About COPE

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) was established in 1997 by a small group of medical journal editors in the UK but now has over 9000 members worldwide from all academic fields. Membership is open to editors of academic journals and others interested in publication ethics. 

COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and, in particular, how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct. It also provides a forum for its members to discuss individual cases. COPE does not investigate individual cases but encourages editors to ensure that cases are investigated by the appropriate authorities (usually a research institution or employer).

All COPE members are expected to follow the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

COPE has produced an eLearning course for new editors. Eleven modules in total, the course currently includes: An Introduction to Publication Ethics, Plagiarism, and Authorship among others. COPE also funds research, organises annual seminars globally and has created an audit tool for members to measure compliance with its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

What guidance is available on this website (for members and non-members)?

Benefits of COPE membership

COPE members can:

  • receive advice on individual cases via the Forum
  • access the eLearning package
  • use the ethical audit tool to see how well their journals match COPE’s guidelines
  • use the COPE logo in their journal
  • stand for election to COPE Council

Find out about becoming a member