AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy

The mission of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is to promote discovery in Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.  A core value of AGU is “excellence and integrity in everything we do.”  AGU envisions its future to include being respected and known as an authoritative and reliable source of high-quality Earth and space science information and as a model of excellence, diversity, integrity, and equality that attracts and retains the best scientists and students in its membership.

To this end, AGU has established a set of guidelines for scientific integrity and professional ethics for the actions of the members and the governance of the union in its internal activities; in its public persona; and most importantly, in the research and peer review processes of its scientific publications, its communications and outreach, and its scientific meetings.  AGU is committed to uphold the highest level of scientific integrity and professional ethics in all of its activities in order to preserve and enhance its position as a global authority in the scientific community.

In developing this policy, AGU has utilized extensively a number of reports by various U.S. government agencies, the National Academy of Sciences, and other scientific and professional societies. These references are footnoted as appropriate.

Key aspects of the AGU Scientific Code of Conduct and Professional Ethics include the following:

A. The membership will conduct themselves according to the highest professional and ethical standard in professional activities, scientific research, communications, and public engagement in order to preserve the integrity of science and the public trust.

B. Scientific research, and the preparation of the results, must be free of any impropriety or undisclosed conflicts of interest.  Intentional plagiarism, fabrication, or falsification are serious examples of scientific misconduct and as such are inappropriate actions that will discredit the union and compromise the integrity of science.

 C. The peer review process must strive to be fair, unbiased, and committed to upholding the scientific excellence of research.

 D. An investigation of any alleged violation of these principles or code shall be conducted in the event of credible accusations to ensure that the scientific community and public continue to regard AGU as ethical, authoritative, objective, and professional.

 E. It is the responsibility of each member of the union to uphold the standards of scientific conduct and to report allegations of unethical scientific practice to the AGU Ethics Committee.

Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics