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News

Announcement of COPE Council elections

Due to vacancies on Council, we are seeking nominations for three new candidates, as our constitution requires.

Opinion / Publication Ethics in the News - week ending Oct 1

The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity was released. As the site notes it was the product of the collective effort and insights of the 340 individuals from 51 countries who participated in the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity. These included researchers, funders, representatives of research institutions (universities and research institutes) and research publishers. Liz Wager and Sabine Kleinert, the chair and vice chair of COPE respectively, participated in this conference.

News

European Association of Science Editors - Short Course February 2011 - How to be a successful journal editor

EASE (European Association of Science Editors) is hosting Pippa Smart's How To Be A Successful Journal Editor course on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February 2011 in Warsaw, Poland. Pippa Smart will run her very popular course at the National Cancer Centre in Warsaw, kindly hosted by Edward Towpik. More information about course content can be found here: http://www.pspconsulting.org/journals.shtml

Opinion / Chinese government to crack down on 'weak' journals

According to a Nature news item the Chinese government, responding to concerns about the low quality of some local Chinese journals, aims to close 'weak' journals. This raises some interesting ethical questions. Should we be concerned about a government controlling academic publishing or pleased that it is seeking to raise standards?

Opinion / Screening for plagiarism / duplication

 There's an interesting paper in PLoS One about use of the eTBLAST software to screen for text similarity (and therefore plagiarism and redundancy).  See:

Systematic Characterizations of Text Similarity in Full Text Biomedical Publications Zhaohui Sun, Mounir Errami, Tara Long, Chris Renard, Nishant Choradia, Harold Garner http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012704

News

Applications for COPE's Grant Scheme now open!

Have a research project on publication ethics but don't have the funding? Twice a year, COPE offers up to £5000 to any member of COPE for a defined research project that is in the broad area of the organisation's interests.

Opinion / Discussion on self-plagiarism at the Scientist

There's a debate going on over at the Scientist about the thorny issue of self plagiarism, and when/ if it constitutes poor practice. I used to work for someone who started every paper, research or review, with the same short paragraph and we could all recite it like a mantra - and by general agreement it was felt to be the best, most succinct way to introduce the topic, which noone else has yet bettered.

Opinion / New body recommended to take lead on UK research integrity

It’s a rather surprising thing, given the amount of research in the UK, that the UK, unlike the US for example, does not have an established body to oversee research integrity, even that funded by the government.

UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) currently fulfils some of that function but does not have long-term funding and was established to deal primarily with issues in just health and biomedical sciences.

Opinion / Problems with getting due credit in publishing in academic chemistry

There’s coverage in the Times Higher Education  of a paper on the perception of academic credit among academic chemists in the US, published in the journal Accountability in Research in July 2010.

Opinion / Should editorials be signed?

There’s a new post at the Scientist about differing practices among journals on the signing of editorials. The piece only discusses biomedical journals - among those relatively few journals have ones just signed by the journal; more and more are signed directly by the authors and some (like the journal I work at) does something in between. We’d be interested to hear what journals at COPE do, especially those outside of biomedicine – are there differences in tradition according to the journal's speciality?

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