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Guidance

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

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Showing 141–160 of 597 results
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Correcting errors versus privileged information

    2012
    The editor-in-chief received an email from author A regarding a recently published corrigendum by authors BCD, one of whom (author C) is a member of the journal’s editorial board. In this email, author A claimed that the corrigendum, which corrected some errors in an earlier article by BCD, was based on illicit use of privileged information, obtained by two of the authors (B and D) who were rev…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Accusation of non-attribution of authorship

    2012
    In 2008, our journal published a specific series, and an author offered to write short introductions to a series of summaries of the management of various medical problems. One of the articles used a summary written by the complainant, who was fully acknowledged in the table accompanying the article written by his colleagues, but not included as an author. Two years after publication, he compla…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Submissions from institutions where misconduct has previously been suspected

    2012
    A scientific paper was submitted in January 2011. After initial assessment by the journal’s editor-in chief, it was allocated to one of the co-editors. By chance, the co-editor had reviewed the manuscript for another journal only a few weeks before. The manuscript had been rejected by the previous journal for a number of methodological flaws. The resubmitted manuscript contained signific…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    How to correct an incorrect decision to publish a flawed paper

    2012
    Some years ago our journal published a paper reporting concentrations of a substance in an organ in a small number of people of a particular occupational group who had died of a rare disease. The results have been reanalysed in two subsequent papers and discussed in five pieces of correspondence in two journals. The original paper contributes to a body of evidence used by the defence in some co…
  • Case
    On-going

    Habitual plagiarist

    2012
    Author F published a single case report (CR1) in my journal. A few months later, I received a letter from author G who claimed that the case published by author F was a verbatim copy of his case report published in another journal H. On comparison of the documents it was obvious that CR1 was an exact reproduction of the article of author G. More than 90% of the sentences overlapped in both arti…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Reviewer asks trainee to review manuscript

    2011
    A known expert in a certain content area was asked to review a manuscript. He asked if one of his trainees (not a content expert) could review the manuscript instead, with some oversight and as a training exercise. He stated that he would provide the trainee with a full explanation of confidentiality. The section editor replied that it was the particular expertise of the invited reviewer that w…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Request to withdraw as an author of an accepted but unpublished paper

    2011
    Last March we accepted a paper written by a post-doctoral fellow (PD) and an assistant professor (AP). The work was done by PD in AP's laboratory; PD has now moved on (to another country, in fact). Soon after the manuscript was sent to production, AP sent an email asking to delay production of the manuscript because AP was worried that there may be an ‘error’ in the manuscript that might requir…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Author creates bogus email accounts for proposed reviewers

    2011
    Recently, as co-editor of my journal, I received a manuscript submitted for publication. The author had recommended two reviewers along with their Gmail accounts and affiliations. I was curious about the affiliation of one of the reviewers. I looked this person up and discovered they had a different email address than that provided by the author. So I usedthe email address that I found to…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Publication of private data

    2011
    An article was submitted for publication. This was a survey of research activity in a specialist area and included, among other things, research funding amounts from each institution. This led to a sort of 'league table'. The information was provided by the responding director of the specialty area or head of school/research group of each institution. The cover letter stated this is for researc…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Lack of ethical approval and not reporting experimental evidence

    2011
    In May 2011 a letter from the Vice-Rector for Personnel of a reputable university was sent to the editor mentioning that two articles published in the journal contained two statements not supported by documented evidence. The two statements related to: (1) approval of the local ethics committee and (2) representation of the experimental evidence. With regard to point (1), the authors sta…
  • Case
    On-going

    Inappropriate authorship on students paper

    2011
    A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study which was a final year student's project was submitted as an original article to our journal on 30 April 2011. On initial review it was obvious that it was conducted by students and written by them, but the list of authors had the supervisor as the first author, followed by 13 students. The supervisor, who was also the corresponding author, wa…
  • Case
    Closed: author misconduct

    Possible overlapping publications/data

    2011
    As editor-in-chief of a journal (journal A), I was contacted by an individual (N) who indicated the following: authors of an article published in journal A were questioned as to the similarity of a figure and a table appearing in both journal A and in another journal (journal B). N noted that reanalysis of the data of the published work by the authors suggested errors and inconsistencies of the…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Transparency of peer review to co-authors

    2011
    An associate editor of one of our journals has asked whether we can configure our online peer review system to restrict access to reviewer correspondence to corresponding authors. His concern is that some of the review materials (eg, a harsh critique) might be embarrassing for the principal investigator if accessed by a co-author who was a junior investigator or laboratory technician. Similarly…
  • Case
    Closed: author misconduct

    Duplicate publication in possibly four papers

    2011
    This case involves four manuscripts. Three of the manuscripts were originally published in another language and then published in our English language journal. There is overlap in the authors who were involved in all four manuscripts. The first and second manuscripts were duplicated publications from another journal. The evidence is very clear. The papers were published in another countr…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Duplicate publication allegation

    2011
    Our journal (journal A) received a complaint from a 'Clare Francis' alerting us to a case of duplicate publication involving our journal and another (journal B). The article in journal A was published first, but submitted after the article in journal B. Clare Francis requested that the article in journal A should be withdrawn as it is duplicate publication. However, the article in journal B was…
  • Case
    Closed: author misconduct

    Retraction or correction?

    2011
    A reader contacted us with evidence that a number of western blots in a manuscript published by us in 2007 had been duplicated from other published papers; in one case, the same gel was duplicated in the paper itself. I compared the original papers and agreed with the reader. Some of the blots had also been duplicated in other papers but all had been published previous to being published in our…
  • Case
    On-going

    Self-plagiarism of review article

    2011
    A reader flagged up that a review article originally published in a journal X in April 2003 had subsequently appeared with a few minor additions and deletions in journal Y (our journal) in July 2004 and then in journal Z (of which the author is an editor) in September 2006. The authors on the paper are all from the same institute although with some minor differences between the publications: jo…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Lost raw data

    2011
    In a nutshell, if someone has lost their raw data, workup data and laboratory books (so that in effect their data cannot be checked/queried/verified/substantiated) what would be the implications of submitting his/her results to a journal? I have a very clear view. I would not do it. However, others seem to think that if you cannot prove that the results are wrong, then they must be accepted on…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Seeking retrospective ethics approval

    2011
    I received a submission that had asked a series of questions of visitors to a website about a mental health issue. It was reviewed by a senior colleague and myself. While the science was fine we were both concerned that no mention had been made of any ethics approval. I raised this issue with the authors, especially given that deception was involved. The authors then appear to have sough…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Disagreement between authors and sponsor

    2011
    Our journal was contacted by a representative of a company following acceptance of a manuscript that was based on a clinical study sponsored by that company. Upon acceptance, the senior author had forwarded a copy of the manuscript to the company, who had identified some discrepancies between the data presented in the article and an initial report that had been presented to them while the study…

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