Issues of authorship, duplicate publication and plagiarism in scientific journal papers can cause considerable conflict among members of research teams and embarrassment both for authors and editors. There is currently no set of guidelines for those seeking to publish their work in the Society’s journals, and there is much confusion about appropriate processes and decisions even among experienced authors. The recommendations on publishing outlined below are based on existing best-practice documents endorsed by the American Psychological Association (APA, 1992, 1994) and the British Medical Association (BMA, 1999). We also include case studies that offer the reader the opportunity to adjudicate on difficult cases and to test their decisions against our recommendations. This article does not represent Journals Committee policy but aims to generate debate and reactions from Society members. Both the Journals Committee and the Scientific Affairs Board are very keen to elicit members’ views about the principles of publishing described here.