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In the news: February 2022

Each month, COPE Council members find and share publication ethics news. This month the news includes articles on diversity, preprints, research integrity, and more. 


This preprint describes the findings of a working group organised by ASAPbio that set out to define key features of preprint review processes.

As Covid-19 pandemic rapidly developed, massive research outputs were published in preprint servers and peer-review journals. Neither venue performed flawlessly and the research community look for ways to improve the processes.

This preprint describes 14 principles, clustered around four broad themes: Focused, Appropriate, Specific, Transparent (FAST), which have been developed for creating, responding to, and interpreting preprint feedback.


Panelists and participants at the 43 Annual meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing DEI sessions comment on the presentations with context and reflections.

Research integrity

A book by Dr. Stuart Ritchie, Science Fictions, presents an insider’s view on how fraud, bias, negligence, and hype affect scientific research, and undermine the search for truth.

A UK Research Network promotes best practice in research and improving research integrity as well as trying to support institutional researchers, rather than focusing on those who commit research misconduct.

FORCE11 hosted a virtual conference with >1300 attendees from >80 countries in December, free of charge, that explored DEI issues, discoverability of research from areas outside Europe and North America, Research Integrity among other topics. Recorded content will be made available.

DORA listed their own, and other organisations' progress in 2021 toward the responsible assessment of research, including valuation, tools to reduce focus on journal-based metrics and biases while increasing inclusivity.

Peer review

Spin, or maximizing the positive aspects of research, is common in submitted research reports, and similarly common in final published articles. Funders should consider interventions to reduce spin in published articles.

Paper mills

The International Journal of Electrical Engineering and Education retracted 122 papers and published expressions of concern for >300 more due to concerns for manipulation of the submission and/or peer review process-likely for being paper mill products.

Predatory publishing

To address persistent flaws resulting from over-reliance on and perpetuation of Beall's criteria for assessing journal's as predatory publishers, the authors deconstruct those criteria in order to advance the work on combatting predatory publishing.

Citation manipulation

Citation manipulation could be reduced by requiring authors to indicate that all included citations are relevant and by increasing scrutiny by reviewers and editors to the appropriateness of cited references.


The news is edited by COPE Trustees Deborah Kahn and Nancy Chescheir