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Discussion documents

When aspects of publication ethics are particularly fast-moving or controversial COPE cannot always provide detailed guidance. The COPE discussion documents aim to stimulate discussion rather than tell editors what to do. We hope that, by raising the issues, we can contribute to the debate within the scholarly publishing community and work towards agreement or definition of difficult problems.

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  • Discussion documents

    COPE Forum 30 April 2018: Preprints: continuing the conversation

    Preprint platforms have been common in physics and mathematics but the preprint landscape is changing rapidly with new platforms emerging across various disciplines. This raises opportunities for discussion across communities and for all those involved: preprint platforms, journals, authors, funders and institutions. COPE has facilitated this discussion previously via an earlier forum di…
  • Discussion documents


    Background/Context A preprint is a scholarly manuscript posted by the author(s) in an openly accessible platform, usually before or in parallel with the peer review process. While the sharing of manuscripts via preprint platforms has been common in some disciplines (such as physics and mathematics) for many years, uptake in other disciplines traditionally had been low, p…
  • Discussion documents

    COPE Forum 24 July 2017: Preprints: what are the issues?

    Preprints and working papers have been posted and shared for many years. They report research results that have not undergone peer review, although in many cases the authors also submit to a journal (before, after or at the same time as making a preprint available). In the past 5 years, the number of preprint servers and preprints has expanded and new disciplines, notably biology and life scien…
  • Discussion documents

    COPE Forum 18 June 2012: Electronic Responses to Blogs and Journal Articles

    The topic for discussion at this Forum was ‘Electronic Responses to Blogs and Journal Articles’. Specifically, what are the issues, in terms of publication ethics, surrounding blogs where journals are the target of concerted 'attacks' by the proponents of one particular viewpoint, and are there appropriate guidelines on managing such situations?