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Guidance

Search through our collection of resources which make up all guidance issued by COPE.

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Showing 461–480 of 597 results
  • Case

    Publication of dead patient’s name at the request of the family

    2001
    An author requested advice about reporting unusual ocular manifestations of a patient who died from a fatal injury. The author sought the permission of the family to report the case, but they also requested that the patient’s name be added to the report in her memory. The author has proposed to add the following in the acknowledgement section: “The authors are grateful to the family of forename…
  • Case

    Ethical standards in animal research

    2001
    An author received a manuscript describing the biological behaviour of an infectious agent in an animal model. The manuscript contained new information, but the experimental procedure involved interventions that would not be permitted by UK Home Office regulations. What should the editor do? … _ Use of material from old data could be permitted. _ The committee agreed that this was a diffic…
  • Case

    Revised version different from original version submitted

    2001
    A paper was submitted and reviewed by one referee, who recommended that the paper be revised and then refereed again. The authors submitted the revised version which went back to the initial reviewer. In his second report the reviewer raised concerns that the revised version was fundamentally different from the first paper. The number of patients and the inclusion criteria had changed. This was…
  • Case

    Plagiarism in a case report

    2001
    The whole discussion section of a submitted case report was almost identical to the discussion section of a previously reported, similar case written up by another group of authors in another journal. The only difference lay in the patient details. While the other paper had been referenced in the case report, the authors of this case report had not indicated that the whole discussion was identi…
  • Case

    Query triplicate publication?

    2001
    Fourteen days after publication in a journal an email was received from a reader indicating that two closely related papers had already been published recently, one in the same month as the current paper, and one five months previously. Close examination of the papers by the editor indicated that there was considerable overlap between these three papers. The editor sent the three papers to an i…
  • Case

    Possible plagiarism in a cross over, double blind placebo controlled study

    2001
    A paper was received which described a double blind cross over study investigating the effect of a drug in pruritus as a result of chronic cholestasis. Both reviewers recommended rejection on the grounds that the information contained in the paper was not new. Both cited a study published four years earlier in a high impact factor journal which essentially dealt with the same question. One of t…
  • Case

    Duplicate publication

    2001
    An author published a paper in Journal A that looked extremely similar to one already published as guidelines in Journal B. Of 48 paragraphs of text, 41 were almost identical. It has since transpired that several authors who were involved in the writing of the article published in Journal B have not been acknowledged. Prior publication elsewhere had not been acknowledged in the Journal A paper.…
  • Case

    Submission of a paper by a reviewer

    2001
    An editor sent out a paper to three reviewers. One of them, who gave the paper a favourable review, enclosed a research letter on the same topic, with, in his view, a better study design. He told the editor that the author of the paper had encouraged him to submit it during a meeting they both attended. He added that he thought its inclusion would make a good complementary pair of papers. The e…
  • Case

    Inadequately supervised research?

    2001
    A piece of qualitative research was submitted that looked at the experiences of families facing a particular illness. The first author was both the main carer for the families and the researcher. She conducted and analysed all the interviews. Nobody else seemed to have analysed the verbatim transcripts, although two senior authors did help with analysis of the data. The reviewers and editorial…
  • Case

    Yet more attempted duplicate publication

    2001
    A study submitted to a journal was sent out for external review. The reviewer pointed out that it was essentially a shorter version of a paper already published elsewhere. The authors had referenced this paper, but did not make clear that the submitted paper was simply a summary of the other published paper. Nor did they mention the other paper in the covering letter, or include a copy of it. O…
  • Case

    Bizarre treatment of viral disease overseas

    2001
    A journal received an account by email from outside Britain of how 14 patients infected with a potentially lethal virus had been treated with an unusual non-pharmacological treatment. The treatment seemed bizarre, and furthermore, there was no mention of approval by an ethics committee or of informed consent. The author was twice emailed to ask if he had ethics committee approval and if he had…
  • Case

    Dubious surgery

    2001
    A paper was submitted, describing surgery on the sexual organs of four women. The paper was poorly written and hard to follow, but it seems that this surgery was undertaken primarily because of the unsatisfactory sexual experiences of the women’s partners. There was no mention of ethics committee approval or of the women having given consent, not only for the surgery but also for taking part in…
  • Case

    Dual submission

    2001
    While reviewing revised manuscripts, the editor of Journal A happened across two manuscripts that looked remarkably similar. One was on the point of acceptance, pending revision of a table; one had just been revised by the authors. The two papers were from the same institution, apparently on the same population of exposed workers, with the same measurements, and with closely related conclusions…
  • Case

    Duplicate publication

    2001
    The newly appointed editor of Journal A noticed that an article he had just published in his journal bore remarkable similarities to an article published a couple of months earlier in Journal B. When the editors of both journals discussed the matter, they confirmed that they had not been told about the other article. The authors work in a well established academic department. On detailed review…
  • Case

    Dual submission

    2001
    Journal A received a paper that was rejected without peer review as it was very poorly written. There was no clear evidence of original work, it seemed to be mainly a vehicle for advertising a piece of equipment/technique developed by the authors, and it was only marginally relevant to the journal’s area of interest. A month later, the first author of the paper submitted the same paper to Journ…
  • Case

    Undeclared conflicts of interest and potential author dispute over signed letter for publication

    2001
    A letter was published that provides guidance on prescribing a particular drug in children. There are anxieties about the use of this drug in children, and sometime back a letter from essentially the same group on the same subject was published in the same journal. The electronic version of this original letter included a conflict of interest statement, but the paper edition did not. This was a…
  • Case

    Duplicate submission, overlap of papers, and a referenced paper that was not in press

    2001
    A paper was submitted that reported a randomised controlled trial of a treatment for a blood disorder in a group of children. Better psychomotor development was achieved in the treated group. This paper went through considerable revisions, which were requested by the editorial committee, and a revised version was finally submitted a year later. But the revised version now included a new referen…
  • Case

    Refusal to give details of a competing interest

    2001
    A journal published a paper on passive smoking in which the authors failed to declare financial support from the tobacco industry. A subsequent letter highlighted this failure, and the authors responded in a letter in which they offered some explanation, admitting funding from one source. The editor then published an editorial in which he detailed the extensive involvement of this group with th…
  • Case

    Duplicate publication

    2001
    Sixteen randomly chosen papers were examined from a PubMed search of 370 publications between 1995–2000 by the same author. Two papers were virtually identical, differing only in the form of the introductory paragraph and the list of authors. Neither publication acknowledges the other. Another paper reported a “second ever published case”, and two subsequent papers reported the same “second” ca…
  • Case

    Attempted redundant publication

    2001
    A group of authors submitted a paper to Journal A, but the editor noticed that it was very similar to a paper already published in Journal B. Neither paper made any mention of the other in the text, references, or the covering letter. The editor of Journal A sent a copy of the submission to the editor of Journal B who compared the two papers and decided there was substantial overlap. More worry…

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