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Letter from the COPE Chair: November 2021

Hello one and all. It has been another busy couple of months for COPE. As we approach the end of the year, we are not only reviewing what we have achieved during 2021, but are also looking forward to our activities for the new year. 

Earlier this month, COPE held its annual ‘retreat’. This is an opportunity for the organisation and, in particular, COPE subcommittees, to review what they have accomplished over the past year and realign their focus on our priorities for 2022. As we approach 2022, membership for universities and research institutes remains a key priority and we hope to make great strides over the first half of the new year. Other priorities include a more focused look at ethical practices for book and proceeding publications, responding to concerns around paper mills, an expanded effort in growing membership in underrepresented geographical regions, broader outreach efforts, and a major upgrade to our website. As you can see, after adding our usual activities, we have the makings of a very busy year.

For those of you who were able to attend COPE’s first virtual seminar, I hope you enjoyed the sessions. We are currently editing the webinar videos so anyone who missed the sessions can watch them, and for those that attended live, you have the opportunity to refresh your memories. We are happy to announce that the videos for the sessions on Ethical practice in research data publication – challenges, lessons ,and opportunities, and Ethical authorship versus fraudulent authorship are now available on our website. At the seminar, we also released a new discussion document on Artificial intelligence in decision making. This guidance focuses on the key ethical issues around accountability, responsibility, and transparency in the adoption of AI into the publication process.

Since the last Digest, COPE has launched the new Editorial board participation guidelines. These new COPE guidelines provide an overview of editorial board appointment and engagement, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the board. This was accompanied by a thoughtful essay on Diversifying editorial boards by Caroline Porter, a COPE Trustee.  Certainly worth a read. We have also published the discussion from our Forum in October, on Bias in peer review. Please take a read and add your thoughts and perspectives to the commentary.

Before I end, I want to take a moment to welcome our newest Council members. COPE continues to work towards greater diversity on our Council and we believe that these new members will bring broader experiences in our ongoing and future discussions. So welcome to:

And welcome back:

I hope you all have a wonderful end of the year as we look forward to a bright and engaging 2022.

Dan Kulp, COPE Chair