COPE has invited four institutions to take part in a COPE pilot that will help form a membership package of support and advice for research institutions: Caltech, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa, and Queensland University of Technology. This follows requests from our current membership and from researchers, authors and reviewers to work together in improving integrity in the publication of research. The intention is that COPE in the future can offer consistent support and advice to institutions in handling publication ethics issues.
Anecdotal evidence from our members has been confirmed by a quantitative survey COPE undertook among its membership that “lack of training and education in publication ethics among authors/reviewers is seen as the most important issue in publication ethics, followed by that in research ethics”. Current members are keen for COPE to pursue improved collaboration with research institutions, to help tackle together the publication ethics issues that they can’t address alone. We have also found that researchers, authors and reviewers, as well as integrity and accountability officers at institutions, regularly use COPE materials.
The institutional pilot is likely to provide help to prospective authors and their institutions. COPE is testing this idea with a pilot and we will report back on how this is developing in future issues of Digest.