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COPE delegation, Beijing, 2017

A COPE delegation comprising the COPE co-Chair and Vice-Chair, Chris Graf and Deborah Poff, along with China based COPE Council members, Helena Wang and Jason Hu, and Japan based Council member Trevor Lane, me

t with some of China’s leading science and research organisations in Beijing last month.

Deborah and Chris presented an introduction to COPE at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Seminar at the National Science Library (NSL). With Trevor and Helena, they also contributed to a case based workshop. The meeting was largely educational, half of attendees being local journal editors. CAS NSL holds several such seminars a year, often in partnership with publishers.

The delegation had a wide ranging and productive meeting with CAST (Chinese Association of Science and Technology). CAST has made a comprehensive effort to tackle the misconduct problems in China, having tailored their response specifically to China, which has had a wide and deep impact on society and enhanced international collaboration. There was a suggestion for a collaboration with COPE on a seminar in 2018 on academic freedom and accountability, self-regulation of research and research publishing and what this means for responsibilities, global standards and local regulations.

The COPE team met with NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China). NSFC aim to cultivate a healthy research climate and environment. Integrity is the best way to ensure quality. NSFC are interested in publishing translations of the COPE Forum cases.

ISTIC (Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China) aids the research integrity office of MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology). Their work is on research integrity and journal oversight. In their meeting with COPE they explored how COPE might get involved with their research projects. Translations of COPE materials were discussed so that ISTIC can support more materials in Chinese and help distribute these.

In a media interview with The Intellectual about retractions, Trevor, Deborah and Chris debated punishment versus education/prevention and improving the culture for good practices and educating the next generation. Retractions are not for punishment but for correcting the record. The COPE team also attended ‘The Sunday Salon’ and gave an informal introduction to COPE to editors and publishing managers from both international publishers and local publishers based in Beijing. KeAi kindly provided the venue for this meeting.

In summary, this was an excellent set of meetings for COPE and as our second official meeting in China was considered to be highly successful and promising for future events and collaborative actitivities.