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February 2018


February Forum: agenda and discussion topic

The first COPE Forum of the year will take place on 26 February from 4-5.30pm (GMT). 

We begin with a discussion on Expressions of Concern, followed by an update on existing cases. The cases and discussion document are now available with the Forum agenda. You are invited to make comment on the discussion document whether or not you are attending the Forum.

Agenda and materials


Expressions of Concern: Forum discussion topic

How should journals use expressions of concern? They are “used to raise awareness to a possible problem in an article”. They are a relatively new, rare, and non-standardized type of editorial notice compared to corrections or retractions and “considerable differences in policy and practice remain between journals”.

Journals are grappling with when expressions of concern are appropriate and what happens if the concerns are later found not to be valid. 


Opinions on opinions

Two of COPE’s core principles from its mission statement are to “provide leadership in thinking on publication ethics” and to “offer a neutral, professional voice in current debates.” We think it is important in an intellectual climate that is challenged by many



The thread running through this month’s Digest is collaboration. In simple terms, collaborative work is distributed work across many individuals, institutions, or businesses. Collaboration implies individuals or groups sharing their expertise to solve problems, create new solutions, and explore new horizons. COPE embodies the ethos of collaboration to accomplish its mission of promoting integrity in research and its publication.


In the news: February 2018 Digest

“In the News” this month focuses primarily on topics related to the February’s theme: Data and Reproducibility. Items related to these topics get a bit more attention at the beginning of this list but other newsworthy items are listed at the end, more as snippets of information!


How open data can help the world better manage coral reefs.


Data and reproducibility: The role of research institutions

To achieve greater transparency, replicability, and trust in scientific findings, research authors are increasingly expected to enhance textual reporting by providing associated data and materials. This growing expectation has focused attention towards the appropriate handling of research data. Of particular note are the topics highlighted on COPE’s website on Core Practice in Data and Reproducibility:


Data and Reproducibility: focus from COPE Education Subcommittee

COPE’s Core Practice #5: data and reproducibility

We continue a closer examination of COPE’s individual core practices this month with a focus on Data and Reproducibility (Core Practice #5) 

“Journals should include policies on data availability and encourage the use of reporting guidelines and registration of clinical trials and other study designs according to standard practice in their discipline.”


COPE Asia-Pacific Workshop, Singapore

Following on from the success of previous workshops in Singapore and Beijing, COPE is delighted to announce another half day workshop, in collaboration with ISMTE (International Society of Managing and Technical Editors), on Wednesday 28 March 2018, at the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay.

The theme of the workshop is "Publication ethics". Editors, publishers, authors and all those interested in publication ethics are welcome to attend.


COPE Forum February: submit a case

Submit a case to our first COPE Forum of the year, for discussion and advice from members. 

In addition to cases, the discussion topic will be 'Expressions of Concern'.