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Allegations of misconduct

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling allegations, however they are brought to the journal's or publisher’s attention. Journals must take seriously allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication. Policies should include how to handle allegations from whistleblowers.

Our core practices

Core practices are the policies and practices journals and publishers need, to reach the highest standards in publication ethics. We include cases with advice, guidance for day-to-day practice, education modules and events on topical issues, to support journals and publishers fulfil their policies.

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News

Top cases 2020

Most read cases and case discussions

Top five cases

Three of the top five most read cases on the COPE website in 2020 were related to authorship issues:

About this resource

Full page history

Case

Simultaneous submission without aiming at duplicate publication

20-12

An invite for a review was made by journal A. The first revision was done six months after submission, and the second revision two months later. Three weeks after submission of the second revision, the editor’s decision was minor revision. At this point, the corresponding author, author X, informed the editor of journal A that the authors were reluctant to respond to the comments of the second reviewer.

News

Letter from the COPE Chair: November 2020

As we enter the final months of this daunting year that is 2020, I would like to take a moment to look back at our Predatory Publishing discussion document, a year after its publication, to consider whether developments in attitudes or approaches have changed in this arena.

News

Letter from the COPE Chair: October 2020

Dear Readers,

I begin this month’s letter to you with the sad news that COPE Council Member, Dr Tracey Bretag, passed away this month. We refer you to our testimony about Tracey in this edition of Digest.

Case

Institution wants to retract despite ongoing legal proceedings

20-02

The case has been with two publishers for more than a year. Journal A at publisher A published article A by author A, affiliated to institution A and institution B (in another country), and author B affiliated to institution B. Journal B at publisher B then published article B, by the same authors and affiliations. The two articles are on closely related research.

Case

Institution refuses to investigate scientific issues

20-01

A publisher was alerted to possible issues with band duplication in an article (more than 10 years old) by a reader. The corresponding author was contacted to resolve the issue. The author was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the bands, and because of the age of the article, the original data were no longer available. The institution was asked to investigate; a summary of the case was provided and the similarities in the bands using an open source tool were highlighted. 

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