Showing 1–25 of 593 results.

All the cases COPE has discussed since 1997 are here in a searchable database. We have over 500 cases, with the advice given by the COPE Forum (COPE members) or by COPE Council (designated with a “C” case number) and, for some cases, follow-up information and outcome. We hope this database will provide a valuable resource for editors and those researching publication ethics.

You can search by classification or keyword or by filtering your inquiry by core practice. The COPE Case Taxonomy gives more detail of COPE's classifications and keywords. 

We encourage members to look at the database before submitting a case to the Forum or to COPE Council to see if similar cases have already been discussed. Please note that advice is specific to the particular case under consideration and may not necessarily be applicable to similar cases either past or future.

The cases are brought by COPE members to the Forum (or to Council) and are discussed between all the participants of the Forum (or members of the Council). The notes in each case reflect the discussion that took place. The advice from the Forum participants (or from Council) is provided back to the member who brought the case, but the final decision on handling the case lies with the member editor and/or publisher.

COPE accepts no liability for any loss or damage caused or occasioned as a result of advice given by them or by any COPE member. Advice given by COPE and its members is not given for the purposes of court proceedings within any jurisdiction and may not be cited or relied upon for this purpose.

  1. A breach of confidentiality?

  2. A breach of intellectual property rights?

  3. A case of child abuse

  4. A case of duplicate publication

  5. A case of duplicate publication?

  6. A case of parallel publication?

  7. A case of plagiarism

  8. A case of plagiarism?

  9. A case of salami slicing

  10. A case of scientific misconduct?

  11. A case report of an experimental therapy, submitted by the patient

  12. A case with no independent institution to investigate

  13. A claim of stolen data and a demand for retractions

  14. A commentary on a piece of (unethical) research

  15. A falling out

  16. A first report, not followed by a second

  17. A further case of redundant publication

  18. A highly critical obituary

  19. A lost author and a new hypothesis

  20. A member of an author group listed on a paper denies authorship

  21. A paper describing a case of possible medical negligence

  22. A paper which discloses confidential material

  23. A patient was given an experimental course of complementary medicine when a standard treatment was available

  24. A pre-submission inquiry with a bribe

  25. A problematic obituary