COPE, with a group of current industry members and members of COPE Council, is working towards developing guidance for publishers and editors of books. The speakers delve into publication ethics issues for books, how that is evolving, and whether publication ethics issues in books are similar to issues seen in journals. They also give their perspective, as publishers, and share their experience, comparing book and journal ethical issues and guidance.
The webinar is one of nine sessions which formed the programme for the COPE Seminar 2021.
COPE hosted a Forum discussion in March 2021 on the topic of Ethical considerations around book publishing. Following the Forum discussion, the books working group developed a survey to explore perceptions around publication ethics in books. Jennifer Wright shares the results of the survey in this webinar: what issues are most relevant in books, how and when it is possible to translate journals guidance into books guidance, and the differences that need to be recognised.
Publisher perspectives of publication ethics issues in books
Tamara Welschot talks about how books publication ethics issues are handled at SpringerNature and shares data on the types of issues facing different publication formats. The proportion of queries or complaints differ, in terms of discipline, between books and journals. In books the highest proportion are in the applied sciences followed by humanities, medicine and life sciences, whereas for journals it is predominantly medicine and life sciences. Authorship, data (errors and fabrication), and plagiarism are the issues with the highest number of complaints or requests.
Cambridge University Press (CUP) share a similar experience as plagiarism is the most common issue they see for books. Jennifer Wright explains issues they see in books that are not in the COPE Core Practices for journals such as author behavioural misconduct and sensitive misconduct eg text or images that could cause offence, distress or harm. Far more of the queries to CUP are from the humanities and social sciences where the opposite is true in journals. There is a growing expectation of greater transparency around book publication policies and practice.
Tamara Welschot is, since May 2017, Head of Advisory and Assurance, Research Integrity Springer Nature. Tamara looks after resources on research integrity and publication ethics for editors, authors and reviewers and oversees projects on preventing and detecting misconduct. Prior to that Tamara was Director of Research Integrity and Publishing Services with overall responsibility for Springer’s strategy and standards on publication ethics, providing expert advice on ethical issues, and overseeing other activities such as annual year reporting for Journal Editors, abstracting & indexing and digital preservation.
Jennifer Wright leads Cambridge University Press’s Research Integrity and Publication Ethics team, and supports Cambridge’s books, journals, higher education programme, and preprint platform in publication ethics best practice. She is also part of Cambridge’s Scholarly Communications Research & Development team and supports a broad range of activities in open research, impact, capacity development, and other research services. Jennifer was previously a postdoctoral researcher in ecology and climate science, and also holds an MBA from Cranfield University.
Deborah Poff, was previously Executive Vice-President Academic and Provost and Vice-President for Strategic Development at Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences. Prior to that she was President and Vice-Chancellor of Brandon University in Manitoba. From 1994 to 2004, she was Vice-President Academic and Provost at the University of Northern British Columbia. She is the co-founder and for over 20 years was the editor of the Journal of Business Ethics. She is currently the editor of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing. Deborah is the COPE past-Chair and Trustee.
Ethical considerations around book publishing COPE Forum discussion, March 2021
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10 January 2022
23 August 2021