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  • Seminars and webinars

    Seminar 2015: Ethical peer review in a changing and challenging scholarly publication world

    …Download presentation: Ethical peer review in a changing and challenging scholarly publication world  [PDF, 998KB]…
  • Translated resources

    COPE同行评审专家道德指南

    COPE同行评审专家道德指南 COPE理事会 同行评审专家在确保学术记录的诚信方面发挥着作用。同行评审过程很大程度上取决于学术界 的信任以及积极参与,并需要参与各方都以负责任和讲道德的态度行事。同行评审专家在同行 评审过程中发挥着中心和关键的作用,但却可能在担当职责的同时并未获得任何指引,也没有意 识到他们的道德义务。期刊有义务为同行评审提供透明的政策,而审稿人有义务道德地、负责任 地进行评审。期刊与审稿人之间的清楚沟通对于促进一致、公平且及时的评审至关重要。COPE 听取了成员关于同行评审问题的情况意见并以COPE论坛参与人员的集体经验和智能作为指南 的部分基础。希望指南能够为研究人员提供有用的指导,成为编辑和出版商指导其审稿人的参 考,并作为机构培养学生和研究人员的教育资源。
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Reviewer requests to be added as an author after publication

    A paper was submitted to our journal. The associate editor assigned to the paper immediately assigned a reviewer who he knew was well qualified to give a good review, as they had worked with the authors before. The editor did think it odd that the reviewer was not an author on this particular paper, given the close collaboration. However, when invited, the reviewer (R1), did not flag up any con…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Possible breach of reviewer confidentiality

    Soon after rejecting a paper—after it underwent peer review but before discussion at the manuscript meeting—the author wrote to tell me that he was asked questions “about the manuscript” at a presentation at a national meeting. The author stated: “A member of the audience addressed questions to me from a copy of the manuscript, and not from the talk I gave. I had to ask him to say nothing furth…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Online posting of confidential draft by peer reviewer

    Shortly before publication, I received an email from the authors of a systematic review telling me that a version of the paper as first submitted to the journal for peer review had appeared on the website of a campaign group based in the USA. It was clear that the version of the document posted on the website was the same as the version supplied to the journal's peer reviewers. Further investig…
  • Case
    On-going

    Two reviewer reports contain a significant amount of verbatim textual overlap

    Two of four reviewer reports received by the editor-in-chief of a journal contained a significant amount of verbatim textual overlap. Although of the same native (not English) language, the two reviewers are affiliated to institutions in different countries. The reports were submitted to the journal within 5 days of each other. Both reviewers suggested rejection of the submission. Separa…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Ethical obligation to find reviewers

    An associate editor handling a paper for this journal reported to the editor-in-chief that he had not yet been able to recruit a single reviewer—all those who have been contacted had declined or not responded. The paper is in scope for the journal, it seems of reasonably quality from a brief read and the associate editor is appropriate; but this is a small and specialised field, and finding exp…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Department notification regarding sensitive topic

    An essay was submitted to a specialty medical journal. In the essay, the author described an ethical dilemma—involving patient care—encountered while in medical school. The manuscript received favourable reviews, although the reviewers expressed concern about the author’s career if the essay was published. The editor called the author to discuss the ramifications of publication, and then the au…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Complaint regarding letters to the editor

    Our journal routinely sends letters commenting on published articles to the authors of those articles. This gives the authors an opportunity to respond to any criticisms. The letters and the responses are then considered together and we make a decision on which ones to publish. If a letter is not selected for publication, our usual practice is to send the author's response to the person…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Anonymity versus author transparency

    An editor invited an author to submit a paper to his journal. Colleagues of the author suggested “unsubmission” because it could be damaging to the author’s career. The editor contacted the publisher and requested that the paper be withdrawn. The editor then contacted the author asking if he would consider publishing the paper anonymously (ie, with no identifying names). The editor did not cons…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Compromised peer review (unpublished)

    A manuscript was flagged to editor X as having received reviewers’ reports indicating very high interest. At that point the manuscript had been through one round of review, revision and re-review, and all three reviewers were advising that the manuscript be accepted without further revision. On checking the credentials of the three reviewers, editor X was unable to find the publication r…
  • Case
    On-going

    Compromised peer review system in published papers

    On noticing a high volume of submissions from corresponding author A, editor X flagged up concerns with the preferred reviewers being suggested and their comments. Author A had in most cases suggested the same preferred reviewers for each submission, preferred reviewer accounts had non-attributable email addresses, comments were being returned very quickly (within 24 hours) and were often brief…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Meta-analysis: submission of unreliable findings

    A meta-analysis was conducted of about 1000 patients included in a number of small trials of a drug for emergency management administered by route X compared with route Y. The report concluded that administration by route X improves short term survival. Chronology  The paper was submitted to our journal in September 2011 and after peer review was return…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    More than a breach of confidentiality?

    A journal received two manuscripts on the same topic in short succession.Manuscript A was rejected after peer review; manuscript B, submitted a few months later, was accepted after peer review. When manuscript B was published, author X contacted the journal to express concern about similarities between both papers and the fact that the first had been rejected and the second accepted. The…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Review of a book written by an editor of a journal

    Two scholars and professional colleagues, A and B, serve as co-editors of a peer-reviewed international journal. Editor A, who recently had a book published, has requested that editor B solicit a review of the book from a scholar in the field. Editor A would like this review to be published in the journal that they edit together. Editor B is concerned that this situation would put him in a situ…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    Reviewer asks trainee to review manuscript

    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…
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    Case Closed

    Author creates bogus email accounts for proposed reviewers

    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

    Transparency of peer review to co-authors

    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

    Case of figure duplication and manipulation involving two journals

    The editors in chief of journal A and journal B, both owned by society C, received a letter from the last ‘senior’ author, also the corresponding author on one of the papers (author D), concerning separate papers published in both journals (paper E published in journal A and paper F published in journal B), informing them that one of the co-authors on both papers is under investigation for scie…
  • Case
    Case Closed

    An enquiry about arbitrating reviewers

    Under certain circumstances, the editors of journal A use ‘arbitrating’ reviewers. These reviewers advise an editor where, for example, an editor has split reviewer reports or a rebuttal to a decision that was based on split reviewer reports. This reviewer has sight of the other reviewers’ reports as he/she both evaluates the manuscript and assists the editor, through their advice, to arrive at…

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