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August 2011

Opinion / iThenticate paper on self-plagiarism

iThenticate (an organization that produces text-matching software) has produced a paper on the ethics of self-plagiarism. It can be found here.


COPE Forum agenda for 6 September 2011 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the COPE Forum meeting 6 September 2011 here  (PDF, 179kb).

Opinion / Data sharing developments

A report from the Publishing Open Data Working Group discusses various proposals and provides useful links on the question of data sharing. The report can be found here. COPE has submitted evidence to a Royal Society policy inquiry and will be represented at a meeting to discuss this in September.

Opinion / Problems with retractions

A report in Nature concludes that several flawed papers have not been retracted (and mentions the COPE guidelines).


COPE is now on LinkedIn!

If you are a member of LinkedIn you can join the COPE group.  Click here to stay up to date with ethical issues.

Opinion / Scientific Red Cards

A group of scientists are proposing an online database of research and publication misconduct to be known as Scientific Red Cards. They are calling on researchers to join the initiative. The website can be found here.


Call for Cases for COPE Forum, 6 September

We are now accepting cases for the next COPE Forum, 3.00 - 5.00pm on Tuesday 6 September 2011.  The meeting will take place at The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 5-11 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8SH .  Cases can be submitted here.  Closing date for submissions is Tuesday 23 August.

Opinion / Concerns about ethical review of research

An article in Nature discusses problems with commercial review boards which may get greater powers in the United States.

Opinion / Indian university responds swiftly to editors' concerns

According to Retraction Watch, Kalasalingam University in Tamil Nadu, India, has sacked a professor and revoked the registration of six graduate students in response to evidence from journal editors of data manipulation.

Opinion / Can guest authors of ghostwritten articles be sued?

Simon Stern and Trudo Lemmens (from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) discuss legal sanctions which might be taken against guest authors of ghostwritten articles in PLoS Medicine.


Opinion / New developments in citation information

An article in Nature reports on new free-to-access tools from Google and Microsoft which enable researchers to analyse citation metrics. Google Scholar Citations and Microsoft Academic Search allow researchers to create their own citation profile and analyse citations to their work.

Opinion / NIH drops plans for CoI website

According to a report in Nature, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shelved plans to require institutions to create websites listing researchers' financial sources. Commentators have noted that this will make it harder to identify conflicts of interest.