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Post-publication discussions and corrections

Journals must allow debate post publication either on their site, through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubPeer. They must have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication

Our core practices

Core practices are the policies and practices journals and publishers need, to reach the highest standards in publication ethics. We include cases with advice, guidance for day-to-day practice, education modules and events on topical issues, to support journals and publishers fulfil their policies.
Case

Author admits failure to credit other authors

20-07

An author submitted a manuscript and stated that he was the sole author. The manuscript received a favourable peer review and eventually was accepted. Some time after the article was published, a co-author told the author to contact the journal to correct the author list. The author of record (AOR) did this and supplied co-author names to the journal.  

News

Editing of reviewer comments: survey

Following our Forum discussion on this topic in March 2020, we would like to hear your views on an editor's ability to alter the contents of a submitted peer review.

Views from editors and publishers will form the basis of a COPE discussion document on the topic. Please fill in the short survey. 

Deadline to complete survey: Friday 27 March 2020

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H5PRXGY

Case

Allegations related to multiple papers and journals

20-03

A publisher is responding to allegations about a particular group of authors. The complainants have accused this group of authors of wide scale research fabrication and misconduct, relating to a large number of their papers across many different journals (published by a variety of publishers).

News

In the news: March Digest

Open Science

The United States Office of Science & Technology Policy recently posted a notice of request for information titled “Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting from Federally Funded Research.” Comments from stakeholders on approaches for broader access to federally funded research are due by March 16.

Case

Institution wants to retract despite ongoing legal proceedings

20-02

The case has been with two publishers for more than a year. Journal A at publisher A published article A by author A, affiliated to institution A and institution B (in another country), and author B affiliated to institution B. Journal B at publisher B then published article B, by the same authors and affiliations. The two articles are on closely related research.

Case

Institution refuses to investigate scientific issues

20-01

A publisher was alerted to possible issues with band duplication in an article (more than 10 years old) by a reader. The corresponding author was contacted to resolve the issue. The author was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the bands, and because of the age of the article, the original data were no longer available. The institution was asked to investigate; a summary of the case was provided and the similarities in the bands using an open source tool were highlighted. 

News

COPE's retraction guidelines 2019

News

In the news: November Digest

Ethical oversight

A revised concordat to support research integrity has been published. This aims to further assure government, business, international partners and the public that they can continue to have confidence in UK research. It calls for research institutions and researchers to ensure their work is underpinned by rigorous high standards.

Case

Removal of an author

19-14

A paper was submitted to a journal with authors A, B, C, D and E. The paper was peer reviewed. Before acceptance, the corresponding author asked for a new author, author F, to be added, and an existing author, author C, to be removed.

The editorial office asked all of the authors (authors A, B, C, D, E and F) to complete a change of authorship request form and for the corresponding authors to justify the reason for change of authorship.

Case

Appropriate scope of review for retractions

19-12

An institutional review recommended retraction of certain works by a highly prolific and influential author who has since died. The institutional review focused on a relatively small portion of this author’s work. The institution recommended retraction based on deeming the articles unsafe and identifying several concerns, including that the articles' conclusions were implausible.

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