News & Opinion

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).  COPE Chair, Liz Wager, writes: “COPE already helps editors from many of the world’s major publishers to deal with publication misconduct and the standards for editors complement the COPE Code of Conduct followed by our members.  We also welcomed the chance to get involved in the first universal global guidelines for authors from all areas of scholarly publishing, including research scientists, university academics and clinicians.”

To view the press release, an introduction to the statements, as well as the statements themselves, click here.  

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

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). 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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