Ethical Requirements

It is important for all authors publishing with IEEE to understand IEEE’s definition of authorship in addition to learning about citation, data reporting, and how to follow the ethical guidelines required in scientific publishing.

Definition of Authorship

Authorship is based on substantial intellectual contribution. Who should be listed as an author on your technical book? The IEEE definition of authorship will help you answer that question.

IEEE considers individuals who meet all of the following criteria to be authors.

  1. Made a significant intellectual contribution to the theoretical development, system or experimental design, prototype development, and/or the analysis and interpretation of data associated with the work contained in the manuscript.
  2. Contributed to drafting the manuscript or reviewing and/or revising it for intellectual content.
  3. Approved the final version of the manuscript as accepted for publication, including references.

Contributors who do not meet all of the above criteria may be included in the Acknowledgment section of the book. 

Source: IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual, Section 8.2.1.A.1.

IEEE author name change policy

IEEE supports the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) initiative and guidelines on an inclusive approach to author name changes.

Learn more about IEEE’s author name change policy

Cite Sources Appropriately

You should always cite any relevant sources used in your book. Citation is required in several instances. Follow these guidelines. 

Note that the same rules apply to your own previously published work. When in doubt, cite.


IEEE defines plagiarism as the use of another’s ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences. (IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual, Section 8.2.1.B.7.)

Inappropriate use of citations

Citing an irrelevant source for the purpose of artificially inflating citation metrics is considered a breach of ethics. Only cite relevant sources that legitimately contribute to your book according to the criteria outlined above.

Report Your Data Accurately

Readers of your book rely on you to communicate your research findings fully and report your data accurately. Ensure you are showing the full picture by avoiding fabrication, falsification, and image manipulation during your research and when you are writing or revising your book.

Avoid the following.

¹The Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Publish Original Research

When submitting your book for publication to IEEE, it should: contain original research that has not been published before; and not be submitted to any other publication while you await a peer review decision.

IEEE recognizes that technical research is often published first with preliminary findings and then in a different publication with fully developed research and conclusions. IEEE supports this evolutionary publishing process provided that:

  1. both works undergo standard peer review;
  2. the more fully developed work contains substantially more technical information than the preliminary work;
  3. the more fully developed work cites the earlier work and clearly indicates how the works differ.

Source: IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual, Section 8.1.7.E.