Reproduction of classification systems
Citation, DOI & article data
Reproduction of classification systems, criteria, guidelines, and standardized reporting and data systems is one of the few exceptions to our otherwise zero-tolerance of any form of plagiarism and is only acceptable under certain situations. The reason for this is that near-exact replication is at times not only unavoidable but also necessary and desirable due to the following premises:
- such systems and guidelines are only worthwhile if they are widely adopted and understood, and...
- standardized and precise terminology is necessary if they are to be reproducibly applied
Having said that, it is imperative that they are appropriately credited to the original authors and sources, the following are recommended:
- if the classification system is the sole topic of an article, then the name should be explicitly referred to in the article title, for example:
- if the classification is part of a larger article, then a similar explicit credit should precede the classification, preferably including author surname and year of publication
- original authors and sources are given a clear citation in the reference section of the article or case (please see references)
When the classification systems, criteria, guidelines, and standardized reporting and data systems get superseded by a new version, the article is to be updated based on the latest publications. A new H4 subheading "Previous versions" is to be added at the bottom of the article explaining that previous versions have been replaced and pointing out the main changes.
In some cases this will merely be a paragraph explaining in broad terms the changes, in other cases it may be instructive to include the entire previous version if there has been a substantial change.