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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.

See COPE's Discussion Documents

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  • Discussion documents

    Diversity and inclusivity

    This COPE discussion document begins a process of addressing the wide range of themes, challenges and changes required to establish a more inclusive and diverse scholarly publishing community. COPE welcomes comments which add to the ongoing debate.
  • Discussion documents

    Predatory publishing

    The COPE predatory publishing discussion document introduces issues, and analyses potential solutions, around predatory publications. COPE welcomes comments which add to this ongoing debate. Common features of the phenomenon include deception and lack of quality controls, and there are a range of warning signs to look for when assessing a journal. Problems for authors, readers, and other…
  • Discussion documents


    The COPE preprints discussion document addresses how preprints serve research communities, with guidance on navigating the ethical challenges and opportunities presented to journal editors. COPE welcomes comments which add to this ongoing debate. The benefits of preprints are addressed such as accelerating research communication and establishing precedence; giving editors opportunities t…