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Authorship and contributorship

Clear policies (that allow for transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity) should be in place for requirements for authorship and contributorship as well as processes for managing potential disputes

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.

Top cases 2020

Most read cases and case discussions

Top five cases

Three of the top five most read cases on the COPE website in 2020 were related to authorship issues:


Paper published without permission or acknowledgement from institution


An author affiliated with a research institution R published two papers as a single author, one of them in a journal of publisher A. 


Unable to contact authors


A manuscript was submitted to a journal and after the review and revision process, the submitted manuscript was accepted for publication. During the manuscript revision process, the corresponding author was in contact with the journal: answered all of the emails, performed revisions of the manuscript, prepared answers to the comments of the reviewers, etc.


Authors requesting withdrawal of articles from similarity check database in order to re-publish


An author's institution requires that authors publish a set amount of times per year in journals that are indexed by Scopus in order to retain their tenure. The author submits to an open access journal and their paper is published after processing charges are paid. After publication the journal is dropped from the Scopus index. The author asks for the paper to be withdrawn by the journal so that they can submit to a different journal that meets their institution’s requirements. 


Letter from the COPE Vice-Chair: May 2020

I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce myself to the broad readership of the Digest as the new Chair-elect of COPE, a position I will hold for a year before I become Chair of COPE. COPE is entering a critical phase in its life. The organisation has expanded rapidly, so we need to focus  on our strategic goals set out last year.


Author admits failure to credit other authors


An author submitted a manuscript and stated that he was the sole author. The manuscript received a favourable peer review and eventually was accepted. Some time after the article was published, a co-author told the author to contact the journal to correct the author list. The author of record (AOR) did this and supplied co-author names to the journal.  


Letter from the COPE Chair: December 2019

Dear Readers


In the news: December Digest

Open Access