News & Opinion

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. April 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 4)

The latest issue of COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice is now available on the COPE website.  Click here to read.  

News / Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to vacancies on Council, we are seeking nominations for two new candidates. These are voluntary positions. Council is responsible for COPE’s policy and management. Council members are required to attend four meetings a year (two of which will usually be in person in London; the others may be attended by phone or other media). There is also a strategy meeting every 18/24 months which Council Members are expected to attend in person. Annual seminars are held in a number of locations worldwide and it is expected that Council Members will attend one of these. COPE has subcommittees, and Council Members will also be expected to be involved in other COPE related tasks, which are undertaken electronically. It is anticipated that the work of Council Members should amount to about 1–2 days per month, in addition to attendance at meetings.

In accordance with COPE’s constitution, the candidate, or the organisation they represent, must have been a member of COPE for at least 1 year.

Candidates for Council membership will be short-listed by council following an interview. Short-listed Ordinary Council Members shall be elected by the Full and Associate Members with voting rights or (if the candidates are unopposed) by the approval of the Council.

Further details, including a job description, can be found below.

Those who are interested should contact the COPE administrator. A candidate for Council membership should be nominated by two other current members of COPE, at least one of whom must not be employed by the same organisation as the nominee.

The closing date for applications is 21 April 2014.

COPE council member: role description

Purpose of role

  • To be responsible, together with other council members, for the policy and management of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
  • To be a trustee of COPE as a charity in accordance with UK legislation.

Key responsibilities

  • Act as a Trustee for COPE, as a UK charity.
  • Attend and take a full part in quarterly meetings of Council, either in person at the face-to-face meetings or by webinar/phone.
  • Attend and contribute to quarterly Forum meetings (these are by webinar).
  • Attend and take a full part in the strategy meeting of Council (usually every 18/24 months).
  • Take part in additional policy and advisory discussions (usually by email) and approve the annual budget.
  • Monitor expenditure and supervise the administration of COPE.
  • Make appointments to Council and other positions.
  • Take part in subcommittees and other tasks, as agreed by Council.
  • Represent COPE externally when required to do so by Council, including speaking at meetings/conferences about COPE and publication ethics if required.

Person specification

  • Experience of academic publishing (in particular, gained as the editor or publisher of a peer-reviewed publication).
  • Understanding of ethical issues in academic publishing (eg, having published on or with experience of such matters).
  • Experience of committee work or involvement with charitable organizations.
  • Expertise that will benefit COPE, such as writing, editing, publishing, training, law, accountancy, charity administration, public relations, human resources, fundraising, etc.
  • Sufficient time to commit to COPE activities, including attending meetings and contributing to the work of Council as required.
  • Good understanding and judgment of business matters.

News / New COPE Discussion Document published

COPE has published a new discussion document on 'Sharing of information among editors-in-chief regarding possible misconduct'. (Click here for the document). This guidance has been drafted following a COPE Discussion Forum, in the wake of a number of high profile cases of research misconduct in which the sharing of information between the relevant editors-inchief (EiCs) was crucial to the final settlement of the cases.

Discussion documents aim to stimulate discussion about an issue and are not formal COPE guidelines.  We encourage journal editors and publishers to comment (whether or not they are COPE members), and also welcome comments from researchers/authors and academic institutions. Please email all comments to Natalie Ridgeway, COPE Operations Manager here.

News / NIH grant requests journal editors experiences of retractions

A request for information (RFI) has been issued to gather journal editors experiences with Issues related to retracting or correcting scientific papers. If you wish to contribute you can find more information here:

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. March issue published

The March issue of COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice can be read in full here:

News / Wiley launch new ethics guidelines

Wiley has launched the second edition of its Best Practice Guidelines on Publishing Ethics: A Publisher’s Perspective. In the new edition, guidance has been added about whistle-blowers, animal research and clinical research, particularly around clinical trial registration. The press release can be read in full here and the Guidelines found here.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 4 March 2014 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Tuesday 4 March 2014, 3–5pm (GMT). The COPE Forum will be held virtually via webinar. Download the agenda and materials here (PDF, 695kb). The invitation to join the webinar is below. We can accommodate up to 100 attendees, so please register quickly if you wish to join in the discussion.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

The website link will be open from 2pm to enable you to test your audio settings. The Forum, however, will start promptly at 3pm.  FAQS on using the webinar can be found here.

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. February 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 2)

The February issue of COPE Digest has been published on the COPE website. Read it here.

News / COPE council members re-elected

COPE is very pleased to announce the re-election of two COPE council members following our recent elections: Behrooz Astaneh ( and Geraldine Pearson ( We very much look forward to continuing our work with them.

News / Programme for COPE European Seminar 2014, Brussels, Belgium, 14 March 2014

in cooperation with the Representation of the State of Hessen to the European Union

Venue: Representation of the State of Hessen to the European Union, Rue Montoyer 21, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Download the programme for the COPE European Seminar here. COPE’s European seminar will take place in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday 14 March 2014. The theme of this year's seminar is “European perspectives on publication ethics”. Editors, publishers, authors and all those interested in publication ethics are welcome to attend. For details and to register: