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Letter from the COPE co-Chairs: May 2018

Starting the conversation: Outcomes from a research integrity workshop for research institutions, editors and publishers

On April 25th members of the Russell Group Integrity Forum met with members of COPE on the campus of the University of Birmingham, UK to start a conversation about key research integrity and publishing ethics issues they face and share.

Attendees identified and discussed core questions across three themes: authorship, peer review and ethics review and reproducibility and negative results. Our model for the day was to partner university representatives and academic publishers to address each of the themes. Respectively, then we had the following teams of presenters for each session:

Rhys Morgan, Research Governance and Integrity Officer, University of Cambridge
Jennifer Wright, University Publishing Manager, Cambridge University Press

Training and support for good quality peer and ethics review
Ferdousi Chowdhury, Research Integrity and Governance Manager, Southampton University
Tim Wakeford, Editorial Manager, Ubiquity Press

Reproducibility and negative results
Rowena Lamb, Head of Research Integrity, University College London
Catriona Fennell, Director Publishing Services, Elsevier

On May 23rd COPE and the Russell Group Integrity Forum have been invited to attend the annual meeting of UKRIO, the UK Research Integrity Office, to present our outcomes from the Birmingham meeting. During our presentation we will share why we believe that now is the right time to begin the conversation between these stakeholders, including our intended next steps. We’ll also share more after the UKRIO meeting.

All this ties-in nicely with COPE’s engagement with a small number of  universities in a pilot project which includes representatives from:

University of Ottawa
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The University of Hong Kong

The pilot members are exploring whether it might be useful for COPE to bring editors, publishers and representatives from universities together as stakeholder partners. Part of this is an exploration of what COPE might provide particularly for representatives from universities to help promote integrity in research and its publication. The work of that team of brave volunteers has already influenced our peer review guidelines, case discussions in quarterly COPE Forums for the last 12 months, our preprints discussion document (and that discussion continues to evolve), and on thoughts we’ve documented from our Education Subcommittee on data and reproducibility and authorship and contributorship. And all of these documents are available for everyone, whether you’re a COPE member or not, whether you work in a research institution or university, or whether you’re one of COPE’s core and traditional membership: journal editors.

We hope you enjoy COPE Digest this month, and look forward to seeing you perhaps at the UKRIO meeting mentioned above, perhaps at our Australia Seminar in Melbourne (with Wiley, WCRI, RMIT University and QUT), perhaps at our Chile Seminar in Santiago in October, or perhaps at one of the many events our volunteer members of COPE Council are speaking at around the world. See you there, to continue the conversation!

(Image credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, used here with attribution to Ananian) 

COPE co-chairs Chris Graf and Geri Pearson 




Read COPE Digest newsletter for more advice and resources to support your conflicts of interest/competing interests policies and procedures, the case of the month 'Editor as author of a paper', details of our Australia Seminar, new cases from our recent COPE Forum and more.

Read May 2018 Digest: Conflicts of Interest