At COPE we have followed with intense interest the recent report in Science of a fake paper submitted to multiple journals, some of whom accepted it. There is no doubt that this "sting" raises a number of issues, that academic publishing and those who seek to improve it, need to tackle head on-though I'd argue they are not necessarily the ones that Science thinks are top priorities.
COPE will be running a seminar entitled “Publication ethics in India: Inspiring excellence” on 15 November 2013 at the Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors (IAMJE), 16–17 November 2013. There will also be a Workshop on Scientific Writing for Authors on 15–16 November 2013 and a Workshop for Peer Reviewers on 17 November 2013. COPE Vice-Chair, Charlotte Haug, and COPE Alumnus, Trish Groves, will be leading the seminar.
There has been much discussion recently on government, specifically US government, sanctions against Iran, the potential effect on Iranian researchers and some publishers have cautioned editors and reviewers about handling papers from Iran.
23-24 September 2013, Blankenberge, Belgium COPE will be holding an interactive workshop at the joint meeting of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE).
Still on the subject of retractions, a recent study published in PLOS ONe by R. Grant Steen, Arturo Casadevall, and Ferric C. Fang asks why are the number of scientific retractions rising? Is it because the number of flawed articles being published are increasing, or that they are being retracted more quickly? Click here to read the article in full.
Liz Wager's recent blog in the BMJ discusss how tricky retractions can be, such as a recent one where the retraction was requested by the company who funded the study and whose employees carried out the research. Although there were some errors in the study, the conclusions were valid.
Ginny Barbour was recently one of two guest speakers for iThenticate's Plagiarism Webcast Series: 5 biggest challenges from the front lines of scholarly publishing, You can listen to Ginny discussing the challenges facing scholarly publishing, or see the transcript, here.