This workshop-type event was designed for new and inexperienced editors, with information about COPE and its resources, including COPE’s eLearning course and audit tool. The overview of COPE is followed by discussion of four cases on different issues, in a session with polls and feedback from attendees. The discussion of cases includes how to use COPE flowcharts and other COPE resources to resolve issues, with emphasis on identifying further training and editorial office development.
The webinar is one of a series of nine sessions as part of the COPE Seminar 2021.
The session opens with an introduction from Michael of the core features of COPE. He highlights the Committees’ global range of trustees and Council members, summarises the 16 principles of transparency which form the COPE Core Practices, and gives an overview of the development and difference kinds of COPE resources available to the public and members, Flowcharts, Guidelines, Case Discussion, Webinars and Forum.
The session then uses real Forum cases for participants to workshop. Cases are given an introductory presentation, then participants use multiple selection polls and the chat functions to suggest how they would approach each case, before the hosts refer to COPE guidelines and flowcharts to show how each case was dealt with, and consider whether there could have been alternate resolutions.
Case 1: no formal ethics approval
Ana hosts the first case, which involves a manuscript in a healthcare field that does not appear to have formal ethics approval. The paper was based on anonymised aggregated data from different regions of the country. The authors claimed they received permission from local authorities, including local elder community leaders, which they considered satisfactory permission.
Case 2: translated paper plagiarises published article
Case 2 on the topic of plagiarism is hosted by Simon, and addresses a paper submitted to a journal that is a translation of an already published article in another journal. The case is further complicated by some of the co-authors being editorial board members on the new journal.
Case 3: peer review 'ring'
Ana presents the third case of a ‘peer review ring’ where author-suggested reviewers seem highly suspicious, do not have institutional email addresses, and cannot be found online. The case is complicated further by the senior author of the paper being the Vice Principal of the university – the very person who would be contacted to discuss such an ethics case.
Case 4: post-publication allegation discussion
Simon hosts the final case in the session, based on a tip-off from a reader who informs a journal that a paper has the same title and almost identical content to a paper in another journal, with a different set of authors.
The session offers an excellent demonstration of how cases can be brought to the attention of journal managers and editors, the types of questions raised during the process of dealing with a case, how the problems can be approached, and different ways in which they can be resolved.
Michael Wise is a bioinformaticist/computer scientist in the Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering at the University of Western Australia. His research interests are primarily in microbial informatics. Michael co-founded the journal Microbial Informatics and Experimentation.
Ana Marušić is Professor of Anatomy and Chair of the Department of Research in Biomedicine and Health at the University of Split School of Medicine, Croatia. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh in the UK. Ana is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Global Health.
Simon Linacre is Director of International Marketing & Development at Cabells having previously spent 15 years at Emerald Publishing, where he had direct experience in journal acquisitions, open access and business development. Simon is an ALPSP tutor, currently leading courses on introduction to journals publishing.
Trevor Lane is a publishing and education consultant based in Hong Kong. He was the managing editor of several general and specialist medical journals in Asia and the senior editor of two social science journals in the United States. From 2005 to 2015, he headed a knowledge exchange unit at the Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong, where he taught research communication and publishing ethics to postgraduate students and helped staff publish and publicise their research. Trevor is a COPE Council member and chair of the COPE Education subcommittee.
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10 March 2022
23 August 2021