COPE Education Subcommittee focus: Journal Management

COPE Education Subcommittee focus - COPE core practice # 8, journal management

COPE core practice # 8 on journal management recommends that

“A well-described and implemented infrastructure is essential, including the business model, policies, processes and software for efficient running of an editorially independent journal, as well as the efficient management and training of editorial boards and editorial and publishing staff.”

Specifics aside, the key element of ethical journal management is transparency. Thus, the journal’s business model (e.g. sponsor or author pays open access, subscription, hybrid…), publisher/owner and full editorial office contact details, policies and processes (e.g. editorial handling, peer review model, average and range of time to decision, ethical standards, data availability…), and the structure employed by the journal to ensure editorial independence, should all be clearly and visibly described and presented.

COPE offers several resources in support of attaining these objectives. For example,

• the archive of COPE cases involving some aspect of journal management (108 cases are tagged as relevant to journal management),
• the COPE flowcharts that offer practical guidance on the steps to follow when faced with a multiplicity of different ethical issues,
• the COPE documents, Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, Guidelines for the Board of Directors of Learned Society Journals, A Short Guide to Ethical Editing for New Editors, and several COPE Discussion documents, for example, the recent one on the emergence of preprints and how to deal with them,
• and the COPE e-learning courses.

COPE resources about journal management and training complement those of several other professional editing organisations such as the Council of Science Editor’s (CSE) White paper on Publication Ethics. The CSE also offers short courses on all things related to journal management, including training of editorial office personnel and an editorial boards.

Howard Browman on behalf of the COPE Education Subcommittee

Read October Digest: Journal Management with new and updated cases from the COPE Forum, new resources around our topic of Journal Management including a fully revised COPE Audit for our members and a guest article by Peggy Chinn and Leslie Nicoll giving their take on Editor to Editor support based on their experience working with INANE. Our next Forum (5 November) will feature new cases and a discussion topic of ‘predatory publishing’. Read more about this and more in our October Digest.