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  • COPE Privacy Policy

    …organisation which exists to educate and support editors, publishers and those involved in publication ethics with the aim of moving the culture of publishing towards one where ethical practices becomes the norm. When a journal or a publisher applies to be a member of COPE, we collect personal data which is needed to assist with the application process, usually someone to contact with questions or details of…
  • News

    New COPE members Jan-March 2019

    …ethics outlined in the Core Practices. Journals Accounting and Financial Control (Business Perspectives) ACS Materials Letters (American Chemical Society)
  • Outcomes of editors' attempts to investigate research misconduct

    …Fraud, fabrication and falsification comprised 15 cases of which two were still open. In a couple of cases, the editor found an appalling track record, and discovered that the author had already been suspended or struck off from clinical practice. In one case, the journal had simply rejected the article and imposed no sanctions. In one case, the journal published its…
  • News

    Reflections on the COPE North American Seminar 2019

    …(AHSS). Two panel sessions covered 1) an overview of the issues involved in inclusivity and diversity and 2) the challenges and suggested solutions for scholarly communications with 6 speakers and a lot of time for discussion and audience participation. Following lunch, the participants participated in an interactive workshop discussing up to 6 challenging cases of misconduct or questionable practices
  • News

    In the news: May 2021

    …target="_blank">Joint Position Statement on medical publications, preprints and peer review.  They make a number of recommendations with the aim of providing “practical and implementable suggestions to uphold data integrity and quality, and the transparency of medical publications”.  A key recommendation concerns the citation of preprints, which they suggest should not be used as references in any medical…
  • Case

    Concern about reporting of a trial and also its DSMB

    We received a paper reporting a trial. There has only been one previous trial of this intervention in this condition that we know of (which was also done by these investigators). There were substantial issues with the reporting of that trial but the end result, as reported by them, favoured the intervention. The trial we received, presumably approved after that result had come out, had…
  • Case

    Inappropriate authorship on students paper

    A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study which was a final year student's project was submitted as an original article to our journal on 30 April 2011. On initial review it was obvious that it was conducted by students and written by them, but the list of authors had the supervisor as the first author, followed by 13 students. The supervisor, who was also the corresponding author, wa…
  • Case

    Authorship dispute

    A manuscript was published by journal X and submitted by author A (last author). Author B claims that fraud occurred in relation to authorship for the following reasons. (1) Author A did not take part in producing the data for the paper and has never been a co-author on any version of the manuscript.(2) A paper with very similar content ,which was part of the PhD thesis of author C…
  • Case

    Possible violation of the Helsinki Declaration on Scientific Research with Humans

    …suggests that for the control group, there was an omission of a standard of care practiced by most modern medical centres that perform this procedure. The reviewer suggests these findings cannot be generalised to other procedures of this type and he wonders why the original warning criterion was not utilised in this study to further protect these patients. Furthermore, the study raises serious…
  • Case

    Misattributed authorship and unauthorized use of data

    The director of a research laboratory contacted our journal regarding an article published earlier this year. The director claimed that the documents and data used in the article were collected at his research laboratory and used by author A without his knowledge and permission. At the time, author A was a visiting scholar at the director's laboratory. The director also claimed that auth…
  • Case

    Suspected image manipulation involving four journals

    …other editors but in a neutral manner, without accusations or blame. The COPE guidelines "Sharing of Information Among Editors-in-Chief Regarding Possible Misconduct" (http://publicationethics.org/files/Sharing%20_of_Information_Among_EiCs_...) provides practical guidance on this…
  • Forum discussion topics

    Ethical considerations around book publishing

    …volume?). Should proposal review count as peer review? Does selected chapter review count as peer review? Do we need to develop a taxonomy of book publishing practices and parallel advice on publishing ethics in books? Where do we go from here? Back to top Key differences between books and journals Some key differences between books and…
  • News

    Paper mills in the news

    …href="https://publicationethics.org/node/55256">Paper mills research report. Editors, join us for a webinar in September when invited speakers will share their experience on how to manage paper mills. Related resources Practical steps for managing paper mills, COPE Webinar, 20 September 2022
  • Code of conduct for COPE meetings and events

    …href="https://publicationethics.org/privacy">COPE’s privacy policy for how COPE protects your data. Participants should respect any specific meeting rules, eg. Chatham House rules. For online meetings and events, participants should observe good practice, such as muting microphones when not speaking to minimise unnecessary noise. If using video,…
  • Case

    Unusually frequent submission of articles by a single author

    …letters. In the remaining one he is a co-author. The articles are on very diverse subjects. This set us thinking that, apart from his clinical work and studies, how he had time to conduct research, analyse the results and write the articles. The journal first wrote to Mr X for the necessary justification. He responded promptly, “I am one of the best researchers of my country and have…
  • News

    In the news: June 2021

    …ethics and integrity breaches in research. This study explores what virtues mean in scientific practice, and the role they can take in Ethics and Research Integrity Training. Another study analysed the…
  • Seminars and webinars

    Seminar 2021: Trustworthy AI for the future of publishing (Members only)

    …safety, privacy and data governance, transparency, diversity and non-discriminatory practices, societal and environmental well being and accountability. From these principles, Ibo focused on three key ethical concerns as they relate to editorial decision making in publishing: bias and fairness, in which he highlighted possible causes of biases, where they can be introduced or how they…
  • Terms and conditions

    …having a policy for disclosing conflicts of interest (competing interests), including study funding having clear statements on ethical research standards and practices, such as approval for and ethical conduct of human and animal research, and informed consent and confidentiality in human research having a reporting process for claims of breaches of ethical standards having…
  • Case

    Handling self-admissions of fraud

    In November 2014, the first author of a decade old paper in our journal and a 15-year-old paper from another journal informed us that he faked the data in two figure panels in the paper in our journal and one figure panel in the paper in the other journal. The main gist of the manipulation was loading unequal amounts or delayed loading of gel lanes. Self-admission of data falsification i…
  • News

    Case discussion: critiques after publication

    …institution to investigate. Case Discussion This COPE Forum case is categorised under two COPE Core Practices:  Allegations of misconduct: “Journals should have a clearly described process for handling allegations, however they are brought to the journal's or publisher’s attention. Journals must take seriously allegations of…

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