Promoting integrity in scholarly research and its publication

COPE provides leadership in thinking on publication ethics and practical resources to educate and support members, and offers a professional voice in current debates.

Hot topic
How should editors, publishers and COPE respond to the differences among AHSS journals compared with STEM disciplines? What mechanisms might be introduced to deal with language quality and inclusivity matters? Are standards of expertise different when addressing certain topics that have social, gender, transgender, race and ethnicity involved in the research? Are some topics off limits for some researchers? Whose problem is this?

Our core practices

Core practices are the policies and practices journals and publishers need, to reach the highest standards in publication ethics. We include cases with advice, guidance for day-to-day practice, education modules and events on topical issues, to support journals and publishers fulfil their policies.

COPE Forum

COPE members: register to participate in our next Forum to be held on Tuesday 2 June. Registration is open until 1 June.

News & guidance

Authorship discussion document COPE

How to avoid authorship issues and steps to take when issues arise, with specific guidance where there seems to be consensus and asking for further comments in some areas. Guidance for editors, authors and research institutions.

"Authorship remains one of the most vexing issues in publications, where escalation can involve multiple individuals and institutions." Read more in our May issue of COPE Digest along with authorship guidance and cases.

The most recent authorship cases brought to COPE include: duplicate submission and authorship dispute; authorship issue during review process; removal of an author; misleading action of one author.

Read the latest #PublicationEthics news including articles on COVID-19, authorship, reproducibility, data sharing and more.

Major publication ethics issues in social sciences

A COPE study, with the support of Routledge, in 2019 found that addressing language and writing barriers cited as major ethics issue faced by Social Sciences journal editors. This group of editors also reported that detecting plagiarism and poor attribution standards was the most serious issue they faced and that issues around intellectual property and copyright were those they felt least confident addressing.

The publisher asks the COPE Forum for advice following the request for retraction while legal action, which could be dragged out, is still underway.

Our introduction to publication ethics eLearning module, available in English, Chinese and Spanish. It aims to highlight the importance of ethical publishing as well as outline the definitions of misconduct.

When should a retraction be considered, what to include in a notice, how quickly to issue a retraction, who should issue a retraction, and what to do when there is inconclusive evidence of a retraction.