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  • Forum discussion topics

    Dealing with complaints about the integrity of published research

    June 2022 Watch the introduction to the topic "Dealing with complaints about the integrity of published research" with COPE Council member, Jigisha Patel.
  • Forum discussion topics

    Editorial conflicts of interest

    March 2022
  • Forum discussion topics

    Bias in peer review

    October 2021 A recent survey in which we asked COPE members to vote on the diversity, equity and inclusion topics they would like to discuss, bias in peer review was voted the topic of most interest, so we devoted the October 2021 COPE Forum topic to it, where Forum participants discussed the issues. While this important topic aligns m…
  • Forum discussion topics

    Coordinating multi-journal complaints

    June 2021 When and how to involve multiple journals and publishers in dealing with complaints from whistleblowers Complaints received from whistleblowers can develop into large investigations with multiple journals, editors, and publishers involved. Such complaints may involve many articles from a single author group or multiple author…
  • Forum discussion topics

    Ethical considerations around book publishing

    March 2021 Periodically, COPE gets requests for the development of discussion documents, guidance and flowcharts on publication ethics issues related to book publishing. Many of our members publish both journals and books, and a number of these members reference COPE guidance on journal publishing and ethics as providing useful information on p…
  • Forum discussion topics

    Predatory publishing: next steps and where do we go from here?

    December 2020 Since COPE drafted a discussion paper on the topic of predatory publishing in 2019, many more scholarly papers have been published on various aspects of this issue so there is no lack of research into the practice. However, while resear…
  • Forum discussion topics

    Systematic manipulation of the publishing process via “paper mills”

    September 2020 Increasingly, across the research publishing landscape, publishers are seeing large scale manipulation of the publication process. The production of fraudulent papers at scale via alleged ‘paper mills’ is one such manipulation. Participants discussed this at the COPE Forum, September 2020. Paper mills Pape…
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    Editing of reviewer comments

    March 2020 Peer reviewers are asked to contribute intellectual work to assess and improve scholarly publications. As with all work, the quality and characteristics of peer reviews vary. Editors responsibilities include support not only to the peer reviewers who typically volunteer the time and knowledge but also to the authors, who reasonably should expect non-conflicted…
  • Forum discussion topics

    What does peer review mean in the arts, humanities and social sciences?

    June 2020 Are there differences in gender and diversity issues in arts, humanities, and social sciences (AHSS) in peer review from other disciplines? Participants discussed this topic at the COPE Forum, June 2020.  Language, quality, diversity and inclusivity in AHSS In a study by COPE in collaboration with Taylor & Francis…
  • Forum discussion topics

    COPE Forum 11 November 2019: Artificial intelligence (AI) in decision making

    Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has advanced steadily over the past several years, and has started to introduce data-driven solutions to many processes throughout the publication process. AI tools can be developed to provide guidance to humans based on relevant data, or AI may lend toward automation of some processes without human intervention. Some processes already being considered fo…
  • Forum discussion topics

    COPE Forum: 13 November 2017: Self-Citation: where's the line?

    A recent post on Scholarly Kitchen [1] raised some interesting points about the ethics surrounding citation, and specifically self-citation. Previously, COPE has discussed related issues surrounding self-citation by journals and editors [2] and citation of preprints [3]. During this forum, we broadened the discussion…
  • Forum discussion topics

    COPE Forum 11 February 2019: Diversity and inclusion in research publishing

    It is widely recognised that teams and organisations in all sectors of society perform better and make better decisions when they embrace diversity and inclusion in their culture and, particularly, among their leadership. Diversity refers to having a wide range of human differences in the composition of a team. Inclusion, inclusivity, or inclusiveness refers to ensuring that all team members fe…
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    COPE Forum 5 November 2018: Predatory Publishing

    Predatory publishing is generally defined as for-profit open access journal publication of scholarly articles without the benefit of peer review by experts in the field or the usual editorial oversight of the journals in question. The journals have no standards and no quality control and frequently publish within a very brief period of time while claiming that articles are peer-reviewed. There…
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    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…
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    COPE Forum 26 February 2018: Expressions of concern

    …How should journals use expressions of concern? They are “used to raise awareness to a possible problem in an article”. They are a relatively new, rare, and non-standardized type of editorial notice compared to corrections or retractions and “considerable differences in policy and practice remain between journals”. Journals are grappling with when expressions of concern are appropriate and wh…
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    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…
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    COPE Forum 12 February 2016: Data sharing

    Data sharing is increasingly viewed as an essential step in improving research transparency and reproducibility (Taichman et al, 2016; Vickers, 2006). There has been a lot of discussion on the imperative for data sharing in the biomedical arena, particularly of publically funded research. As a result, there are many disciplines where proposals for data sharing are being discussed. Publis…
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    COPE Forum 9 December 2015: COPE consultation/guidance document on handling competing interests

    Introduction Competing interests (also known as conflicts of interests (COIs)) are ubiquitous. One definition is as follows “A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial interest, or otherwise, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization. The presence of…
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    COPE Forum 9 September 2015: Who “owns” peer review?

    Two trends have recently come together within scholarly publication; open review, and the desire to give credit to reviewers. At the convergence are organizations like Publons and Academic Karma who wish to openly acknowledge the work of peer-reviewers by recording, not only the amount, but also, in some circumstances, the content of individuals’ peer-review activity. Academics may view service…
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    COPE Forum 10 June 2015: Prior publication and theses

    Research higher degree theses have traditionally been seen as part of the scholarly communications chain, and have been made available by university libraries in print and, latterly, online via institutional repositories. The issue we seek to address is whether or not work already publicly available in a thesis (whether in print or online, although the concern is primarily around online)…

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