during the editorial process, even if one or more reports have already been submitted.


Conflict of interest

It is imperative that reviewers who are asked to review a report inform the editors of any potential conflict of interest (e.g., numerous past collaborations with one of the authors, grants from an organization that competes with the author's, hierarchical subordination, etc.). This can be done at any time during the editorial process, even if one or more reports have already been submitted.



Reviewers evaluate manuscripts solely on the basis of their content and are objective and impartial, particularly with regard to geographic or ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political orientation, age, or reputation of authors.

They must provide the editors with as much information as possible to help them make their decision, and in particular, they must give reasons for their recommendation by writing one or more paragraphs in the most objective, reasoned and detailed manner possible. These arguments are important even in the context of a recommendation to reject the manuscript.


Confidentiality and Copyright

Manuscripts received for review are treated as confidential material. All materials and data submitted for review of a manuscript remain the exclusive intellectual property of the authors, even if the submission does not result in publication. Experts who agree to review a submission for Comptes Rendus must not disclose the contents (subject matter, text, data, or images) prior to publication, even in part, without the express written consent of the authors at any time during the editorial process.


Responsibilities of the editors and members of the editorial board

Editorial duties

Responsibility. The content of each series of Comptes Rendus of the French Academy of Sciences is published under the penal responsibility of its editor.
The Editors-in-Chief, Guest Editors (if any) and Associate Editors of each series ensure the scientific quality of the series.


Editors-in-Chief. Under the authority of the Director of Publication, the Editors-in-Chief direct the editorial policy of the journal. Their missions include :

These tasks may be carried out from time to time by guest editors, who are responsible for coordinating a special issue on behalf of the journal, under the authority of the editors-in-chief.

Editorial Boards. The editors-in-chief are supported by:

Editorial secretary. During the whole editorial process, the editors-in-chief and associate editors are supported by the Publications Service of the French Academy of sciences, and in particular by the editorial secretary of the journal.


Peer Review Process

General principle. The journal follows a strict single-blind peer review process for all submissions, including those for special issues and articles submitted by invitation of the editorial board.

The editors decide on the editorial future of articles submitted to Comptes Rendus based on the recommendations of the experts. However, they are not obliged to take into account all the recommendations received, especially when their conclusions are contradictory. In the event of difficulty in reaching a decision or suspicion of a breach of scientific integrity or research ethics, the editors may ask the reviewers for additional arguments or information.


Exceptions. A manuscript may be rejected by the editorial team without being submitted to peer review:

Scientific ethics

Impartiality. Manuscripts are evaluated solely on their intellectual or scientific content, without distinction of origin, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, nationality, academic affiliation or political philosophy of the authors.
Editorial decisions are made impartially and independently of political or commercial motives.

Confidentiality. The review process for incoming manuscripts is conducted in strict confidence. No information about a manuscript or correspondence about a manuscript is disclosed to anyone other than the author(s), potential reviewers, the submitting editor, and the journal's editorial office.
All documents and data submitted for review of a manuscript remain the exclusive intellectual property of the authors, even if the submission does not result in publication.
Persons having knowledge of such materials and data prior to final publication of the article are prohibited from using them without the express written consent of the author at any time during the editorial process.

Conflicts of Interest. The editors, associate editors, and reviewers will withdraw from the submission review process in the event of a conflict of interest regarding one or more authors or the content of a manuscript being reviewed.
The journal makes every effort to avoid conflicts of interest among authors, reviewers, and members of the editorial board.


Post-publication intervention

Any error or inaccuracy identified in a published article should be reported as soon as possible to the journal team, which will inform the authors of the article and proceed with the publication of a corrigendum or a response, if necessary. Readers who notice errors or inaccuracies are asked to send the journal team any element that could help it in its reflection.

The team of the journal reserves the right to add at any time and to any article a particular editorial warning, in particular to point out a controversy in progress.


Procedure in case of breach of this code of ethics and good practice

Principle. The editorial team seeks to identify and prevent any unethical behavior in publication. The editorial team is committed to investigating all complaints against the journal in accordance with the procedure described below. The author must always be given the opportunity to respond to the issues raised.

Complaints about unethical publication practices may be made at any time by anyone to the editors or the managing editor. The person filing the complaint must provide the elements justifying it. All complaints are taken into account by the committee, regardless of the date of publication of the article concerned.

Possible measures