News & Opinion

News / Forum agenda for 2 September 2009 meeting

Download the agenda and materials for the 2 September 2009 COPE Forum (Download PDF, 95kb).

News / UKRIO's new Code of Practice for Research

The UK Research Integrity Office has just finalised its Code of Practice for Research, revised following the public consultation on a draft version earlier this year. COPE also commented on the draft version. This final version of the Code is being circulated to the research community. A copy  of the Code can be found on their website.

Opinion / Annals editorial on who pays for medical editing

A thoughtful editorial from Hal Sox, the outgoing editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine entitled Medical Journal Editing: Who Shall Pay? discusses the intense editorial process at the Annals and raises the question whether such a process is ultimately sustainable and if so who should pay.

Opinion / Experience of ORI findings of misconduct

The Scientist carries an interview with 3 scientists who were found guilty of misconduct by the US ORI (Office of Research Integrity). The thrust of the article is the long-lasting effect of such a ruling even after the official time has expired.

The link is http://www.the-scientist.com/2009/07/1/28/1/

Opinion / When is a randomised trial really randomised?

 A new paper published in Trials (currently available as a provisional PDF) asks the question, how many randomised trials published in Chinese journals are actually randomised?

News / COPE officers change

Jeremy Theobald has stepped down as COPE Treasurer. We thank Jeremy for all his contributions to COPE over several years - in particular in developing this website as well as his work as Treasurer and in developing COPE's membership and financial stability. Until formal elections can be held (at the next AGM in March 2010), Richard O'Hagan has agreed to take over Jeremy's role and will be Acting Treasurer and Ginny Barbour will take over from Richard as Acting Secretary.

Opinion / Concern about UK libel laws

A doctor is being sued for libel because of comments he wrote in a newspaper about the British Chiropractic Association (in particular their alleged promotion of the use of chiropractic for asthma).  Since the case may have far-reaching consequences for journals and publishers, you might like to look at the campaign website which calls for a reform to the British libel laws to ensure they are not used to suppress scientific debate.

http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/333/

Opinion / Archives of Internal Medicine on Editorial Policies and Publication Bias

An editorial on June 8 in the Archives of Internal Medicine discusses the problem of publication bias - that is "negative" papers, especially trials, being less likely to make it into the published record. There are a number of reasons for this, from authors not submitting such papers to journals being less likely to publish them. Everyone now agrees that the consequences for the validity of the scientific record are substantial, though the solution is not simple.

Opinion / New York Times story on retracted orthopaedic paper

A story in the New York Times (free, registration required) discusses the retraction of a paper published in 2008 in  the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - British Volume (Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 for grade III open segmental tibial fractures from combat injuries in Iraq. J Bone Joint Surg Br.

Opinion / Just how common is scientific misconduct?

There have been plenty of surveys on this, and now a systematic review and meta-analysis has pulled the best ones together (Fanelli D. How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data. PLoS ONE 4(5): e5738. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005738 Published: May 29, 2009).

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