News / FORUM DISCUSSION TOPIC: Who “owns” peer reviews?

The Forum discussion topic on Wednesday 9 September is ‘Who “owns” peer review?’. Click below to learn more and please do leave your comments.

News / Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing: revised and updated

In early 2014, COPE, together with Directory of Open Access Journals  (DOAJ), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), published a minimum set of criteria for journals and publishers to be assessed against when they apply for membership at one of our organisations.

News / COPE Forum: 10 June 2015

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Wednesday 10 June, 10am–11.30am (British Summer Time). The COPE Forum will be held virtually via webinar. Click here for full details.

News / FORUM DISCUSSION TOPIC: comments please

The Forum discussion topic, on Wednesday 10 June, is “Prior publication and theses”. Click below to learn more and please do leave your comments.http://publicationethics.org/forum-discussion-topic-comments-please-3

News / COPE Workshop at 4th WCRI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 31–June 3, 2015

COPE will be leading a workshop at the 4th World Conference on Research Integrity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on publication ethics for editors, members of editorial boards and reviewers on Sunday May 31, 2015. This is an excellent opportunity for participants to discuss current trends in publication ethics, learn about how to handle possible misconduct and improve the quality of their reviews.

News / New Discussion Document: Addressing ethics complaints from complainants who submit multiple issues

A new discussion document from COPE on "Addressing ethics complaints from complainants who submit multiple issues" has now been published and can be read here: http://publicationethics.org/files/Addressing_ethics_complaints_from_complainants_who_submit_multiple_issues_%20Discussion_Document_Web_Version.pdf.

News / New guidelines from COPE: Sharing of Information Among Editors-in-Chief Regarding Possible Misconduct

New guidelines from COPE on 'Sharing of Information Among Editors-in-Chief Regarding Possible Misconduct' can be found here: http://publicationethics.org/files/Sharing%20_of_Information_Among_EiCs_....

News / COPE Forum: 10 March 2015 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Tuesday 10 March, 3–4.30pm (GMT). The COPE Forum will be held virtually via webinar. Click here for full details

News / COPE Forum: 10 June 2015 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Wednesday 10 June 2015, 9am–10.30am (British Summer Time). The COPE Forum will be held virtually via webinar. The agenda and materials can be downloaded here (PDF 712kb).

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.

News / FORUM DISCUSSION TOPIC: Coming back from disgrace

The Forum discussion topic on Tuesday 10 March is “Coming back from disgrace”. Click to learn more and please do leave your comments,

News / COPE is recruiting for a part-time, freelance Membership Administrator

COPE is recruiting for a freelance Membership Administrator to assist the Membership Committee and COPE Administrator with managing new member applications and supporting our existing membership.  The full job description and how to apply can be seen here.  

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. February 2015 (Vol. 3, Issue 2)

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

News / COPE statement on inappropriate manipulation of peer review processes

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)  has become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes of several journals across different publishers.

News / Nuffield Council on Bioethics report on the on The Culture of Scientific Research in the UK

We welcome the report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics: The Culture of Scientific Research in the UK. It is timely, coming as it does when there is increased scrutiny of the scientific literature, and importantly an increasing recognition of the need to address fundamental issues such as the lack of reproducibility in science.

News / COPE Forum: 9 December 2014 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Tuesday 9 December 2014, 9–10.30am (GMT). The COPE Forum will be held virtually via webinar. The agenda and materials can be downloaded here (PDF 709kb).

News / FORUM DISCUSSION TOPIC: Publication ethics issues in the social sciences

The Forum discussion topic on Tuesday 9 December is “Publication ethics issues in the social sciences”. Click here to learn more and please do leave your comments

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. November 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 11)

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

News / Second International Congress on Publication Ethics, Shiraz, Iran, 4–5 December 2014

The Second International Congress on Publication Ethics will be held in Shiraz, Iran, on 4–5 December 2014. This is a scientific partnership between COPE and Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. All individuals working in the field of scientific medical publications as well as those interested in ethical approaches to scientific publications are welcome to attend.

News / Publication ethics: fraud and misconduct

This ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers) Training Course has been developed in collaboration with COPE.

The training course will take place on Wednesday 5 November 2014, West One, London. The tutors include former COPE chair Liz Wager and Donna Neill (Wiley–Blackwell Publishing).

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. October 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 10)

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

News / What constitutes authorship? New COPE discussion document

A new discussion document looking at some of the issues around authorship has been published by COPE.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 23 September 2014 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Tuesday 23 September, 3–5pm (British Summer Time). The COPE Forum will be held virtually via webinar. Download the agenda and materials here (PDF, 805kb). 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.

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. September 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 9)

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

News / FORUM DISCUSSION TOPIC: Standard retraction form

The Forum discussion topic on Tuesday 23 September is related to producing a “Standard retraction form”. Read more and please do leave your comments.

News / Text recycling guidelines for editors

A common issue encountered by editors is overlap of text with an author’s own previously published work, particularly with the increasing use of plagiarism detection software. This practice is known as ‘text recycling’ (also sometimes referred to as ‘self-plagiarism’). Opinions on the acceptability of text recycling vary greatly and it can be a challenge for editors to know how to deal with it once it has been identified.

News / New COPE council members appointed

COPE is very pleased to announce the appointment of two new COPE council members, Christopher Leonard and Muhammad Irfan. Following our recent call for nominations, two candidates were short-listed by council following an interview. In accordance with our regulations, where the number of short-listed candidates is equal to the number of vacancies (ie, the candidates are unopposed), the nominees are appointed if approved by a majority of the members of Council.

News / COPE North American seminar 13 August 2014

Register for COPE's 5th North American seminar, which will be held in collaboration with ISMTE (International Society of Managing & Technical Editors), on Wednesday 13 August 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. For more details and to register, see here

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 8 July 2014 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 8 July 2014 here (PDF, 506kb)

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. June 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 6)

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

News / COPE Australian Seminar 23 June 2014

COPE is delighted to announce its 3rd Australian Seminar, which will take place at the Karstens Melbourne Conference Rooms, 123 Queen Street, Melbourne, Australia, on Monday 23 June 2014. The theme of the seminar is “Publication ethics from student to professional”. For more information and to register, click here.

News / COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. May 2014 (Vol. 2, Issue 5)

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

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.

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).

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: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-ES-14-005.html

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: http://publicationethics.org/cope-newsletter/2014/mar/cope-digest-public...

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.

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.

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 (http://publicationethics.org/about/council/behrooz-astaneh) and Geraldine Pearson (http://publicationethics.org/about/council/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
“EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLICATION ETHICS”

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

News / Election of COPE council members January 2014

Voting for the 2 vacancies on COPE council is now open and will remain open until Friday 24 January 2014. All Full and Associate Members are entitled to vote. Please note that there is only one vote per journal title, even for journals with multiple editors. The vote should be cast by the member editor, who is usually the editor-in-chief, or otherwise by the nominated contact for the journal. Editors of more than one journal will have a vote for each journal.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 4 December 2013 meeting

Download the agenda and materials (PDF, 433kb) for the COPE Forum meeting 4 December 2013.

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 expected to attend four meetings a year (at least 2 of which are in London and 2 may be attended by phone or other media). There is also an annual 1 day strategy meeting which Council Members are expected to attend.

News / Second issue of COPE Digest published

The second issue of COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice has now been published. It can be read here: http://publicationethics.org/cope-newsletter

News / COPE response to Science paper submission of fake paper, by Virginia Barbour, on behalf of COPE council

At COPE we have followed with intense interest the recent report in Science of a fake paper submitted to multiple journals, some of whom accepted it. There is no doubt that this "sting" raises a number of issues, that academic publishing and those who seek to improve it, need to tackle head on-though I'd argue they are not necessarily the ones that Science thinks are top priorities.

News / COPE Indian Seminar at the Annual Conference of IAMJE

COPE will be running a seminar entitled “Publication ethics in India: Inspiring excellence” on 15 November 2013 at the Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors (IAMJE), 16–17 November 2013. There will also be a Workshop on Scientific Writing for Authors on 15–16 November 2013 and a Workshop for Peer Reviewers on 17 November 2013.  COPE Vice-Chair, Charlotte Haug, and COPE Alumnus, Trish Groves, will be leading the seminar. 

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 4 September 2013 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 4 September 2013 here (PDF, 172kb).

News / COPE's eLearning course relaunched

COPE is delighted to announce the relaunch of the eLearning programme on the COPE website. COPE members can now access the programme directly on the COPE website http://publicationethics.org/resources/elearning once they have logged in.

News / Clarification of COPE advice to editors on Geopolitical intrusions on editorial decisions

There has been much discussion recently on government, specifically US government, sanctions against Iran, the potential effect on Iranian researchers and some publishers have cautioned editors and reviewers about handling papers from Iran.

News / EASE/ISMTE joint meeting

23-24 September 2013, Blankenberge, Belgium COPE will be holding an interactive workshop at the joint meeting of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE).

News / PLOS ONE study on the rise in scientific retractions

Still on the subject of retractions, a recent study published in PLOS ONe by R. Grant Steen, Arturo Casadevall, and Ferric C. Fang asks why are the number of scientific retractions rising?   Is it because the number of flawed articles being published are increasing, or that they are being retracted more quickly?  Click here to read the article in full.

News / Liz Wager discusses retractions in the BMJ

Liz Wager's recent blog in the BMJ discusss how tricky retractions can be, such as a recent one where the retraction was requested by the company who funded the study and whose employees carried out the research.  Although there were some errors in the study, the conclusions were valid.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 3 June 2013 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 3 June 2013 here (PDF 152kb).

News / Ginny Barbour guest speaker for iThenticate webcast series

Ginny Barbour was recently one of two guest speakers for iThenticate's Plagiarism Webcast Series: 5 biggest challenges from the front lines of scholarly publishing,  You can listen to Ginny discussing the challenges facing scholarly publishing, or see the transcript, here.  

News / Article on COPE's Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers published in ISMTE's newsletter, EON

Irene Hames discusses COPE's Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers in ISMTE's newsletter, EON.  You can read it here.  

(Thank you to ISMTE for making this freely available)

News / New COPE council members

COPE is very pleased to announce the appointment of four new COPE council members, following our recent elections: Mohammad Abdollahi, Deborah Poff, Michael Wise and Adrian Ziderman. Mohammad Abdollahi is editor in chief of DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, published by Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Mohammad is based in Tehran, Iran. Deborah Poff is editor in chief of the Journal of Academic Ethics. Deborah is based in Brandon, Canada.

News / Presentations from COPE 2013 European Seminar now online

The presentations and posters from the 2013 COPE European seminar are now available online. The theme of the seminar was “Publication ethics from student to professional” and includes presentations from Professor Pieter Drenth, Professor Emeritus at VU University of Amsterdam; Dr Irene Hames, COPE council member and former managing editor of The Plant Journal; and Gill Rowell, Academic Advisor at Turnitin.

News / Presentations from COPE 2013 Asia-Pacific Seminar now online

The presentations, posters and meeting report from the 2013 COPE Asia-Pacific seminar are now available online.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 12 March 2013 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 12 March 2013 here (PDF, 184kb).

Some guidelines on using the webinar system can be downloaded here (160 PDF, kb)

News / Election of COPE council members March 2013

Voting for the 4 vacancies on COPE council is now open and will remain open until Monday 25 February 2013. All Full and Associate Members are entitled to vote. The vote should be cast by the Member editor, who is usually the Editor-in-Chief, or otherwise by the nominated contact for the journal. See here for more details and to cast your vote.

News / COPE Discussion Document on responding to anonymous whistle blowers

COPE has received a number of requests from its members on how to respond to anonymous whistle blowers.  We have now developed our response in the format of a discussion document which can be seen here.

News / Videos from COPE North American Seminar now online

The videos of the presentations from the COPE North American seminar are now available on the website here.  They include presentations from Barbara Jasny, Deputy Editor of Science; Carol Anne Meyer from CrossRef; and Mark Seely, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Elsevier.  The topic is 'Correcting the literature'.

News / Election of COPE council members March 2013

Voting for the 4 vacancies on COPE council is now open and will remain open until Monday 25 February 2013. All Full and Associate Members are entitled to vote. The vote should be cast by the Member editor, who is usually the Editor-in-Chief, or otherwise by the nominated contact for the journal. See here for more details and to cast your vote.

News / Alltrials.net

Alltrials.net is a UK group behind a public campaign to call for all trials to be registered and all results reported. COPE has agreed to support this initiative with the following statement: "COPE supports the AllTrials initiative for all trials to be registered and all results reported.

News / COPE and ALPSP collaborate on new publication ethics course

ALPSP are hosting a new course, developed in collaboration with COPE, on 'Publication Ethics: Fraud and Misconduct'.  The course will be held on Monday, 4 March 2013, and will be led by ex-COPE Chair, Liz Wager, and Donna Neill, of John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.  Additionally, ALPSP are able to offer all COPE members its discounted ALPSP member rate for the course.

News / Upcoming CrossRef webinars

All of the webinars are free to attend and are also listed on the CrossRef webinar page.

Introduction to CrossMark Webinar

CrossMark is a new service from CrossRef, which will enable publishers to communicate changes and updates of their scholarly content on the web. Learn more about this new exciting initiative from CrossRef.

News / New book on competing interests published by the Esteve Foundation

The Esteve Foundation has recently published the latest volume of the Esteve Foundation Notebooks series titled “Competing interests in biomedical publications. Main guidelines and selected articles”, coordinated by Ana Marusic and Harvey Marcovitch.  COPE guidelines are referenced in the book.  The notebook is available through their website here

News / COPE grant on CrossCheck research update

The results of part of this research were presented at the CrossRef 2011 Annual Meeting, USA, 15 November 2011 (download the presentation, PDF 745kb). The purpose of this survey was to investigate journal editors’ use of CrossCheck to detect plagiarism, and their attitude to potential plagiarism once discovered.

News / Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to vacancies on Council, we are seeking nominations for three new candidates.

These are voluntary positions. Council is responsible for COPE’s policy and management. Council members are expected to attend four meetings a year (at least 2 of which are in London and 2 may be attended by phone or other media).

News / VIDEO: Charon Pierson discusses medical publication ethics with Turnitin

Charon Pierson, COPE council member and editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP), talks with Jason Chu from Turnitin about medical publication ethics and how editors and researchers can avoid plagiarism.

Watch Charon here (transcript available).

News / Ethical Editing – Winter 2012 issue

Download the Winter issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE.
This issue's theme is ''Making a commitment to ethical publication of research''.

This is the last edition of the Newsletter. Next year we will be exploring new ways of communicating with our members.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 4 December 2012 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 4 December 2012 here (PDF, 161kb).

News / Presentations from COPE European Seminar now online

The video presentations (and slides) from the COPE European Seminar on 'Correcting the Literature' (16 March 2012) are now available online here.  The video presentations from the North American Seminar will be available shortly.  

News / Apply for a COPE Research Grant - deadline 1 December 2012

The closing date for applications for COPE's research grant is 1 December 2012.  Any COPE member can apply for a grant (up to £5000) for a research project into publication ethics. See here for more details and an application form.

News / CSE/COPE Joint Webinar on Authorship: recordings now online

The recordings and presentations from the Council of Science Editors/COPE Joint Webinar on Authorship held on October 22, 2012 are now available to download from the CSE website.

News / SpotOn London 2012: Q&A with Dr Ginny Barbour

Leading up to the session on academic misconduct and fraud at SpotOn London, on 11-12 November, COPE chair Ginny Barbour did a Q&A for Nature. See here:

Opinion / European Science Editing: August issue

The August issue of European Science Editing can be downloaded here (PDF, 2MB).

Opinion / COPE Chair, Virginia Barbour, discusses retractions on BBC Radio 4

COPE Chair Ginny Barbour, Ivan Oransky from Retraction Watch, and Richard Van Noorden from Nature took part in a discussion on retractions on the BBC Radio 4 programme Material World (audio available).

Opinion / Research misconduct in the anaesthesiology community

Editor in chief of Anaesthesia and former COPE council member, Steve Yentis, has written three blogs on research misconduct: infamous names in anaesthesia—part one, part two and part three.

News / 1st COPE South American Seminar – Brazil, Monday 12 November 2012

"Correcting the literature"

Costão do Santinho Resort, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

COPE is pleased to announce its first seminar in South America, to be held on Monday, November 12 (8:30 am to 5 pm), in Brazil. The meeting will take place during the annual meeting of the Brazilian Association of Scientific Editors (ABEC), at the Costão do Santinho Resort, Florianópolis, 300 miles south of São Paulo.

Opinion / Retraction record rocks community

See report in Nature on the anaesthesiology community trying to move on after fraud investigations

News / Ethical Editing – Autumn 2012 issue

Download the Autumn issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE. This issue's theme is ''Connections''. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 11 September 2012 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Tuesday 11 September 2012, 3-5pm, in the Council Chamber, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 5-11 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SH. All COPE members are welcome to attend, whether or not they are presenting a case. Download the agenda and materials here (PDF, 179kb).

Opinion / Ending honorary authorship

"Credit for scientific research contributions must be clearly and appropriately assigned at the time of publication"......so begins as editorial in Science, calling for an end to honorary authorship. The articles goes on to say that "Research institutions should develop and promulgate clear statements in their research policies about the importance of upholding ethical standards of authorship". Read the full report here.

Opinion / Romanian scientists fight plagiarism

Researchers set up independent review panel after misconduct scandals hit government. See the article in Nature .

 

News / NEJM one of 850 new members of COPE in 2012

The New England Journal of Medicine is one of 850 new journals who have joined COPE this year.  Other new members include Hindawi Publishing Corporation (Egypt and USA), Ubiquity Press (UK), Libertas Academia (New Zealand), ediPUCRS (Brazil), the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and the American Institute of Physics (USA). 

Opinion / Updated EASE guidelines for authors and translators of scientific articles

The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) has issued the 2012 edition of EASE Guidelines, available in 20 languages. The updated edition includes some new material, such as practical tips for junior researchers. Besides, EASE supports the global initiative Healthcare Information For All by 2015 (www.HIFA2015.org) by advising authors to make abstracts of their papers highly informative, reliable, and easily understandable.

News / COPE Flowcharts now available in Persian

14 of the 17 COPE flowcharts are now available in Persian.  The remaining three (fabricated data in a submitted manuscript, fabricated data in a published manuscript, and how COPE deals with complaints againt member journals) will be available shortly.  The Persian flowcharts join the Italian, Spanish, French and Chinese versions already available.  Korean, Japanese, Turkish and Croatian will be coming soon.

Opinion / Scientific misconduct being taken more seriously globally?

Nature discussues how scientific misconduct is now starting to be taken much more seriously worldwide.  The article states how different countries are starting to strengthen their response to scientific misconduct and that research integrity is now very much in the world's spotlight.  The UK has a [voluntary] concordat for which universities have agreed to adopt, obliging them to investigate allegations of misconduct.  A study in the US, due in 2013, is likely to call for changes in how misconduct is defined and policed by US agencies.

News / Joint Statement of the II Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics (II BRISPE)

The final version of the Joint Statement on Research Integrity, has now been released by the II Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics (II BRISPE).   The statement has a number of recommendations for institutions to encourage them contribute to fostering research integrity initiatives in Brazil.

Opinion / Retraction Watch looks into how institutions can prevent scientific misconduct

Retraction Watch reports on a study by Donald Kornfeld, published last month in Academic Medicine where Kornfeld reviewed 146 US Office of Research integrity (ORI) cases from 1992 to 2003.  He found that approximately "1/3 of the accused were support staff, 1/3 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and 1/3 faculty.  Accusations of fabrication represented 45% of the offenses, falsification 66%, and plagiarism 12%".  Read more here.

Opinion / Concordat to Support Research Integrity

Professor Mike Farthing, vice-chair of the UK Research Integrity Office, founding chair of COPE and vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, has written an article in the Times Higher Education on research misconduct in the UK.

News / Nature Publishing Group wins libel case

Nature Publishing Group has won the libel case brought against them by Mohamed El Naschie, former editor of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals (CSF) regarding an article published in 2008: ‘Self-publishing editor set to retire’.  Read more on the judgement here.

 

 

News / 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity

The 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity is due to take place in Montréal, Canada between 5 - 8 May 2013.  

The conference will focus international attention on research integrity, responsible conduct of research, and publication of research.  Attendees will have opportunities to learn the current state of worldwide progress on research integrity, discuss new challenges and emerging topics, and help shape national and international responses.

News / COPE North American Seminar and Forum 2012

COPE is pleased to announce its 4th North American Seminar and Forum. The COPE Forum will take place on the afternoon of 18 October (2–5 pm) followed by a whole day Seminar on 19 October.
The theme of this year’s Seminar is “Correcting the literature”. More details can be found here.

News / COPE Forum agenda and materials: 18 June 2012 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Monday 18 June 2012, 3-5pm, in the Council Chamber, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 5-11 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SH. All COPE members are welcome to attend, whether or not they are presenting a case. Download the agenda and materials here (PDF, 180kb)

News / Ethical Editing – Summer 2012 issue

Download the Summer issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE. This issue's theme is '' Correcting the literature''.

We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

News / COPE Research Grant - deadline 1 June 2012

The closing date for applications for COPE's research grant is 1 June 2012.  Any COPE member can apply for a grant (up to £5000) for a research project into publication ethics. See http://www.publicationethics.org/resources/research for more details and an application form.

Opinion / What constitutes 'self-plagiarism'?

Last month, Nature News blog reported on an emminent chemist who was investigated for 'self-plagiarism' or duplicate publication.  Apparently a number of paragraphs were almost identical in a number of papers he published.  The most recent paper, published in Journal of the American Chemical Association, has since been retracted with the statement: "This article was removed by the publisher due to possible copyright concerns.

Opinion / Nature discusses proposed libel reforms in the UK

An article in Nature discusses the proposed libel reform law that was included in last week's Queen's Speech.  This legislation directly addresses the concerns of researchers and scientific groups. You can read the full article here.

News / COPE receives top award from Council of Science Editors

COPE has been awarded CSE's highest honour for its significant contribution to improving scientific communication by promoting high editorial standards.

News / Appointment of new COPE Ombudsman

COPE is very pleased to announce the appointment of the new COPE Ombudsman, Suzanne Morris. Suzanne Morris is the Postgraduate Coordinator at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Australia. Suzanne also holds the role of Research Integrity Officer at the University of Queensland.

News / Election of COPE council members May 2012

Voting for the 5 vacancies on COPE council is now open and will remain open until Wednesday 23 May 2012. All Full and Associate Members are entitled to vote. Please note: there is only one vote per journal title, even for  journals with multiple editors. The vote should be cast by the Member editor, who is usually the Editor-in-Chief, or otherwise by the nominated contact for the journal.

Opinion / Nature Editorial on Publishing Risky Research

There has been much discussion recently on how journals handle risky or "dual use" research - ie research that has the potential to be used for harm. A Nature Editorial (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7396/full/485005a.html) now discusses where things stand with regard to a pair of papers submitted to Science and Nature of papers reporting mammalian transmissibility of avian flu as a result of artificial genetic manipulation.

Opinion / New declaration on Publication Ethics in China

Recent articles in the Scientist and Nature discuss publication ethics in China and point to a recent declaration by editors of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) to follow guidelines issued by CAST in 2009. This declaration is one part of increasing awareness of the importance of publication ethics and the need for journals within China to address the issue.

Opinion / New York Times reports on the sharp rise in retractions

The NYT discusses how the sharp rise in retractions is prompting calls for reform.  Read the full article here.

News / Revised and updated flowchart

How COPE manages complaints against member journals has been revised and updated and is now available via the website here.  Note: this revision has not yet been incorporated into the translated versions of the flowcharts.  These will be available shortly. 

Opinion / Anesthesia and Analgesia publish editorial re: Fujii Statement of Concern

Anesthesia & Analgesia have published an editorial which discusses the retraction of eight manuscripts by Dr. Yoshitaka Fujii published under the auspices of Toho University, as well as his dismissal from the university.  The editorial continues by discussing the journal's concern over papers published by Dr Fujii in Anesthesia & Analegesia - concerns which were fist highlighted to the Editors in a Letter to the Editor by Kranke, Apfel, and Roewer alleging research fraud by Dr. Fujii back in April 2000.

News / Ethical Editing – Spring 2012 issue

Download the Spring issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE.
This issue's theme is ''15 Years of COPE!''. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

News / Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to vacancies on Council, we are seeking nominations for five new candidates.

News / New guidelines on cooperation between journals and institutions

After extensive consultation with institutions and editors around the world, COPE has issued guidelines about how universities and journals should cooperate on cases of suspected research misconduct. The new guidelines are available here and the press release announcing the guidelines is here.  

News / 2nd Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics

The 2nd Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre between 28 May 2012 and 1 June 2012.  Click here for more information.  

Opinion / New study published on retractions in biomedical papers

A new study on retractions shows that the system is effective for alerting the community to invalid work.  The Scholarly Kitchen discusses an article ("Governing knowledge in the scientific community: Exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine“ pub in Research Policy, March 2012 by, J Furman, K Jensen, and F Murray) that reports on a study of 677 article retractions identified in MEDLINE between 1972 and 2006.

News / COPE Forum agenda for 5 March 2012 meeting

The next COPE Forum meeting is being held on Monday 5 March 2012, 3-5pm, in the Council Chamber, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 5-11 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SH. All COPE members are welcome to attend, whether or not they are presenting a case. Download the agenda and materials here  (PDF, 136kb).

News / Election of COPE Secretary

Voting for the post of COPE Secretary is now open and will remain open until Friday 2 March 2012. All full and associate members of COPE are entitled to vote. For more details and to vote, click here.

News / Joint COPE/BMJ consensus statement on research misconduct published

A joint COPE/BMJ consensus statement on research misconduct in the UK has been published both on the COPE and BMJ websites (available here).  The consensus statement relates to the recent high-level meeting on research misconduct organised by COPE and the BMJ.

News / COPE flowcharts now available in French

The full set of the COPE flowcharts are now available in French.  They can be downloaded from the website here.

News / Code of Conduct for Journal Editors now available in Chinese

The Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors has now been translated into Chinese.

Opinion / Video misconduct evidence from Japanese whistleblower

According to Science, a whistleblower in Japan has posted a video on YouTube containing allegations of image manipulation.

Opinion / Brits are getting less honest

According to a survey from the Centre for the Study of Integrity, people in the UK are less honest than they were 10 years ago and younger people are more tolerant of dishonesty.

News / Audio versions of December Forum cases now online

You can now listen to the cases presented at the December COPE Forums in audio. Listen to the full discussion and hear how the Forum members debated the issue and the conclusions they arrived at. The December cases start from Case Number 11-23 (Possible overlapping publications/data). See here

Opinion / Supervisor criticised for student who plagiarised

The US Office of Research Integrity has taken action against a researcher who committed plagiarism and his supervisor who failed to report the problem according to a report in Nature.

News / Reports of COPE/BMJ meeting on research misconduct

Initial reports of the meeting on research misconduct organized jointly by COPE and the BMJ have been published in the BMJ and also in Nature which has also published an editorial.  A full report of the meeting, including a consensus statement, will

Opinion / Editor sacked after papers are retracted

According to Retraction Watch, the co-editor-in-chief of Antioxidants & Redox Signaling has been dismissed from his position after being found guilty of data fabrication and falsification, and having several papers retracted.  This is also reported in the journal in an editorial .

Opinion / Prevalence of plagiarism and use of text-matching software

A research group from Croatia has produced a useful paper on their experiences of using various kinds of text-matching software to detect plagiarism. They found 11% of papers submitted to the Croatian Medical Journal from 2009-10 included plagiarised material. Their paper is published in Science and Engineering Ethics.

Opinion / Plagiarism in a global context

Cameron et al observe that most scientists publishing in English-language journals are not native English speakers and discuss the implications for training about plagiarism in an article in Academic Medicine

News / BMJ / COPE meeting on research misconduct

 

COPE and the BMJ have organized a high-level meeting on research misconduct with speakers from several countries. The topic is also covered by an editorial in the BMJ. The editorial is available to BMJ subscribers here, and on the COPE website here.

Opinion / Managing research misconduct

The BMJ has published a review of different countries' approaches to handling research misconduct (available here).

Opinion / Journal sued for criticising editor

According to the BBC (see here), Nature is being sued for libel after making allegations that an editor published his own work in his journal and circumvented normal peer review processes.

News / North American seminar presentations now available online

The slides and audio of the three presentations at the recent North American seminar are now available for downloading here. Listen to Lisa Bero discuss ghost and guest authorship, Dave Kochalko talk about ORCID, and Robert Guralnik discuss authorship issues in mathematics.

News / Appointment of COPE Ombudsman

COPE is seeking applications for the position of COPE Ombudsman.
This is a voluntary position but COPE will cover travel expenses. The Ombudsman adjudicates:

News / COPE offers two scholarships to attend COPE's European seminar

COPE member editors from developing countries are invited to apply for one of two scholarships to attend COPE’s European seminar and annual general meeting, to be held in London on March 16th, 2012. 

News / Ethical Editing – Winter 2011 issue

Download the Winter issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE.
This issue's theme is ''Ethics around the globe''. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

News / Global standards for authors and editors tackle thorny issues such as research bias and misleading publicity

During the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity in Singapore in 2010, COPE helped develop two position statements setting out international standards for responsible research publication for editors and authors. They have been published as part of the conference proceedings under a Creative Commons licence* (details of the proceedings are available from the publisher, here).

News / COPE Forum agenda for 6 December 2011 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 6 December 2011 here  (PDF, 167kb).

Opinion / Plagiarism and fake authorship in engineering

Retraction Watch reports a case in which an engineering researcher was plagiarized but the journal editor could not determine who was responsible, or report the problem to the author's institution, because the plagiarist apparently used a false name (and/or false affiliation). 

Opinion / Psychology of fraud

Social psychologist Jennifer Crocker has written a commentary on the Stapel case focusing on the 'first tiny step' that may lead to somebody commiting research fraud. It is published in this week's Nature.

Opinion / Misconduct in social psychology investigated

Nature reports the outcome of university investigations into misconduct by a Dutch researcher. While the misconduct is serious and therefore troubling, this appears to be a good example of a thorough, prompt, and transparent investigation carried out by the institution. The full report (in Dutch) is available here. The news item in Nature is available here.

Opinion / Study shows prevalence of guest and ghost authors

 

A study published in the BMJ [see here] found that 21% of papers published in 2008 in 6 major medical journals had guest or ghost authors.  This is a slight decrease since a similar study in 1996 found 29% but still a cause for concern. Guest authorship appears to be a particular problem in research articles.

Opinion / COPE cases show problems at institutions

COPE Chair, Liz Wager, has used COPE cases to show the problems editors sometimes face when they try to work with institutions on cases of suspected misconduct. The report has been published online in the BMJ this week. It is available to BMJ subscribers here and on the COPE website here.

News / COPE's eLearning course now live

An eLearning course for editors, developed by COPE, is now live on the website.  Available to members only, the course aims to give editors a deeper understanding of publication ethics and provides practical guidance on how to detect, prevent and handle misconduct.  A press release with more information is available here.

News / Election of COPE council members Autumn 2011

Voting for the 2 vacancies on COPE council is now open and will remain open until Friday 28 October 2011. All Full and Associate Members are entitled to vote. Please note: there is only one vote per journal title, even for  journals with multiple editors. The vote should be cast by the Member editor, who isusually the Editor-in-Chief, or otherwise by the nominated contact for the journal.

News / iThenticate publish white paper on how globalization and technology are increasing misconduct in scholarly research

iThenticate have published a white paper titled: Pressure to Publish, How Globalization and Technology are increasing Misconduct in Scholarly Research, with contributions from the COPE Chair Liz Wager.  To read the paper see here.

News / Applicants now being sought for the COPE International Advisory Board

COPE is pleased to announce that applications are now being sought for the COPE international advisory board. This has been established to enable us to gain an understanding of the ethical issues and concerns facing individual countries and regions.  A local point of contact will be appointed to advise and assist COPE in its work to support editors and publishers of peer-reviewed journals in all aspects of publication ethics.

News / Chinese version of COPE flowcharts now available!

The COPE flowcharts are now available in Chinese on the website.  14 of the full set of 17 flowcharts have been translated, the remaining 3 will be available shortly.  The Chinese version joins Italian and Spanish on the website.  Following soon are: Croatian, Turkish, Korean, Farsi (Persian), Japanese, Brazilian Portugese and Arabic.  We are always looking for new translations.

News / Annual Scientific Congress of Iranian Society of Medical Editors in association with COPE

COPE is very pleased to announce that it will have its first international congress on publication ethics in Shiraz, Iran, 24–25 November 2011. The congress is in association with the Iranian Society of Medical Editors and is supported by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. The meeting will be held in the five star Homa Hotel (http://www.homahotels.com/Summary.aspx).

Opinion / UK working group on research transparency

The UK Minister for Science has announced the formation of a working group on research transparency which will examine how UK-funded research findings can be made more accessible, with a particular focus on 'academic publications'. A press release is available here.

Opinion / Problems with data availability

A study published in PLoS One by Alsheikh-Ali and colleagues highlights the diversity of data sharing policies in high impact journals and researchers' failure to adhere to policies when they do exist. Only 9% of the 500 papers included links to full online data sets and nearly 60% of the papers covered by a data availability policies failed to follow them properly.

Opinion / Ethics (and legal implications) of science communication

According to a report in Nature, scientists and officials in Italy face legal proceedings about how they communicated risk to the public regarding earthquakes following the major quake which killed more than 300 people in L'Aquila in 2009.

News / Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to vacancies on Council, we are seeking nominations for two new candidates, as our constitution requires.

News / Ethical Editing – Autumn 2011 issue

Download the Autumn issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE.
This issue's theme is ''Evaluating current ethical practices''. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

Opinion / COPE-funded research on authorship published

Ana Marusic and colleagues have published a systematic review on the meaning, ethics and practices across scholarly disciplines showing  a high prevalence of authorship problems. It is available from PLos One. This study was funded by a COPE research grant and preliminary results were presented at this year's UK seminar.

Opinion / Debate about conflicts of interest

The BMJ recently published an editorial suggesting that authors with ties to industry should not be permitted to publish editorials. This has prompted an interesting debate (via the journal's rapid responses) about how journals should handle conflicts of interest.

Opinion / Editor apologizes for plagiarized paper

Retraction Watch reports an editorial comment in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology about a plagiarized article which the journal has retracted. The editor explains how his journal uses CrossCheck and why peer review can't be expected to detect plagiarism. This comment, in turn, has attracted comments from Retraction Watch readers which may also be of interest to editors. See here.

Opinion / iThenticate paper on self-plagiarism

iThenticate (an organization that produces text-matching software) has produced a paper on the ethics of self-plagiarism. It can be found here.

News / COPE Forum agenda for 6 September 2011 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 6 September 2011 here  (PDF, 179kb).

Opinion / Data sharing developments

A report from the Publishing Open Data Working Group discusses various proposals and provides useful links on the question of data sharing. The report can be found here. COPE has submitted evidence to a Royal Society policy inquiry and will be represented at a meeting to discuss this in September.

Opinion / Problems with retractions

A report in Nature concludes that several flawed papers have not been retracted (and mentions the COPE guidelines).

News / COPE is now on LinkedIn!

If you are a member of LinkedIn you can join the COPE group.  Click here to stay up to date with ethical issues.

Opinion / Scientific Red Cards

A group of scientists are proposing an online database of research and publication misconduct to be known as Scientific Red Cards. They are calling on researchers to join the initiative. The website can be found here.

News / Call for Cases for COPE Forum, 6 September

We are now accepting cases for the next COPE Forum, 3.00 - 5.00pm on Tuesday 6 September 2011.  The meeting will take place at The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 5-11 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SH .  Cases can be submitted here.  Closing date for submissions is Tuesday 23 August.

Opinion / Concerns about ethical review of research

An article in Nature discusses problems with commercial review boards which may get greater powers in the United States.

Opinion / Indian university responds swiftly to editors' concerns

According to Retraction Watch, Kalasalingam University in Tamil Nadu, India, has sacked a professor and revoked the registration of six graduate students in response to evidence from journal editors of data manipulation.

Opinion / Can guest authors of ghostwritten articles be sued?

Simon Stern and Trudo Lemmens (from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) discuss legal sanctions which might be taken against guest authors of ghostwritten articles in PLoS Medicine.

 

Opinion / New developments in citation information

An article in Nature reports on new free-to-access tools from Google and Microsoft which enable researchers to analyse citation metrics. Google Scholar Citations and Microsoft Academic Search allow researchers to create their own citation profile and analyse citations to their work.

Opinion / NIH drops plans for CoI website

According to a report in Nature, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shelved plans to require institutions to create websites listing researchers' financial sources. Commentators have noted that this will make it harder to identify conflicts of interest.

Opinion / UK parliament report calls for research integrity officers at all institutions

A report from the UK House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into peer review recommends, among other things, that all institutions should appoint somebody to take a lead in research integrity. This was one of the recommendations made by COPE to the inquiry. The full report is available here.

Opinion / Indian scientists call for research integrity organization

Scientists in India have called for a body to investigate research misconduct. See the report here

Opinion / More from the COPE retraction project

A second paper has been published from the retraction research funded by COPE. It used qualitative methods to examine editors' experiences of retracting articles. See Williams P & Wager E. Exploring why and how journal editors retract articles: findings from a qualitative study. Science & Engineering Ethics: doi 10.1007/s11948-011-9292-0. Available here.

News / eLearning course due to launch September 2011

The COPE eLearning course on publication ethics is due to  launch in September 2011.  The course consists of eleven modules in total, four of which will be released in September.  These are: An Introduction to Publication Ethics, Plagiarism, Fabrication and Falsification.  The remaining seven modules will be released subsequently.  For more information contact us here.

Opinion / Ethical concerns of peer reviewers

An interesting study published in Nursing Ethics by Broome et al examined ethical concerns of peer reviewers and discovered that these are not always satisfactorily handled by editors.

Opinion / Editor's dilemmas over non-repeatable research

The New York Times (June 25th) reports on the difficulties for editors over whether to retract reports of findings that cannot be replicated and also the problems caused if journals are reluctant to publish confirmatory or negative studies.

Opinion / Student assignment highlights plagiarised article

According to Retraction Watch, an author discovered his work had been plagiarised when he asked students in his class to give a presentation on a recent paper they'd picked from a peer-reviewed journal. The researcher recognised his own work from the student's presentation and, when he checked the article, found it included large plagiarised sections.

Opinion / NY Times reports fraudulent clinical trial

The New York Times describes how a paper describing a method for determining which treatment cancer patients should get was used as the basis for a clinical trial (therefore putting patients at risk) before being retracted. A fuller description of the case has also been published in Annals of Applied Statistics 2009; 3:1309-1334.

 

Opinion / Problems with research integrity governance in the UK

The Times Higher Education Supplement reports on current problems with organizations involved with research integrity in the UK (see here).

(Note: COPE is represented on the UKRIO advisory board and donated money to help get UKRIO established)

News / COPE North American Seminar and Forum 2011

COPE is pleased to announce its 3rd North American Seminar and Forum. The COPE Forum will take place on the afternoon of 31st October (2–5 pm) followed by a whole day Seminar on 1st November.
The theme of this year’s Seminar is Authorship. More details can be found here.

Opinion / US court ruling on access to drug safety data

The New England Journal of Medicine (29 June) discusses the implications of a recent US court ruling requiring a drug company to make safety data available to shareholders. Although the ruling doesn't relate directly to journals it's interesting in the light of current debates about publishing raw data from clinical trials.See here.

 

News / Election of COPE council members 2011

Voting for the 3 vacancies on COPE council is now open and will remain open until Friday 8 July 2011. All Full and Associate Members are entitled to vote. Please note: there is only one vote per journal title, even for  journals with multiple editors. The vote should be cast by the Member editor, who isusually the Editor-in-Chief, or otherwise by the nominated contact for the journal.

News / Submit your poster for the Asia Pacific Seminar

In a new venture for COPE, we welcome you to submit your publication ethics work for presentation as a poster at COPE’s first Asia-Pacific Seminar in Australia.  The topics considered will be publication ethics-oriented research or information about ethical policies, techniques, collaborations, and initiatives that COPE members and others attending the COPE seminar will be interested in learning about.

News / Final 3 flowcharts now available in Spanish

The final three flow charts have now been translated into Spanish and are available here.  

These are: Advice on how to spot authorship problems; Suspected guest, ghost or gift authorship; and What to do if you suspect a reviewer has appropriated an author’s idea or data.

News / Ethical Editing – Summer 2011 issue

Download the Summer issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE.
This issue's theme is 'Exploring the ethical landscape'. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

Opinion / Editors criticised for not checking authors' conflicts of interest

An article in Reuters Health criticises journal editors for not checking authors' conflicts of interests and claims several dermatology papers do not provide adequate disclosure. The journal (and other editors) explain that they believe this is the authors' responsibility. NOTE: this item is included on the COPE website NOT because we believe the journal in question behaved improperly but because we thought editors should be aware of public perceptions about conflicts of interest.

News / COPE announces 1st Asia Pacific seminar and 3rd North American seminar

COPE has just posted details regarding its 1st Asia Pacific Seminar and Forum.  Taking place in Melbourne, Australia on 14 November 2011, the theme is PUBLICATION ETHICS AT THE FOUR POINTS OF THE JOURNAL EDITING COMPASS.  See here for more details.  Registration is now open.

Opinion / Head of German research centre resigns because of plagiarism

According to Laborjournal, the Managing Director of Research Center Borstel has resigned after he was found to have committed plagiarism.

Details and links to the German sources are available at Retraction Watch

http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/borstel-update-former-di...

 

News / COPE Forum agenda for 6 June 2011 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 6 June 2011 here.  (PDF, 194kb).

News / Spanish version of flowcharts now available

14 out of the 17 COPE flowcharts are now available in Spanish and can be downloaded here.  We hope to have the full set available here shortly.  

News / COPE Research Grant - deadline looming

A reminder that the deadline for applications for the COPE research grant is 1 June 2011.  Any COPE member can apply for a grant (up to £5000) for a research project into publication ethics.

News / Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to expansion of the size of COPE Council, we are seeking nominations for two new candidates.

News / COPE's first discussion document on plagiarism published

When aspects of publication ethics are particularly fast-moving or controversial COPE cannot always provide detailed guidance. Consequently, in a new venture for COPE, we are intending to publish a series of discussion documents with the aim to stimulate discussion rather than tell editors what to do. We hope that, by raising the issues, we can contribute to the debate within the academic publishing community and work towards agreement or definition of difficult problems.

News / The Royal Society seeks input into new study

The Royal Society is seeking input from academia, business, industry, Government, interest groups and members of the public for a new, major policy study on the use of scientific information as it affects scientists and society. It will ask how scientific information should be managed to support innovative and productive research that reflects public values. See http://bit.ly/k0vnv8 for more details.

News / Italian version of flowcharts now available

An Italian version of the COPE flowcharts are now available and can be downloaded here.   Coming soon: Farsi, Spanish, Korean, and others! More details can be seen here.

News / Chair of COPE gives evidence to parliamentary committee on peer review inquiry

You can  watch Liz Wager, COPE Chair, give evidence to the Science and Technology Committee on peer -review here.

News / COPE Research Grant - deadline is 1 June 2011

The closing date for applications for COPE's research grant is 1 June 2011.  Any COPE member can apply for a grant (up to £5000) for a research project into publication ethics. See http://www.publicationethics.org/resources/research for more details and an application form.

News / Report from I BRISPE now published

The report from I BRISPE (the 1st Brazilian meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics) has now been published.  The meeting took place in December 2010, and was attended by the COPE Chair, Liz Wager, who also presented at the 5 day meeting.  

News / NEW guide! A Short Guide to Ethical Editing for New Editors

COPE Council member, Margaret Rees, has written a guide to ethical editing for new editors.  Becoming an editor of a journal is an exciting but daunting task especially if you are working alone without day to day contact with editorial colleagues. This short guide aims to summarize key issues and to provide links to relevant pages of the COPE website as well as those of other organisations.

Opinion / COPE retraction study published

The results of a COPE research grant, awarded to Liz Wager and Peter Williams in December 2007 has now been published. 'Why and how do journal retract articles?  An analysis of Medline retractions 1988-2008' appears as an Online First in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

News / New Website goes live!

The redesigned COPE website has now been launched. 

The site has been designed to make it easier for users to navigate around the site and access the resources quickly and easily.

Highlights of the new website include improved navigation and a more intuitive and accurate search facility. 

Opinion / Researcher banned for 10 years

The American Society for Microbiology, having retracted several papers by a Japanese researcher because of image manipulation, has issued a 10-year ban on the author from publishing in any of its journals, according to Retraction Watch and Science.

News / Attention COPE members! Changes to the website

The COPE website is undergoing a redesign which involves moving the members database. While this is ongoing, members will not be able to change their details on the website. Members will be able to continue using the website, browsing all the content. Members will also be able to login and submit cases, but will not be able to change their personal details or the details of the

News / COPE UK Seminar 2011

The COPE UK Seminar 2011 will be held in London on Friday 18 March 2011.
The theme of this year’s seminar is authorship and falsification/fabrication of data. Editors, authors and all those interested in improving the standard of publication ethics are welcome to attend. To register, please complete the registration form here.

News / Registry for systematic reviews created

A registry for the protocols of systematic reviews has been created. The aim of encouraging registration of systematic reviews (as for clinical trials) is to ensure the results are reported responsibly and according to the original design, and also to reduce non-publication of negative findings.

Opinion / BMJ article challenges COPE retraction guidelines

An article in the BMJ considers the role of retractions and questions whether the COPE guidelines are tough enough.

The article is available here and comment from BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee is here

News / Ethical Editing – Winter 2010 issue

Download the Winter issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE (http://publicationethics.org/newsletters).
This issue's theme is ‘misconduct’. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

News / COPE Forum agenda for 7 December 2010 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 7 December 2010 Forum (Download PDF, 139kb).

News / First Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics (I BRISPE), December 2010

I BRISPE joins together the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the Brazilian Center for Physics Research (CBPF), the Institute for Information in Science and Technology (IBICT), the University of São Paulo (USP) and the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in association with the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).
The I BRISPE will involve 4 full-day round tables and 3 workshops (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), which will be held on December 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16, 2010.

News / 4th International Conference on Information Law and Ethics, May 2011

4th International Conference on Information Law and Ethics 2011, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 20-21, 2011
Organized by: INSEIT/Ionian University/Macedonian University/Thessaloniki Law School
ICIL 2011 is sponsored by the International Society for Ethics and Technology (US), the Institute for Legal Informatics (Germany), the International Center for Information Ethics (Germany) and NEXA Center for Internet and Society (Italy)
For more details and information on call for papers please see the website: http://conferences.ionio.gr/icil2011

Opinion / UKRIO retraction guidelines for researchers

 The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) has developed guidelines for researchers based on COPE's retraction guidelines (and in collaboration with COPE). They are available here.

Opinion / Publication Ethics in the News - week ending Oct 8

An editorial in JAMA announced that beginning November 1 2010 they will request all authors who submit manuscripts to complete and submit the ICMJE disclosure form on competing interests. This new competing interests form has been developed by the ICMJE and was announced earlier this year. It’s not yet clear how widespread its adoption will be – especially given the need for a new version of Adobe Acrobat that many users do not yet have.

News / Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to vacancies on Council, we are seeking nominations for three new candidates, as our constitution requires.

Opinion / Publication Ethics in the News - week ending Oct 1

The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity was released. As the site notes it was the product of the collective effort and insights of the 340 individuals from 51 countries who participated in the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity. These included researchers, funders, representatives of research institutions (universities and research institutes) and research publishers. Liz Wager and Sabine Kleinert, the chair and vice chair of COPE respectively, participated in this conference.

News / European Association of Science Editors - Short Course February 2011 - How to be a successful journal editor

EASE (European Association of Science Editors) is hosting Pippa Smart's How To Be A Successful Journal Editor course on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February 2011 in Warsaw, Poland. Pippa Smart will run her very popular course at the National Cancer Centre in Warsaw, kindly hosted by Edward Towpik. More information about course content can be found here: http://www.pspconsulting.org/journals.shtml

Opinion / Chinese government to crack down on 'weak' journals

According to a Nature news item the Chinese government, responding to concerns about the low quality of some local Chinese journals, aims to close 'weak' journals. This raises some interesting ethical questions. Should we be concerned about a government controlling academic publishing or pleased that it is seeking to raise standards?

Opinion / Screening for plagiarism / duplication

 There's an interesting paper in PLoS One about use of the eTBLAST software to screen for text similarity (and therefore plagiarism and redundancy).  See:

Systematic Characterizations of Text Similarity in Full Text Biomedical Publications Zhaohui Sun, Mounir Errami, Tara Long, Chris Renard, Nishant Choradia, Harold Garner http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012704

News / Applications for COPE's Grant Scheme now open!

Have a research project on publication ethics but don't have the funding? Twice a year, COPE offers up to £5000 to any member of COPE for a defined research project that is in the broad area of the organisation's interests.

Opinion / Discussion on self-plagiarism at the Scientist

There's a debate going on over at the Scientist about the thorny issue of self plagiarism, and when/ if it constitutes poor practice. I used to work for someone who started every paper, research or review, with the same short paragraph and we could all recite it like a mantra - and by general agreement it was felt to be the best, most succinct way to introduce the topic, which noone else has yet bettered.

Opinion / New body recommended to take lead on UK research integrity

It’s a rather surprising thing, given the amount of research in the UK, that the UK, unlike the US for example, does not have an established body to oversee research integrity, even that funded by the government.

UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) currently fulfils some of that function but does not have long-term funding and was established to deal primarily with issues in just health and biomedical sciences.

Opinion / Problems with getting due credit in publishing in academic chemistry

There’s coverage in the Times Higher Education  of a paper on the perception of academic credit among academic chemists in the US, published in the journal Accountability in Research in July 2010.

Opinion / Should editorials be signed?

There’s a new post at the Scientist about differing practices among journals on the signing of editorials. The piece only discusses biomedical journals - among those relatively few journals have ones just signed by the journal; more and more are signed directly by the authors and some (like the journal I work at) does something in between. We’d be interested to hear what journals at COPE do, especially those outside of biomedicine – are there differences in tradition according to the journal's speciality?

News / Forum agenda for 6 September 2010 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 6 September 2010 Forum (Download PDF, 168kb).

News / Ethical editing – Autumn 2010 issue

Download the Autumn issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE (http://publicationethics.org/newsletters).
This issue's theme is ‘Correcting editorial inequalities’. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

News / COPE Competition!

Can you sum up COPE in a single phrase? We're looking for a new slogan for our homepage. Can you suggest something better than 'Helping journals to get their houses in order'? If we get lots of good suggestions we may ask members to vote on them. There's no prize except the chance to know your creative talents have contributed to our website! Click on the link below to submit your suggestion.

Opinion / Open peer review experiment at the Shakespeare Quarterly

The New York Times just posted an interesting story of how a group of scholars in the humanities are experimenting with open peer review. The experiment is happening in the Shakespeare Quarterly in a special issue on, appropriately, Shakespeare and New Media.

News / Dates of future COPE meetings

2011

Monday 7 March 2011 (deadline for cases 21 February)

Monday 6 June 2011 (deadline for cases 23 May)

Tuesday 6 September 2011 (deadline for cases 23 August)

Tuesday 6 December 2011 (deadline for cases 22 November)

Opinion / No director in sight for the ORI?

A recent item on the site of the Report on Research Compliance (run by the National Council of University Research Administrators)  discussed the longstanding vacancy at the head of the Office for Research Integrity in the USA.

Opinion / Costs of research misconduct

All too often the efforts of editors to expose misconduct in research and publication come to nothing because the authors' institutions either ignore the problem or fail to act on it.

Opinion / Manuscript editors and plagiarism

 The August issue of European Science Editing (the EASE journal) contains an interesting article by Mary Ellen Kerans and Marje de Jager about how manuscript editors can detect plagiarism and help authors avoid it. The article includes helpful definitions of problems such as copy-paste writing and micro-plagiarism. 

European Science Editing 36(3):62-5

www.ease.org.uk

 

Opinion / 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity

COPE Vice-Chair, Sabine Kleinert has reported on the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity in Singapore and COPE’s involvement in developing international standards for authors and editors in a Lancet commentary.

Opinion / Blog highlights retractions

Two US journalists have created a blog about retractions (http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com). They argue that retractions are an important mechanism for correcting the research literature but may not be easy to find or well-publicised.

Opinion / Outcome Reporting Among Drug Trials Registered in ClinicalTrials.gov

A paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week looked at associations between the funding sources of 546 registered trials of drugs in 5 commonly prescribed classes and published outcomes, using data from clinicaltrials.gov.

News / Building an international register of ongoing systematic reviews: have your say

In response to growing concern about reporting biases, and advocacy for registration of systematic reviews, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) is leading an initiative to establish an international register of ongoing systematic reviews.

News / COPE awards research grant to the EQUATOR group

The research project, entitled ‘What instructions and guidance do journals provide to their reviewers to assess submitted manuscripts?

Opinion / New guidelines for reporting of animal studies - the ARRIVE guidelines

PLoS Biology has just published a paper and an editorial on an initiative to improve the reporting of studies that report research that involves animals - the ARRIVE guidelines

News / Follow COPE on Facebook and Twitter

COPE now has its own Facebook page as well as a Twitter account.  Click on the links to follow us:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/COPE-Committee-on-Publication-Ethics/107658079276587

Twitter: http://twitter.com/C0PE

Opinion / Ghostauthors, ghost management and the manipulation of medical research

There are three articles in the June issue of Bioethics on different aspects of ghostwriting.

The first article, by Tobenna D Anekwe, “Profits and plagiarism: the case of medical ghostwriting” argues that “medical ghostwriting often involves plagiarism and, in those cases, can be treated as an act of research misconduct” and suggests measures to counter ghostwriting.

Opinion / When the law intervenes in peer review - articles from the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health

There’s a interesting paper and editorial published in May in the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health. The article is entitled PCL-R Psychopathy: Threats to Sue, Peer Review, and Implications for Science and Law.

Opinion / CMAJ news story on funding withdrawal for Canadian Research ethics council

The news story reports that the National Council on Ethics in Human Research (NCEHR), has had its funding withdrawn by Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  Apparently this will primarily affect education, but also scotches the possibility that the Council would devolp into a Canadian national accrediting and oversight body for research ethics boards.

News / Ethical editing - Summer 2010 issue

Download the Summer issue of Ethical Editing, the newsletter from COPE (http://publicationethics.org/newsletters).
This issue's theme is Plagiarism, following on from our recent annual seminar. We would very much welcome any feedback or comments you may have. Please contact us via the website.

Opinion / Nature news story on publication of trial data

The story relates to an announcement on June 10 by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.  An exerpt from the IFPMA press release states:

Opinion / A report of the second seminar of Iranian Medical Journal editors

We received this report from Behrooz Astaneh, Deputy Editor of the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences.

Behrooz can be contacted on astanehb@yahoo.com

The second seminar of Iranian Medical Journal editors- A Report

News / Forum agenda for 8 June 2010 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 8 June 2010 Forum (Download PDF, 237kb).

Opinion / Review in trials on reporting bias/witholding data in (industry) medical research - with lots of examples

Well worth reading. http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/pdf/1745-6215-11-37.pdf
The overall message and the recommendations aren't new, but thus is a succinct and informative review by the German health technology asessement body that's worth citing and using in talks. It includes and goes well beyond the usual suspects (rofecoxib, gabapentin, SSRIs, rosiglitazone, oseltamivir) and gives a really nice overview of all the recent attempts to make people behave better eg through trial registration.

News / Editing Medical Journals: Short Course

Date: 10-12 November 2010
Location: Oxford, UK
Website: http://www.pspconsulting.org

Opinion / Journals are failing to publish conflict of interest statements

A study by Wang et al in the BMJ (340:c1344) found that 21 out of 90 papers (23%) reporting studies on the antidiabetic agent rosiglitazone had incomplete Conflict of Interest information and 3 of the 21 stated that the authors had no competing interests although their other publications indicated that they did.

It's possible that this may, partly, be explained by journals using different thresholds for CoIs, but it suggests that editors may not be requesting or checking CoI statements sufficiently thoroughly.

Opinion / The culture of compliments: when flowcharts can't help

Over at the BMJ blogs, Behrooz Astaneh has written an interesting perspective on the "culture of compliments", which exists in many cultures. He notes that because of this culture "authors feel compelled to put the name of a senior colleague in the byline of their article even though the senior researcher did not contribute to it because they feel it would be rude not to.

Opinion / Conflicts of Interest at Academic Medical Centers

A recent perspective "Serving Two Masters-Conflicts of Interest in Academic Medicine" by Bernard Lo in the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the conflicts that researchers encounter when they have positions both as academics and are on the boards of for profit companies. The perspective highlights the example of Partners Health care in Boston, which has recently begun to set limits on the amount of compensation that its employees can receive from serving on the board of companies.

News / Forum agenda for 1 March 2010 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 1 March 2010 Forum (Download PDF, 136kb).

Opinion / Medical students are taught early that guest authorship is acceptable

A recent study done by Lakartidningen, the journal of the Swedish Medical Association, among 499 newly qualified doctors of medical science has shown that even at the beginning of their careers, doctors are not adhering to rules on authorship. The English summary is here , full text of Swedish report is here.

Opinion / Science editorial on who takes responsibility for the research in a paper

In its January 1st editorial Science laid out ideas for “Promoting Scientific Standards” including dealing with the issue of who takes responsibility for parts of a research project. The editorial states that “Science will require that the senior author for each laboratory or group confirm that he or she has personally reviewed the original data generated by that unit, ascertaining that the data selected for publication in specific figures and tables have been appropriately presented.”

Opinion / MMR paper retraction

Following a hearing by the UK's General Medical Council, the Lancet has retracted the paper by Wakefield et al about the MMR vaccine and autism.
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60175-7/fulltext

See the COPE guidelines on retraction (on this website) for more details about when and how COPE recommends editors should retract papers.

Opinion / Fraudulent structures uncovered by Acta Crystallographica Section E

An editorial in the January, 2010 issue of Acta Crystallographica Section E tells the distressing story behind a number of frauds involving papers published in the journal (which is a member of COPE). The fraud is extensive, with apparently at least 70 structures having been shown to be falsified.

Opinion / Stem cell researchers call for open peer review

Stem cell researchers have accused journals of biased review and suggested that a remedy for this would be having reviewers' comments published as supplementary material alongside papers (this policy has been adopted by the EMBO journals and has been used for some time at BioMed Central). For more details see
http://www.eurostemcell.org/commentanalysis/peer-review

Opinion / Peer review in stem cell research

A news item on the BBC’s Today programme this morning discussed the issue of what can potentially happen when a small group of researchers predominate in a field. Two scientists working in stem cell research suggested that such small groups can tend to dominate the review process of papers and lead to bias and delays in publication of papers from other groups.

News / COPE survey

The results from the survey of COPE Members, which was carried out online recently, have been collated into a report which can be downloaded here (Download PDF, 645kb).

Opinion / RSPCA paper on journal policies for use of animals in research

The UK animal welfare charity, the RSCPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), campaigns among other issues on the use of animals in medical research.

News / COPE’s retraction guidelines

COPE’s retraction guidelines have now been published and are available to download (see Guidelines, http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines).

Opinion / New version of “Good publication practice for communicating company sponsored medical research"

The BMJ has just published a new version of “Good publication practice for communicating company sponsored medical research: the GPP2 guidelines

These guidelines are an update of the first version of the Good publication practice guidelines, published in 2003. The updated guidelines were produced after consultation with academics, journal editors, publishers, medical writers and companies. They include a checklist.

New elements in the guidelines are:

Opinion / Sense about Systematic Reviews

Sense about Science, “an independent charitable trust promoting good science and evidence in public debates” has just published a short briefing paper on Systematic Reviews. The UK charity has the aim of “promoting respect for evidence and by urging scientists to engage actively with a wide range of groups, particularly when debates are controversial or difficult.”

News / Forum agenda for 2 December 2009 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 2 December 2009 COPE Forum (Download PDF, 144kb).

Opinion / Duplicate publication guidelines from BMC

BioMed Central has developed useful guidelines for authors about exactly what is meant by duplicate (or redundant) publication. They cover not only  overlaps with  other journal articles but  issues such as preprint servers (and they mention the COPE  flowchart!).  You can find them at

http://www.biomedcentral.com/info/about/duplicatepublication

Opinion / NEJM paper on selective reporting of trials of off-label use of gabapentin

This paper, published on Nov 12th, looked at 12 trials where both published reports and internal company documents on off label use of gabapentin (Neurontin) could be examined. The authors found that for "8 of the 12 reported trials, the primary outcome defined in the published report differed from that described in the protocol.", and go on to describe the types of differences found, including that "Of the 21 primary outcomes described in the protocols of the published trials, 6 were not reported at all and 4 were reported as secondary outcomes.

Opinion / Shake-up for UK research ethics approval?

The UK's National Research Ethics Service (NRES), which coordinates ethical review of research, is likely to be reorganized. Depending on the outcome, this could have implications for editors who publish research done in the UK and need to understand that it has undergone proper ethical scrutiny. Details will probably appear on http://www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk/ (but there is no information there yet).

Opinion / Ethics of genetic research on stored tissue samples from minors

A paper in  the October issue of the  American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A systematically reviews the literature on the ethical issues surrounding use of stored tissue samples from minors. You need a subscription to access the full paper but the abstract is available on PubMed

Opinion / New ICMJE editorial and form for reporting competing interests in journals

The ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) has announced a new format for Disclosure of Competing Interests. The policy, outlined on the ICMJE website, (which has been updated recently by the way and is worth a look at) also includes a form that has been adopted by the ICMJE member journals, and which the ICMJE is encouraging other journals to consider adopting.

Opinion / Study reports lack of specificity in CoI guidelines

Sheldon Krimsky & Erin Sweet from Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA have studied the conflict of interest (CoI) policies of over 200 medical and toxicology journals. They found that about 85% of the journals had a written CoI policy but in many cases these lacked specificity or were of limited scope (eg covering only certain types of financial interest).
See Accountability in Research 2009;16:235-53
The article is not Open Access but the abstract is available on Medline.

Opinion / Nature news coverage of image manipulation in journals

The story, by Natasha Gilbert, includes statistics on screening for image manipulation at two PLoS journals, and also data from the US Office of Research Integrity.

Opinion / Publications about plagiarism

A Spanish research group has compiled an interesting list of publications about plagiarism. You can find it at http://users.dsic.upv.es/~lbarron/plagiarism.html

Opinion / COPE retraction project reported in Nature Medicine

Findings of a study on retractions funded by COPE were presented by Liz Wager at the recent Peer Review Congress in Vancouver as a poster and picked up by Nature Medicine. You can read the report in Nature Medicine October 2009;15:1101

www.nature.com/nm/index.html

Opinion / Ghost and Honorary authors at the Peer Review Congress

One of the most discussed papers at last week’s Peer Review Congress in Vancouver (the whole programme is well worth a look) was one presented by JAMA editors entitled Prevalence of Honorary and Ghost Authorship in 6 General Medical Journals, 2009 .

Opinion / Boycott urged of scientific conference chaired by academic found guilty of plagiarism

A recent news report in the BMJ highlights an initiative asking doctors to boycott an international medical conference because of the proposed chair. The conference, of the International Academy of Perinatal Medicine, will take place in Croatia in October, chaired by Asim Kurjak of Zagreb University Medical School, who, as the BMJ news report notes, “was found guilty of scientific misconduct by the Croatian government’s Committee for Ethics in Science and Higher Education in May 2007.

News / Forum agenda for 2 September 2009 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 2 September 2009 COPE Forum (Download PDF, 95kb).

News / UKRIO's new Code of Practice for Research

The UK Research Integrity Office has just finalised its Code of Practice for Research, revised following the public consultation on a draft version earlier this year. COPE also commented on the draft version. This final version of the Code is being circulated to the research community. A copy  of the Code can be found on their website.

Opinion / Annals editorial on who pays for medical editing

A thoughtful editorial from Hal Sox, the outgoing editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine entitled Medical Journal Editing: Who Shall Pay? discusses the intense editorial process at the Annals and raises the question whether such a process is ultimately sustainable and if so who should pay.

Opinion / Pharmaceutical companies and ghostwriters

Here's an interesting article in today's New York Times about the pharmaceutical company, Wyeth, which paid ghostwriters to write dozens of scientific papers to promote the use of hormone replacement therapy. These articles, which are said to have highlighted the benefits and downplayed the risks of HRT, were published in 18 medical journals and did not disclose the fact that Wyeth initiated and funded the work for the articles.  A Wyeth spokesman said that it was common for pharmaceutical companies to use companies to help draft manuscripts for authors.

Opinion / Experience of ORI findings of misconduct

The Scientist carries an interview with 3 scientists who were found guilty of misconduct by the US ORI (Office of Research Integrity). The thrust of the article is the long-lasting effect of such a ruling even after the official time has expired.

The link is http://www.the-scientist.com/2009/07/1/28/1/

Opinion / When is a randomised trial really randomised?

 A new paper published in Trials (currently available as a provisional PDF) asks the question, how many randomised trials published in Chinese journals are actually randomised?

News / COPE officers change

Jeremy Theobald has stepped down as COPE Treasurer. We thank Jeremy for all his contributions to COPE over several years - in particular in developing this website as well as his work as Treasurer and in developing COPE's membership and financial stability. Until formal elections can be held (at the next AGM in March 2010), Richard O'Hagan has agreed to take over Jeremy's role and will be Acting Treasurer and Ginny Barbour will take over from Richard as Acting Secretary.

Opinion / Should all journals have one universal referencing style?

There are thousands of ways of citing source material.  This is confusing for students and tedious for authors and editors (I confess to having a submission sent back to me from a neurosurgery journal last week because I used the incorrect referencing style...yes, I know, I should have checked).  Even experienced authors may puzzle over the correct referencing of a blog, an e-book or a podcast.  In this week's Times Higher Education, Alec Gill asks if journals should have one standard referencing system. He concludes 'the reform of academic referencing is long overdue'. Is it?

Opinion / Concern about UK libel laws

A doctor is being sued for libel because of comments he wrote in a newspaper about the British Chiropractic Association (in particular their alleged promotion of the use of chiropractic for asthma).  Since the case may have far-reaching consequences for journals and publishers, you might like to look at the campaign website which calls for a reform to the British libel laws to ensure they are not used to suppress scientific debate.

http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/333/

Opinion / Archives of Internal Medicine on Editorial Policies and Publication Bias

An editorial on June 8 in the Archives of Internal Medicine discusses the problem of publication bias - that is "negative" papers, especially trials, being less likely to make it into the published record. There are a number of reasons for this, from authors not submitting such papers to journals being less likely to publish them. Everyone now agrees that the consequences for the validity of the scientific record are substantial, though the solution is not simple.

Opinion / New York Times story on retracted orthopaedic paper

A story in the New York Times (free, registration required) discusses the retraction of a paper published in 2008 in  the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume (Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 for grade III open segmental tibial fractures from combat injuries in Iraq. J Bone Joint Surg Br.

Opinion / Just how common is scientific misconduct?

There have been plenty of surveys on this, and now a systematic review and meta-analysis has pulled the best ones together (Fanelli D. How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data. PLoS ONE 4(5): e5738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005738 Published: May 29, 2009).

News / Forum Agenda for 2 June 2009 Meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 2 June 2009 COPE Forum (Download PDF, 144kb).

Opinion / Call for comments on UK Research Integrity Office's Code of Practice for Research: Promoting good practice

The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) has made a call for comments on its “Code of Practice for Research: Promoting good practice and prevent misconduct”. UKRIO) is an independent body which offers advice and guidance to universities and other research organisations, and also to individual researchers, about the conduct of research.

Opinion / “Bibliographic negligence” aka "citation amnesia”

An editorial in The Scientist (free, but registration required to access) discusses this rather shady practice- ie of failing to cite relevant papers. The writer, Richard Gallagher, raises an interesting point that“the openness gifted us by the Internet is revealing the lax standards that have been in place all the time. “- one that could easily be made of many other dubious publication practices.

Opinion / The relationship of academia and companies covered in Nature Biotechnology

A news feature in Nature Biotechnology (subscription required for full text) discusses the potential perils of academia and companies getting into bed with each other in these financially straightened times, and the  need for especially careful management of competing interests.

Opinion / Elsevier comments on its "fake" journals

A story that has receive extensive coverage over the past few weeks on the web is of a series of allegedly "fake" journals which were revealed during a court case in Australia concerning marketing of the drug Vioxx.

Opinion / Should the FDA trump the Declaration of Helsinki?

A BMJ editorial discusses the recent FDA ruling  that clinical trials performed outside the US no longerhave to conform to the Declaration of Helsinki if used to supportapplications for registration of products in the US but that the regulatory standard expected is that of the International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical

Opinion / Institute of Medicine Medical Conflict of Interest Report Released

This report apparently focuses on financial conflict of interests, especially where there is a potential for patient harm.

Opinion / Victory for science and peer-review publishing

An editorial in American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy describes the outcome of a legal action against their journal from a manufacturer who claimed that an article (abstract only, full text requires a subscription) published in the 15 March 2007 issue of AJHP defamed the manufacturer "through the criticism and test results published in the article" as the manufacturer's prod

Opinion / Wall Street Journal report on an undercover operation by US congress on institutional review boards

The full piece, published on March 26th, which describes the operation as being a "congressional sting operation" is here, excerpt:

"The sting, detailed at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday, involved the creation of a fictitious company and a fake medical device, a surgical adhesive gel. The sham firm then applied to three for-profit oversight groups — called institutional review boards, or IRBs — for approval to begin a clinical trial using their adhesive on human subjects."

Opinion / Trouble over conflicts of interest leads JAMA to revise its policy

An editorial in JAMA1 describes a case of an author’s undeclared conflict of interest which was reported to the journal by a reader, Jonathan Leo. The reason for the editorial (in addition to a published correction) is that Leo sent a copy of his letter to the New York Times and also posted his concerns in a BMJ Rapid Response2 which appeared before JAMA published its correction in its print issue of March 11.

News / COPE Annual General Meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE AGM held on 27 March 2009 (Download PDF, 21kb).

The minutes of the AGM are available to download here (Download PDF, 76kb).

Opinion / Editorial on bias and competing interests in PLoS Medicine

This month's Editorial (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000038) in PLoS Medicine discusses how the publication of scientific research can be inappropriately influenced by various forms of bias and the effects of competing interests. 

Opinion / Editorial on the Journal of Molecular Medicine's policy on scientific integrity

In their January 2009 Editorial (DOI: 10.1007/s00109-008-0428-x), the Editors of the Journal of Molecular Medicine have laid out what they are doing to protect the integrity of the journal. Steps include a compulsory authorship declaration (Download PDF, 40kb), and screening for image manipulation and for plagiarism.

Opinion / NIH to start policing conflicts of interest?

A report (free to view but registration required) in The Scientist describes the introduction by two US Senators of an amendment to the Economic Stimulus bill currently being debated in Congress which is apparently intended to better protect federally-funded NIH (National Institutes of Health) biomedical research from potential bias.

Opinion / Writers propose a checklist to stamp out ghostwriting

Medical writers from the UK, USA and Australia have developed a checklist that they hope Journal Editors might ask authors to complete to deter unacknowledged or inappropriate writing assistance (or 'ghostwriting'). It has been published in PLoS Medicine (doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000023) with a debate on ghostwriting from editors and researchers.

I should declare my interest, in that I am one of the authors (and definitely not a ghost)!

Opinion / Journal avoids the 're-review nightmare'

The Journal of Biology (published by BioMedCentral) is changing its peer-review process, apparently in response to reviewers and authors who disliked their previous system of sending revised papers back to reviewers for further comment which one described as 'the re-review nightmare'.

You can get more details from http://jbiol.com/content/8/1/1.

Opinion / Ghostbusting at Blood

An Editorial in Blood on the 15th January describes their experience of finding ghost authorship in a spontaneously submitted review article (which was spotted by a diligent reviewer) and the result of subsequent investigations of other papers. They go on to layout their policies on ghost authorship in both review and original research articles, concluding with this call to action:

Opinion / The FDA and conflicts of interests of clinical trial investigators

A new report by the Office of Inspector General at the US Department of Health and Human Services suggests that the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration) is not effectively monitoring conflicts of interests of clinical trial investigators in new drug marketing applications submitted to them. The report, summarised in an article on Medscape, is available here.

Its top findings were:

Opinion / Why not make the COPE audit your New Year resolution?

We hope COPE members will find the new audit tool helpful. Journal Editors who were involved with the pilot said it was useful and one said it covered things she'd been meaning to do for ages! Although we're not asking you to share your findings with us (it's an audit not a survey), we would welcome any comments on how we could improve the audit, so I thought I'd start this blog string so you can add your comments or suggestions.

Opinion / Manipulation of physicians and journals: Neurontin discussed in the NEJM

Perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine on 8 January (not freely available, unfortunately) discusses the insights that have come from the documents made available as part of the litigation surrounding the off-label marketing of Neurontin (gabapentin). This is a very long-running story. However, the evidence still has the power to shock — for example, this quote in 1996 of an executive from the company selling gabapentin talking to a new recruit:

Opinion / Publication bias... again

Publication bias seems like a problem that just won't go away. PLoS Medicine published a paper (doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050217) late last year that indicated that this practice is alive and well in what is probably the most concerning area of all, clinical trials.

Opinion / You are banned from submitting to this journal

A few days ago, a newly qualified doctor asked informally if he could submit a 'slightly modified' version of a paper he'd just submitted to my journal to the BMJ. I told him about the evils of multiple submission and warned him that some journal Editors, if they discover the subterfuge, may well ban the author from submitting to their journal for a number of years. This, indeed, was the punishment that an Editor-in-Chief — not amused by a recent case of multiple submission to his journal — suggested at a recent COPE forum.

Opinion / Authorship trivia

We believe the paper with the most authors ever recorded (a massive 2512!) is Aleph et al. Precision electroweak measurements on the Z resonance. Physics Reports 2006, 427:257–454 (available at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-ex/pdf/0509/0509008v3.pdf ) — unless somebody knows better...?

Opinion / How much do editors look for misconduct when they assess papers?

Lutz Bornmann and colleagues have tried to find out how much editors look for signs of research misconduct when assessing manuscripts. They reviewed 46 studies that reported editors’ and reviewers’ criteria for judging papers but found that none of the main criteria listed was related to detecting data falsification or fabrication. The paper is available at Scientometrics 2008, 77:415–32. doi: 10.1007/s11192-007-1950-2

Opinion / New version of the Declaration of Helsinki

Last month the World Association of Medical Editors announced the new version of the Declaration of Helsinki. This document, which was first drawn up in 1964, is essential reading for everyone doing research on human participants. The revision was the result of a huge amount of international consultation, and along with many other organisations, COPE provided input into this document.

Opinion / Editors and the pandemic of gift authorship

A while ago, I wrote a piece in the BMJ about gift authorship (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39500.620174.94). I wanted to share a real case with members and seek their opinion: a friend was asked to add the name of a senior surgeon on a submission to a surgical journal, even though the latter hadn’t contributed one jot to the research. I gave him some advice, which after careful consideration he discarded. Still in the early stages of his surgical career, he opted for self-preservation.

Opinion / More awareness of non-financial competing interests needed

A few weeks ago PLoS Medicine published an editorial on the thorny and confusing issue of non-financial competing interests.

Opinion / Not everything we do will be useful to you, but...

To some extent, I’m bound to advocate becoming a member of COPE, seeing as I'm on its Council, but without COPE I could never have transformed the editorial and publishing processes that have existed within the companies I have worked for. It’s partly about better understanding what should be done, but also about getting guidance on how to go about it. COPE did not proactively do the latter, but just being part of a network of editors enabled me to ask the right people the right questions.

News / All Elsevier journals become COPE members

Editors will benefit from new partnership

13 February 2008
London, UK.

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is pleased to announce its partnership with Elsevier, publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. More than 2000 journals, the full collection of Health, Sciences and Science & Technology journals published by Elsevier, have been added to the list of COPE members.