COPE Governance

Constitution

COPE is registered as a charitable company limited by guarantee in the UK and was set up by a Memorandum of Association on 3 October 2007 (updated 18 March 2011, 22 March 2013, 17 April and 9 September 2015).  It is also a registered charity (number 1123023). COPE’s principal Objects are "to educate and advance knowledge in methods of safeguarding the integrity of the scholarly record for the benefit of the public".  COPE’s income is derived exclusively from subscriptions from its members – journal editors, publishers and others affiliated with publishing.  COPE submits an annual report and financial statement to the Charities Commission and to Companies House.

COPE was established to provide a range of services and products aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at editors and publishers of scholarly journals and designed to provide advice and guidance on best practice for dealing with ethical issues in journal publishing. 

You can read more about COPE's history here.

Articles of Association and Regulations of COPE

The Articles of Associations (COPE's 'constitution') can be seen here.

The Regulations (which guide the governance, management and business arrangements of COPE) can be seen here.

Trustee Board

COPE is governed by the Trustee Board (maximum of 12), who are ultimately responsible for the financial, legal and business operations of COPE as a charitable business and gives authority to Council and the Executive Officer and team to manage the day to day affairs of the organization. 

It meets at least four times a year and is led by the co-Chairs. 

The Trustee Board consists of the Officers, namely: co-Chairs; Vice-chair (Chair-elect); Secretary; Treasurer; Immediate Past Chair; elected members of Council, and those who are co-opted. The Officers and the Trustee Board are approved by the full Council at its Annual General Meeting (AGM).  Members of the Trustee Board are Trustees under charity legislation and Directors of the limited company under company law. 

The biographies and conflict of interest declarations of all the Trustees are posted on the COPE website. Potential or actual conflicts of interests are required to be declared on a yearly basis. In addition, potential or actual conflicts of interests are required to be declared at the beginning of each Trustee Board and Council meeting. These declarations are minuted and the member must recuse themselves from discussions on any items where they have a competing interest.  Trustees work voluntarily, without any remuneration except for travel, accommodation and other necessary expenses incurred in undertaking COPE business, according to COPE’s expenses policy.

Read more about the Trustees.

Officers

The co-Chairs are Chris Graf and Geraldine Pearson, whose term began in June 2015. The co-Chairs preside at meetings of the Council and are co-Chairs of the Trustee Board.

The Chair is supported by three other Officer positions: Vice-chair and Chair-elect Deborah Poff; and Secretary and Interim Treasurer Charon Pierson.

Officers serve a term of two years with the possibility of being re-elected for one further term of two years (excepting the Chair who stands for one term as Vice-chair and Chair-elect and one term as Chair).  

Council

The Council are nominated and elected by the full COPE membership. Elections for vacancies on Council are held annually if positions are available. (Trustees, excepting co-opted Trustees and Immediate Past Chair, are also members of Council.)

The Council are responsible for the operational activities of COPE and are Constitutional Members of COPE under company law. The Council are divided into a series of subcommittees who have been authorized by the Trustee Board to undertake COPE activities.  The Council meets up to three times a year. 

The biographies and conflict of interest declarations of all the Council members are posted on the COPE website. Potential or actual conflicts of interests are required to be declared on a yearly basis. In addition, potential or actual conflicts of interests are required to be declared at the beginning of each Trustee Board and Council meeting. These declarations are minuted and the member must recuse themselves from discussions on any items where they have a competing interest. Council members work voluntarily, without any remuneration except for travel, accommodation and other expenses incurred in undertaking COPE business, according to COPE’s expenses policy.

Read more about the Council.

Subcommittees

The Council are divided into a series of subcommittees who have been authorized by the Trustee Board to undertake COPE activities. 

These are:

Complaints – Chair, Tara Hoke

Education – Chair, Elizabeth Moylan

Finance - Chair, Charon Pearson (Interim Treasurer)

Membership – Chair, Michael Wise

Nominations – Chair, Zoë Mullen

Outreach & Events – Chair, Mirjam Curno

Research – Chair, Adrian Ziderman

Strategy - co-Chairs, Chris Graf and Geri Pierson