COPE is implementing a new membership category for universities and research institutes, which will develop mutually beneficial collaborative relationships between journals, publishers and research institutions, to support education and development of best practices in publishing. This session highlights the key features that COPE will provide for this new initiative, experiences of publishers in managing ethics cases and providing training to staff and communities.
Deborah Poff is a retired Professor of Philosophy and Senior Academic Administrator. She holds four degrees from three universities in Canada. Her PhD is in Philosophy of Science. During Deborah’s career, she was been the Director of a Research Institute, Dean of Arts and Science, Vice-President Academic and Provost, and President and Vice-Chancellor at various Canadian Universities. Deborah has also been an active researcher, teacher and editor, and is the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Academic Ethics which she edited for over 20 years. She is currently the editor of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing. Throughout her career, she has been the editor of five scholarly journals, a book series and has published numerous other monographs and anthologies. In 2016, Deborah Poff was awarded the Order of Canada.
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.
Sabina Alam is the Director of Publishing Ethics and Integrity at Taylor and Francis Group, Journals. After a research career in neuroscience, Sabina moved into scholarly publishing in 2008, working on open access journals as well as a variety of peer review and publishing models at BioMed Central journals and later at F1000 Research. Sabina joined Taylor and Francis Group in 2018, where she leads the publishing ethics and integrity team on providing expert advice and investigative support to all Taylor and Francis Group journals on publishing ethics and research integrity matters, as well as providing guidance on editorial policies and processes where needed.
Dan Kulp, COPE Chair, and Director of editorial development for journals, American Chemical Society (ACS). He received his PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked for the American Physical Society for nearly 24 years in their editorial office. Dan has been involved in all aspects of publishing including peer review, production, distribution, and personnel and financial management of journals.
The critical relationship between universities and COPE
Deborah described the COPE pilot programme run over the last three years, to determine whether university membership would be a viable and desirable model, and introduces the benefits of pending implementation in two key ways. First, it will clarify the distinction between the universities as the creators of new academic knowledge and publishers as the channels of dissemination for this knowledge, and secondly, it will highlight the unique strengths, limitations, and aspects of unique autonomy of each of these members.
The programme is intended to enhance collaborative partnerships and professional development opportunities that can extend to aspects of tenure and promotion at universities, addressing developments in scholarly publishing in demographics, publishing models, quality, predatory publishing, evaluation of alternative scholarly products and evaluation of scholarly activity and outputs.
Research integrity and publication ethics training: who needs it?
Jennifer Wright spoke about publishing ethics training, from her perspective as the research services manager at Cambridge University Press. She clarified differences between research integrity and publishing ethics, highlighted areas for training opportunities such as general principal-based concepts to context-specific details.
Jennifer describes a more structured way of providing general principals of ethics in the most effective ways, to achieve shared goals, highlighted the value of publishing ethics training, who needs to be informed about it and the end goals; reducing risks and chances of deliberate or careless misconduct.
Publishing ethics: importance of a feedback loop
Sabina Alam talking about publisher policies and practice, from her position as research integrity manager at Taylor a& Francis, describing frequently implemented best practice in handling common issues and cases of publishing ethics, such as authorship disputes, data sharing issues, plagiarism, image manipulation among many others.
Sabina also provides example of the practical obstacles and issues journals contend with in trying to resolve ethics cases, where responsibilities lie ion making decisions, thresholds of evidence requirements, mutual support for decisions and actions, and the ambiguity of responsibility between organisations for refining policies and education on best practices.
There were many questions raised following the presentation that addressed a range of topics including:
- • How to avoid conflicts of interest when a university publisher must investigate one of its own faculty over an ethics issue
- • Whether COPE have considered training on research ethics for publishers and editors to understand the pressures of research institutions
- • How to get peer review placed more prominently into o the scope of academic assessment, evaluation and promotion.
- • Barriers are that stop publishers and institutions from working more collaboratively.
- • COPE materials for university staff to share with ethics committees and staff?
COPE strategic plan: