Policy on AI and AI-Assisted Technology for Writing
The policy aims to provide greater transparency and guidance to authors, readers, reviewers, editors and contributors. The IJMS will monitor this development and will adjust or refine this policy when appropriate. Please note the policy only refers to the writing process, and not to the use of AI tools to analyze and draw insights from data as part of the research process.
Where authors use generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process, these technologies should only be used to improve readability and language of the work. Applying the technology should be done with human oversight and control and authors should carefully review and edit the result, because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete or biased. The authors are ultimately responsible and accountable for the contents of the work.
Authors should not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, nor cite AI as an author. Authorship implies responsibilities and tasks that can only be attributed to and performed by humans. Each (co-) author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved and authorship requires the ability to approve the final version of the work and agree to its submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that the work is original, that the stated authors qualify for authorship, and the work does not infringe third party rights, and should familiarize themselves with our Ethics in Publishing policy before they submit.
Frequently asked questions
Why has thr IJMS decided that AI and AI-assisted tools cannot be credited as an author on published work?
Authorship implies responsibilities and tasks that can only be attributed to and performed by humans. Each (co-) author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved and authorship requires the ability to approve the final version of the work and agree to its submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that the work is original, that the stated authors qualify for authorship, and the work does not infringe third party rights.
Thr IJMS will monitor developments around generative AI and AI-assisted technologies and will adjust or refine this policy should it be appropriate. More information about our authorship policy can be viewed here: https://ijms.info/IJMS/about/submissions#authorship.
Does this policy cover tools that are used to check grammar and spelling, and reference managers that enable authors to collect and organize references to scholarly articles?
No, this policy does not cover tools such as spelling or grammar checkers. In addition, the policy does not cover reference managers that enable authors to collect, organize, annotate and use references to scholarly articles. These tools can be used by authors without disclosure. This policy is specific to AI and AI-assisted tools, such as Large Language Models, which can generate output that may be used to create a scientific work.
Does this policy refer to AI and AI-assisted tools that are used in the research process, for example to process data?
No, this policy refers to generative AI and AI-assisted technologies, such as Large Language Models, when they are used during the scientific writing process. This policy does not prevent the use of AI and AI-assisted tools in formal research design or research methods. We recognize that this is common in many fields. Where AI or AI-assisted tools are used in this context, they should be described as part of the methodology of the work, with details provided in the Methods section.
In which section of the manuscript should authors disclose the use of AI-assisted technologies, and where will this statement appear in the article if it is accepted for publication?
We ask authors who have used AI or AI-assisted tools to insert a statement in the first page of the submission around the Disclosures, entitled ‘Declaration of AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process’. In that statement, we ask authors to specify the tool that was used and the reason for using the tool. We suggest that authors follow this format when preparing their statement:
During the preparation of this work the author(s) used [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] in order to [REASON]. After using this tool/service, the author(s) reviewed and edited the content as needed and take(s) full responsibility for the content of the publication.
Can authors use AI-assisted tools to create or alter images that they publish in their work?
It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. In consideration of this, we do not permit the use of AI or AI-assisted tools to create or alter images in submitted manuscripts. The only exception is if the use of AI or AI-assisted tools in the creation or alteration of images is part of the research design or research methods. If this is done, we require a clear description of the content that was created or altered, an explanation of how the AI or AI-assisted tools were used in the creation or alteration process, and the name of the model or tool, version and extension numbers, and manufacturer.
How does the IJMS handle copyright if the authors credit an AI or AI-assisted tool in their article?
AI and AI-assisted tools do not qualify for authorship under IJMS's authorship policy. Authors who use AI or AI-assisted tools during the manuscript writing process are asked to disclose their use in a separate section of the manuscript. The publishing agreement process works as usual, with the authors keeping the copyright to their own work.