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Vacancies on COPE Council


We are seeking applications to serve on COPE Council. We have 9 vacancies owing to several Council Members stepping down from Council at the end of their second term and four Council Members completing their first term on Council who are eligible to stand for a second term. In line with COPE’s strategic goals and our obligations to meet the needs of all our members, we would particularly welcome applications from China, the Middle East and Latin America, and from those with a background in the arts and humanities, but all applications from our general membership will be considered.

In accordance with COPE’s constitution, the candidate, or the organisation they represent, must have been a member of COPE for at least 1 year. 

About COPE Council

COPE Council is an active, working council. Council meets three times a year; two of the meetings are held by webinar, with the other being a 3 day residential meeting which also incorporates subcommittee meetings and any other meetings which may be necessary. It is expected that all COPE Council members will attend all of these meetings. Annual seminars and workshops are held in a number of locations worldwide and it is hoped that Council Members will participate in at least one of these.

"Inspiring, busy and exciting years. It has been a truly unique experience and I am happy to have done my bit."
Iria del Río, COPE Council 2016-2019

Key responsibilities

COPE is governed by the Trustee Board,  who are ultimately responsible for the financial, legal and business operations of COPE as a charitable business and gives authority to Council and the Executive Officer and team to manage the day to day affairs of the organisation. Council currently comprises six subcommittees - Council Members will be expected to join either the Membership subcommittee or the Facilitation and Integrity subcommittee initially, to gain a deeper understanding of how COPE works and the issues it faces. Other general Council tasks, such as the Forum and responding to member queries, are undertaken electronically. It is anticipated that the work of Council Members amounts to about 2–3 hours per week dependant on the activity at that time. This is in addition to attendance at meetings. 

"It was a very exciting period collaborating with COPE people.
It was very fruitful" 
Behrooz Astaneh, COPE Council until 2019

Length of service

Council Members will be appointed by COPE Council for 3 years, with the possibility to stand for election for an additional 3 years. These are voluntary unpaid positions. It is expected that your employer will cover any expenses as part of your professional development; if this is not feasible, please contact the COPE Administrator for guidance. 

Election process

Candidates for Council membership will be short-listed by the Nominations subcommittee. Short-listed candidates may be interviewed by telephone, or may be asked to complete a written interview. If the number of short-listed candidates exceeds the number of vacancies, elections will take place. Council Members shall be elected by the members of COPE with voting rights or (if the candidates are unopposed) by approval of the Trustee Board.

How to apply

Those who are interested should contact the COPE Administrator for more details on what is expected from Council Members, including details of how to apply for a position on COPE Council. 

The closing date for applications is Friday 29 November 2019.


Reflections of a  COPE Council member

Alison Taylor reflects on her time as a member of COPE Council; why she chose to volunteer with COPE and her experience of being on Council. Alison has recently stepped down from Council after volunteering for two terms.

"Shortly after we signed all of our journals up for COPE membership, I learned that there was a vacancy on Council. Having just reviewed all of COPE’s resources, I knew what a valuable supplement they were going to be for our editors, so it seemed only fair that I join as a way for us to give back. 

Not only have I been able to bring our perspective and experiences in the physical sciences to COPEs discussions, I’ve contributed on the Membership and Facilitation & Integrity Subcommittees to ensuring that all of COPE’s material and expertise is available to other editors and publishers around the world, especially those in developing areas who don’t have the experience or access to resources that we had starting out.

COPE Council is a small, diverse group of experts, passionate about ethics in research publication. It’s been a pleasure and a learning experience to be a part of that group, and gratifying to see what they’ve been able to achieve through their dedication to driving conversations forward on current and sometimes difficult topics like open review and preprints, and by bringing more voices to the table, such as those from research institutions. I look forward to seeing them continue to tackle important developments in publication ethics as technology and society evolve in the future."

Alison Taylor, COPE Council 2014-2019

COPE Council meeting 2019