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In the news: May & June 2022

The news includes articles on peer review's role in uncovering scientific fraud, the data publishing ecosystem, the definitions of academic misconduct, identifying fake research, and more. The news is gathered by COPE Council members.

Research integrity

Definitions of academic misconduct should be expanded beyond student cheating to understand  its frequency in the academy and whether national policies to combat it are effective. 

In a globally conducted AI survey Role and Impact of AI on the Future of Academic Publishing the analysis reported some academic publishing issues which could be difficult to solve using AI. Majority of the survey participants think that identification of predatory publishers can be difficult even with the use of AI-based tools. Furthermore, identification of fake or manipulated data can also be an undeniable challenge in maintaining research integrity. How else should AI be used and integrated in academic research and publishing without risking research integrity?


Public health restrictions in the jurisdiction of where research is performed during the pandemic should be observed and editorial processes should affirm this. 

Peer review processes

A historian of science discusses whether peer review has a role in uncovering scientific fraud.


The Force 11 Research Data Publishing working group has developed recommendations for the responsible handling of cases related to data publication, but further community work is needed toward a responsible and cohesive data publishing ecosystem.

Researchers who make their data sets openly available should be valued as highly as authors of published papers; without this change, making data sets open will be disincentivised for many.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

The WCRI Cape Town statement on diversity, equity, and fairness in global collaborations has been drafted by WCRI participants. The statement on research partnerships between the global north and south will highlight unethical practices and offer advice to scientists.

Even as medicine becomes more diverse, the lead authors in two of the USA's most prestigious medical journals remain white and male.

Research misconduct

Springer Nature has released PySciDetect, open source research integrity software for identifying fake research, which is available for all publishers and those within the academic community to download and use.

Paper mills

A report on preprint "Research Square" notes more than 800 crystallography papers likely originated from the same paper mill. Most have yet to be retracted, resulting in what one commentator notes is likely that the Cambridge Structural Database" is polluted with wrong data". 

The STM association and other collaborators launched the cloud based STM Integrity Hub to provide support to publishers in  preventing paper mills and other forms of bogus research from being published. 


Using trained preprint scouts to identify preprints that may be a good fit for a peer-reviewed journal may be a useful method to increase appropriate submissions, but needs to be implemented with care.

Predatory publishing

In a comment about a global study by InterAcademy Partnership about predatory publishing, a Kyle Siler notes "The best way to defeat predatory journals is through choking off the money" and this story describes some steps to do so.

Text recycling

The Text Recycling Research Project has provided a model text recycling policy for publishers and researchers.

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

Page history

Page last updated: 20 June 2022