You are here

COPE webinar: managing paper mills

20 September 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

14:00pm - 15:30pm (BST / UTC +1) on Tuesday 20 September

Registration has now closed

Following a previous COPE Seminar session on paper mills in October 2021, we are revisiting this topic to provide an update on progress and initiatives that are underway to address the problem.

We will share the outcome of the first industry-wide research on paper mills carried out by Maverick Publishing for COPE and STM. There will also be updates on the latest guidance for editors and publishers from COPE on the investigation and management of paper mill cases. Speakers will describe their experience of how they managed a paper mill affecting their journals. There will also be practical tips on how to manage paper mills effectively, at scale.

Practical steps for managing paper mills

The webinar will be of interest to editors and publishers who would like to know more about paper mills and how others have dealt with a paper mill affecting their journal(s).

  • Updates on detecting, managing and preventing paper mills - one year on
  • A publisher's experience of paper mills
  • The link between paper mills and contract cheating: systemic enablers and recommendations
  • Practical tips on managing paper mills
  • Update from the Research Integrity Hub
  • Audience questions for the panel


  • Jigisha Patel 
    Formerly a medical doctor, clinical researcher and medical journal editor, Jigisha is an independent research integrity specialist and founder of Jigisha Patel Research Integrity Limited. She has extensive experience of a wide range of research integrity issues in publishing, including the investigation and management of complex cases such as peer review manipulation in paper mills. Jigisha now uses her experience to help journals and publishers to resolve complex cases of research misconduct and provides a variety of training for journal editors, publishers and institutions on research integrity, including a CDP-certified course on research integrity strategy.
  • Renee Hoch
    Managing Editor leading the PLOS Publication Ethics team
  • Sarah Elaine Eaton
    An associate professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Sarah Elaine Eaton PhD is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal for Educational Integrity. Her research expertise is centered on ethics and integrity in higher education.
  • Joris van Rossum
    STM's Director of Research Integrity

The webinar is open to both COPE members and non-members.

Registration  has now closed

Back to top

Related resources

Manipulation of the publication process (paper mills) - guidance on dealing with large cases

The new revised COPE guidance on the manipulation of the publication process provides detailed guidance on what paper mills are, what types of evidence to look for and how likely the evidence found represents paper mill activity. However, four major areas remain where editors and publishers need further guidance from COPE.

Areas for further guidance

1. How to deal with the practical and administrative burden of collecting the evidence.

2. How to provide timely due process that balances the series-level and article-level assessment, while also considering the resource impacts and constraints for journals/publishers.

3. The scope of and mechanisms for cross-publisher information sharing.

4. How to manage the conflicting demands of editorial freedom, publisher responsibility and legal risks.

New guidance aims

The new guidance aims to encompass the following general principles:

  • The need for journal policies that specify what actions will be taken if there suspicions of manipulation of the publication process (paper mills).
  • The need for confidential information-sharing across publishers (e.g. via the COPE Publisher’s forum and/or STM Integrity Hub).
  • The management of cases en masse rather than on a case-by-case basis.
  • Transparency in retraction notices related to manipulation of the publication process.
  • Editorial decision making based on all evidence (including circumstantial) relevant to the series-level concerns, and empowering editors to apply judgement as to whether primary data or other documentation should be requested.
  • Publisher roles in supporting editors to issue decisions based on trustworthiness of content, and ensuring there are systems in place to support editors in responding to legal threats.

Back to top