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Suspected plagiarism in a submitted manuscript

Reviewer informs editor about suspected plagiarism

Note: The instructions to authors should include a definition of plagiarism and state the journal’s policy on it

Thank reviewer and say you plan to investigate. Get full documentary evidence if not already provided.

Check degree of copying
Select which best describes the scenario

Contact author in neutral terms / expressing disappointment / explaining journal’s position.

Ask author to rephrase copied phrases or include as direct quotations with references.

Proceed with review.

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Discuss with reviewer.

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Contact corresponding author in writing, ideally enclosing signed authorship statement (or cover letter) stating that submitted work is original/the author’s own and documentary evidence of plagiarism.

This COPE Case might be helpful:
Possible plagiarism case

Select which best describes the scenario

Attempt to contact all other authors (check Medline/Google for emails).

Select which best describes the scenario

This COPE Case might be helpful:
Suspected plagiarism

Contact author’s institution requesting your concern is passed to author’s superior and/or person responsible for research governance.

If no response, keep contacting institution every 3–6 months.

If no resolution, consider contacting other authorities, e.g. ORI in US, GMC in UK

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Select which best describes the scenario

Write to author (all authors if possible) rejecting submission or requesting revision, explaining position and expected future behaviour.

Consider informing author’s superior and/or person responsible for research governance and/or potential victim.

This COPE Case might be helpful:
Reprimanded author plagiarizes again

Inform author(s) of your action.

This COPE Case might be helpful:
Plagiarism

Write to author (all authors if possible) rejecting submission or requesting revision, explaining position and expected future behaviour.

Inform reviewer of outcome/action

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