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  • Guidelines

    Editorial board participation

    These COPE Guidelines provide an overview of editorial board appointment and engagement, roles and responsibilities, and key details to consider during recruitment such as participation on multiple editorial boards. COPE Guidelines are formal COPE policy and are intended to advise editors and publishers on expected publication ethics practice.
  • Guidelines

    Guidelines for managing the relationships between society owned journals, their society, and publishers

    The journals of 'Learned Societies' and 'Professional Associations' are an important part of the scientific literature. Regardless of the publication arrangements and the number of journals affiliated with that society, the policies of and the relationships among the journals, any publisher and the society must be of the highest quality, ethically sound, and as transparent as possible. COPE Gui…
  • Guidelines

    Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

    Introduction The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) are scholarly o…
  • Guidelines

    Journals’ Best Practices for ensuring consent for publishing medical case reports: guidance from COPE

    General principles around consent and consent forms for editors to use when developing forms for their journals' purposes.  Journals’ Best Practices for ensuring consent for publishing medical case reports: guidance from COPE
  • Guidelines

    Sharing of information among editors-in-chief regarding possible misconduct

    Sharing of information among editors-in-chief (EICs) regarding cases of suspected misconduct can play a significant role in preserving the integrity of the scientific record, allowing EICs of affected journals to conduct investigations with greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Guidelines

    Text recycling guidelines for editors

    COPE Text Recycling Guidelines are intended to advise editors and publishers on expected practice when identifying sections of the same text appearing in more than one of an author's own publications.  Text recycling guidelines
  • Guidelines

    Guidance for Editors: research, audit and service evaluations

    Regulations regarding what type of study requires ethical approval vary worldwide. In some countries all studies require ethical approval but in others not. This may lead to submission to journals of manuscripts relating to such studies that do not satisfy the journal’s normal requirement for independent ethical approval, and rejection of the manuscript because of misunderstanding of local regu…
  • Guidelines

    Cooperation between research institutions and journals on research integrity cases

    Institutions and journals both have important duties relating to research and publication misconduct. Institutions are responsible for the conduct of their researchers and for encouraging a healthy research environment. Journals are responsible for the conduct of their editors, for safeguarding the research record, and for ensuring the reliability of everything they publish. It is therefore imp…
  • Guidelines

    Guidelines for the Board of Directors of Learned Society Journals

    The journals of Learned Societies are an important part of the scientific literature. Their management should be of the highest quality and ethically sound. COPE Guidelines are formal COPE policy and are intended to advise editors and publishers on expected publication ethics practice.
  • Guidelines

    How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers

    Guidance for new researchers on good authorship practice, and advice on how to deal with authorship issues as they arise.  How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers
  • Guidelines

    Retraction guidelines

    …COPE's Retraction guidelines for advice and guidance for editors: when should a retraction be considered, what to include in a notice, how quickly to issue a retraction, who should issue a retraction, and what to do when there is inconclusive evidence of a retraction. COPE Guidelines are formal COPE policy and are intended to advise editors and publishers on expected publication et…
  • Guidelines

    Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers (English)

    Peer review guidelines provide basic principles and standards to which all peer reviewers should adhere during the peer review process in research publication. Peer reviewers play a central and critical part in the peer-review process, but too often come to the role without any guidance and unaware of their ethical obligations. These guidelines are intended to be applied across disciplines. COP…
  • Guidelines

    A short guide to ethical editing for new editors

    This short guide aims to summarise the key principles, tasks and relationships of the journal editor role. Becoming an editor of a journal is an exciting but daunting task, especially if you are working alone without day to day contact with editorial colleagues. You may have encountered several different processes, systems and ways of working in your experiences with journals, as author, review…
  • Research

    Paper mills research

    COPE and STM undertook a study with Maverick Publishing Services, using data from publishers, to understand the scale of the problem of paper mills. The study also involved interviewing stakeholders - research investigators, publishers, and Retraction Watch.  All stakeholders believe that the issue of paper mills is a real threat to the integrity of the scholarly record. Collective effor…
  • Case
    On-going

    Where should journals escalate serious concerns about an institution or institutional review board?

    A publisher received a submission to one of their journals that raised ethical concerns. The concerns were related to potential harm or undue risk for participants who may be vulnerable. The publisher reviewed the ethics approval statement, and the authors had met the journal’s policy requirements by prospectively obtaining ethics approval from their institution before beginning the rese…
  • Case
    On-going

    Managing an editor’s undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article

    An opinion piece on a polarising political and technological topic was published. A discussion ensued on social media, and shortly after, the publisher received a formal complaint stating that the editor-in-chief of the journal, who had managed the peer review process for the manuscript, had a conflict of interest and should not have made the final acceptance decision. When the publishing team…
  • Case
    On-going

    Data integrity issues

    Several years ago, a third party contacted the journal with concerns about data irregularities in two randomised controlled trials published about 10 years ago. Both of the papers were published before the journal had strict requirements on data upload to a public repository and availability. The journal sent an initial email to the corresponding author of both papers (the same author fo…
  • Case
    On-going

    Academic freedom

    A final year student, and two other researchers in law, all from the same university, undertook research into a recent court judgment on the rules in relation to civil servants making public comments. Based on this research, a manuscript was drafted to be submitted to a double anonymised peer reviewed journal. The manuscript is highly critical of the judgment’s reasoning and impact. All three a…
  • 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.
  • Seminars and webinars

    Seminar 2022: Relationship between universities and publishers

    COPE is implementing a new membership category for universities and research institutes, which will develop mutually beneficial collaborative relationships between journals, publishers and research institutions, to support education and development of best practices in publishing. This session highlights the key features that COPE will provide for this new initiative,…

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