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Case

COPE Members bring specific (anonymised) publication ethics issues to the COPE Forum for discussion and advice. The advice from the COPE Forum meetings is specific to the particular case under consideration and may not necessarily be applicable to similar cases either past or future. The advice is given by the Forum participants (COPE Council and COPE Members from across all regions and disciplines).

COPE Members may submit a case for consideration.

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Search results for 'retrospective'

Showing 21–33 of 33 results
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Institutional review board approval required?

    The authors elected to ask a private institutional review board (IRB) to review the study, and the private IRB verified that the study was exempt (retrospective, de-identified data). We obtained a copy of the IRB’s decision and published the paper with an explanation of the exemption.…
  • Case

    Ethical approval for a study

    …and if it was a problem that ethical approval had not been gained (apparently, because the intervention was not a “medical” one). We replied that they should have registered the trial (and could do so retrospectively) in line with new WHO policies on all interventional studies and that the Helsinki Declaration would require ethical approval for research which examines the effects of an experimental procedure…
  • Case

    Plagiarism and possible fraud

    retrospectively, and a letter from the ethics committee was sent to the editors. When the editors attempted to contact this committee they were passed onto another ethics committee in a different area. The letter was sent to the author’s institution head. Unsigned letters and emails, purporting to be from the co-authors’ head of institution, were sent to the journal, and the author supplied an Excel spreadsheet…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Author displays bullying behaviour towards handling editor

    …to requested formally by a lawyer.  The Forum suggested that in retrospect, perhaps the journal should have involved the other co-authors, given that it was the corresponding author who made the threats. It is possible the co-authors may not have been aware of the corresponding author’s threats.  Also, with the benefit of hindsight, it is possible that after the author had done the social media…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Author requests permission to publish review comments

    …and retrospectively change what was in place when this paper was reviewed. Hence the Forum agreed that the journal has done all it can and no further action is needed here. A suggestion was to review the journal’s instructions to authors and instructions to reviewers to ensure the guidance regarding publishing reviews is very clear. The Forum discussed the wider issue of who owns the peer reviews. Copyright…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Ethics committee approval

    …at the editorial board and decide whether or not it needs approval. However, as an editor, what should I do in the following situation? Any research, be it a retrospective analysis of routine patient data, an in vitro study or a study on bacteria requires institutional ethics committee approval in country A. In country B, ethics committee approval is not required for such studies (this information…
  • Case
    On-going

    Ethical concerns and the validity of documentation supplied by the authors

    …since been granted retrospectively after the paper was submitted. As a result we have significant concerns about this paper, its ethical clearance and some of the documentation that has been supplied. We have advised the authors that we have suspended processing of their paper and that we would seek further advice from COPE. Our intention is to report our concerns to the hospital director…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    No ethics committee approval of a study

    The Forum agreed that the described project was clearly research and not a service audit. It appeared, in fact, to be a prospective randomised trial and so it should have been registered and ethics approval obtained. Retrospective approval would not be appropriate. In addition, all participants should have given their informed consent. The lack of consent suggests a breach of the Helsinki…
  • Case

    Potential case of plagiarism

    One of the referees of our journal has brought to our attention a potential case of plagiarism. The referee feels that the a manuscript submitted to our journal, representing a retrospective study of a cohort of patients with a particular condition, plagiarises an article published in another journal in 2003. The authors are from an institute in a middle-eastern country. The…
  • Case

    Attempt at dual publication

    …had been made at any stage. A retrospective check showed that the first draft had been even more similar to the published version. Both authors were contacted to explain: -         why a near-identical manuscript had been submitted; -         how this situation had happened, given the timeline and date of original commission. In reply, the authors stated…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Serial plagiarism by an experienced author

    …in the field. We have also retrospectively checked the overlap of all submissions currently in process and identified several others with unacceptably high similarity indexes. We are asking those authors to withdraw their submissions or to revise them to eliminate the overlap. Of the 231 submissions that have been checked to date, 71% have an iThenticate similarity index of less than 30%. Over…
  • Case

    The ethics of drug/medication use evaluation audit cycles and publication of the results

    …for the baseline audit, obtain consent from the patient for inclusion (‘if required by local authorities’), conduct a brief postoperative patient interview regarding pain management and, after discharge, retrospectively collect pain management data from the medical record . Data were submitted to the national project team for collation and assessment, with individual and combined results fed back…
  • Case

    The judgement of Solomon: a case of two strikingly similar papers

    …themselves. One viewpoint was that, in retrospect, the editor should perhaps have allowed the papers to follow the usual editorial procedures, without interference, and should not have shared the information with the authors. Some argued that paper A should be published first as it was submitted first, but others suggested that from the reader’s point of view it would be more interesting for the two papers…

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