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Letter from the COPE Chair: March 2021

Dear Digest Readers,

This is the last monthly edition of Digest. From April, Digest will be bimonthly. A new publication, for members only, will be published in alternate months, providing more in-depth exploration of resources, discussions and events that are relevant for our membership. Look out for the first issue of our new format next month. As always, we welcome your feedback on this new information sharing and your ideas of what you would like to see.

This issue of Digest includes updates on two projects in which COPE has been participating. Cary Moskovitz gives an update on the Text Recycling Research Project, previously presented to COPE members at a seminar and a webinar. Also, COPE has been involved in the University of Illinois Sloan Funded Project on reducing citations of retracted publications “Reducing the inadvertent spread of retracted science: shaping a research and implementation agenda” (RISRS) project. COPE is currently engaged in the retraction taxonomy aspect of the project. RISRS is seeking feedback on its recommendations for reducing the inadvertent citation of retracted citation.

Tuesday 23 March is COPE’s next Forum. The topic for this forum is “Ethical considerations around book publishing”. COPE has convened a task force of publishers dealing with issues related to books. Initially, we have limited our scope to books, which include monographs, both sole authored and co-authored, and anthologies, which have a multiplicity of approaches in terms of publishing practices. COPE is interested in providing advice and guidance on book publishing which raises a number of issues, some of which are different from those experienced in journal publishing. For this initial stage, we have excluded conference proceedings, given the broad range of practices with respect to the publication of the proceedings from conferences. Ultimately, we do intend to return to the question of conference publications. Please join us and share your experiences and questions about publication ethics issues which arise in book publishing.

In this issue, Iratxe Puebla, COPE’s Facilitation & Integrity Office, summarises an issue that was raised by an author who published in a COPE member journal some years ago. It describes how the concern was resolved when COPE, the publisher and the author worked together. COPE has established a working group to develop guidance on this important topic of author name changes. The group is now shaping guidance for journals and publishers that we will share with you in the coming months.

May 10 is the date of our next webinar, on diversity and inclusivity. COPE is in the process of producing a new discussion paper on various issues related to diversity and inclusivity which we will be sharing with you.

Finally, it is with much sadness that we pay tribute to a dear friend to many of us in publishing, Kirsty Meddings from CrossRef, who passed recently. She will be greatly missed.

COPE Chair Deborah Poff, CM,PhD