News & Opinion

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. It was also covered by Retraction Watch.

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. To access the course see 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. See here for more details and to cast your vote.

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. For more information and details on how to apply see here.