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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.
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. 

Case

Sharing by a reviewer on social media

20-04

A journal operated double blind peer-review, so the reviewers do not know the identity of the authors, and vice versa. However, the anonymity of the authors is not guaranteed, as the reviewers may discover the identity of the authors (because of the area of research, references, writing style, etc). But rarely can the authors identify the reviewers.

The journal received a request from a reviewer to share a post on twitter, which may disclose the reviewer’s identity to the authors.

News

In the news: February Digest

Misconduct

Translation plagiarism is a type of disguised plagiarism which occurs when authorship credit is taken by someone who republishes the work of someone else, but in a different language. The difficulty of identifying this type of plagiarism is explored and the potential damage done by it, in the field of philosophy, examined.

https://doi.org/10.1111/theo.12188

News

Predatory publishing: new discussion document

This new guidance from COPE gives an overview of the issue with recommendations and resources. COPE welcomes feedback and comments to continue this live and ongoing debate.

  • What is predatory publishing?
  • What are the commonly occurring features in predatory publications?
  • How can we avoid and raise awareness of the problem of predatory publications?

Read more and add your voice to the discussion

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