Editorial Standards

These are the guiding principles of our editorial approach. Anything outside these standards will be acknowledged publicly to our readers in the interest of openness and fairness.

Accuracy and clarity

Our credibility depends heavily on factual accuracy. We will be accurate and fair, honest and courageous. We will:

  • Ensure that factual material is accurate and not misleading.
  • Clearly label opinions to separate them from impartial content.
  • Acknowledge inaccuracies or misleading statements and provide a correction with an explanation or other remedial action promptly, prominently, carefully and clearly.
  • Provide context and avoid misrepresentation or over-simplification
  • Don’t let the mantra “do more with less” compromise quality, freshness, and truthfulness.
  • Be cautious about making promises, and keep those that are made
  • Identify sources clearly to allow readers to judge their reliability and motivations. This includes avoiding anonymity except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Support the open and civil exchange of views, including those that are disagreed with.
  • Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label fabricated content.
  • Publish opinion and analysis on UX myths and fake news in order to expose and debunk it

Fairness and balance

As much as is reasonably achievable, we strive for accuracy and truth in what we share, and won’t slant our content so a reader draws the author’s desired conclusion. We will:

  • Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of our industry, including seeking sources whose voices we seldom hear.
  • Avoid stereotyping, and examine the ways personal values and experiences may shape what is being written.
  • Diligently seek multiple perspectives.
  • Balance a right to fairness with people’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying poor behaviour.
  • Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance, and that author’s expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.
  • Be vigilant and courageous about avoiding bias and influence, including holding those with power accountable.

Being independent

The highest and primary obligation of our content is to act in the interest of our readers and the wider public. We will:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Refuse gifts, favours, fees, free travel and special treatment and avoid outside activities that may compromise integrity and impartiality, or that may damage credibility.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favours or money; do not pay for access to content. Label content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
  • Deny favoured treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence the topics or content of what we publish.
  • Distinguish content from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
  • Prominently label any sponsored content.

Privacy and avoidance of harm

We should treat our contributors, subjects, colleagues, readers and others as human beings deserving of respect. We will:

  • The pursuit of content is no excuse for arrogance or undue intrusiveness. Avoid causing or contributing materially to substantial offence, distress or prejudice unless doing so is in the interest of the broader community.
  • We avoid intruding on a person’s reasonable expectations of privacy. Realise that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence, or attention. Intrusion into the privacy of public figures must be related to their public duties or activities. Weigh the consequences of publishing personal information.
  • Show compassion for those who may be impacted by content, including sources or subjects who are vulnerable or inexperienced.
  • Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment of sources, subjects and the topics covered.
  • Recognise that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or share.
  • A person should have a reasonable expectation that personal information gathered by writers and photographers should be used for the purpose for which it was intended.
  • Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that personal information collected is accurate, complete and up to date.
  • Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.
  • Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publications, especially online. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.
  • Keep personal information stored in an appropriately secure manner to prevent misuse, loss or unauthorised access.

Integrity and transparency

We take responsibility for our work and explain our decisions to our readers. We will:

  • Avoid surreptitious methods for gathering information
  • Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about editorial and authorial practices, topics and content
  • Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness
  • Treat plagiarism as a showstopper. We will use an online plagiarism checker (http://www.copyscape.com) for every article submitted. Re-use of previously published work (including recycling of past writing by the same author) without attribution is a no-no.
  • Expose unethical conduct in editorial and authorial behaviour, including from within UX Mastery.
  • Abide by the same high standards we expect of others

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