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Letter from COPE Vice-Chair: February 2020

This is my first opportunity to open the Digest, so welcome everyone. In this issue, we are releasing the final version of the COPE Strategy for 2020-2023. This document is the end product of months of hard work by your volunteers (COPE Council and Trustee Board) to develop a focus for the next three years. Our four strategic priorities over this period can be summarised as:

Range – Extend the range and develop new resources to meet the needs of current and future members.

Reach – Increase and extend the awareness of COPE across all disciplines and geographical areas.

Responsiveness – Be more responsive to issues of publication ethics as they arise.

Revenue – Expand our membership and create more sources of revenue to sustain our mission beyond 2023.

We intend to use these years to broaden our membership and develop new resources that will be attractive to a greater breadth of disciplines and to university and institutional members. This growth will allow us to establish more sources of revenues that will sustain the organisation well into the future. This document is short and to the point, so I hope you will read it and embrace the activities that allow us to fulfil our goals.

Of course, our strategy did not form out of thin air but was based on an environmental scan and the results of our 2019 member research. This month, we are also releasing the results of the online research conducted by Maverick Publishing Specialists. The survey allowed us to hear your voice and we used these results to inform our strategy.  Where possible, we compared the current data with the survey conducted in 2015 to better understand our strengths and limitations in meeting your needs. It only makes sense to release these together as they are intimately related. These data helped us to better understand your needs and gave us insight on how to support our broad membership. A special thank you to everyone that participated in the survey. 

We discovered from the survey results that nearly half of respondents did not participate in the COPE Forums, but of those that attended, nearly 95% found them useful. Our next Forum is on 6 March 2020 and is a great opportunity for more members to participate. The discussion topic is “editing of reviewers comments”.  This is a contentious topic and many editors have differing views on how much, if any, editing should be done. Share your thoughts and insights by joining the Forum or posting a comment on our website.

COPE is now assigning DOIs (digital object identifiers) to our resources. This will help make our resources more discoverable and the link will point to the most up to date version. Please use the DOI if your journal or website links to COPE guidance to ensure that your users find the right, and most up to date, version of COPE resources.

In closing, I’d like to commend the editors and publishers who have made publicly available all data and information concerning the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV). This new strain is threatening to become a pandemic, so coordinated and open research focused on halting the spread of this virus is key to saving lives. Please stay safe, especially our colleagues in areas hit hardest.

Best regards,

COPE Vice-Chair Daniel Kulp




In COPE's February Digest we highlight two cases from the COPE archive that tie into the theme of our next COPE Forum discussion and a survey we’ll be sending to you in March, to find out what COPE members think about editing peer review comments.
Other events in 2020 include a March COPE workshop in Melbourne, held in conjunction with ISTME, and our March Forum with advice on new cases submitted by members and the topic discussion, editing of reviewer comments. Plus the roundup of news as gathered by COPE Council members.

Read February Digest: Editing reviewer comments