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

COPE's Predatory publishing discussion document

We describe the phenomenon, identify the key issues, describe the impact on the various stakeholders involved, analyse proposed interventions and solutions, and give COPE’s perspective on addressing the problem going forward. Please add your feedback and comments to continue this live and ongoing debate.

Out now! #C0PEDigest in which Deborah Poff, COPE Chair, considers the impact on editors and publishers and how some are adapting to the change in circumstances that COVID-19 brings. We have new and updated cases discussed by COPE members at the COPE Forum and welcome new COPE Council members who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the positions.

New cases now available: sharing by a reviewer on social media; allegations related to multiple papers; institution wants to retract paper despite ongoing legal issues; institution refuses to retract. #PeerReview #AllegationsOfMisconduct #PostPublication

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.