COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice. December 2013 (Vol. 1, Issue 3)

In this Issue

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to COPE Digest: Publication Ethics in Practice

COPE has always prided itself on providing practical, pragmatic advice to members and a non-judgmental place where peers can discuss the issues that concern them. In this newsletter, Marie-Andrée Jacob, an academic who has been observing how the COPE Forum works, describes her observations of us, placing COPE in the long tradition of debating societies such as that of the UK’s Royal Society.....Read more

In the news

Scientific misconduct allegations: tell me, what would you do?

So asks Theo Bloom, Biology Editorial Director at PLOS. She outlines what happens at the PLOS biology journals, opening up a discussion on the appropriate way to investigate allegations of misconduct: What should happen while an investigation is ongoing? ....Read more

Retraction penalty? Author self-reporting may help.

A new study has shown that a single retraction triggers citation losses through an author's prior body of work....Read more

Science ‘sting’ journalist John Bohannon

A month after John Bohannon’s article ‘Who's Afraid of Peer Review?’ was published in Science, Phil Davis interviewed him and gave him the opportunity to address criticisms levelled at the study, including ethical aspects......Read more

Buying authorship and ready-made papers

Want to add some publications to your name without the effort of doing the work or writing it up? Shady agencies and brokers in China are cashing in on the pressure to publish and offering authorship slots....Read more

Three whistle blowers: the stories behind the people

Nature has profiled the personal stories of three individuals who have acted on their suspicions of research misconduct: ‘data-whisperer’ Uri Simonsohn, radiation biologist Helene Hill, and anonymous whistle blower ‘Clare Francis’,....Read more

Learned society members being solicited for manuscripts for journal with same title as their authentic society journal

Jeffrey Beall describes the deception being used by one questionable publisher to divert manuscript submissions away from legitimate journals to its own journals that have titles similar, or identical, to those of the legitimate journals......Read more

Weak statistical standards implicated in scientific irreproducibility

Based on an innovative method developed by statistician Valen Johnson, it is suggested that the ‘plague of non-reproducibility in science’ may be mostly due to the use of weak statistical tests....Read more

Reproducibility – another viewpoint

Could the push to replicate findings shelve promising research and unfairly damage the reputations of careful, meticulous scientists?....Read more

Results going unpublished in clinical trials

A study into the public availability of the results of large randomized clinical trials registered with has found some alarming results. Non-publication of results was found to be common....Read more

The ‘Euphemism Parade’

Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky have updated their ‘Euphemism Parade’, a list of the best euphemisms for plagiarism they’ve come across.... Read more

What's been happening at COPE

New eLearning module released!

COPE's eLearning course has a new module: Reviewer Misconduct. The seventh module to be released, it joins modules on: An Introduction to Publication Ethics, Plagiarism, Falsification, Fabrication, Conflicts of Interest and Authorship......Read more

Fieldwork carried out at COPE Forums

Legal academic Marie-Andrée Jacob has been observing the COPE Forums since December 2010 as part of her fieldwork into a larger programme of research mapping of 'socio-legal responses to problems of research integrity and allegations of scientific research misconduct'....Read more

COPE's Indian seminar, 15 November, New Delhi, India

COPE Vice-Chair, Charlotte Haug, was responsible for leading the the COPE Indian seminar in collaboration with the Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors (IAMJE).....Read more

SCOPUS - mandatory policy on publication ethics

Past COPE Council member and Subject Chair for Medicine, SCOPUS Content Selection Advisory Board, David Rew, emailed us following publication of the last issue of COPE Digest....Read more

Conflict of Interest - Serious Issue on Publication Ethics for Indian Medical Journals

COPE International Advisory Group member, Professor Kusal Das,has, with his co-authors Tejaswini Vallabha, Jaydeb Ray, and P.S.N. Murthy published this article in the Journal of Nepal Medical Association.....Read more

Case of the Month

Retractions of primary literature papers: how should a review journal react? (case #11-07)

Every month we will be highlighting a publication ethics case that has been brought to COPE by one of its members. In this month’s case, COPE is asked what an editor should do when they’ve published a review article from an author associated with publication misconduct which contains references to a number of articles which were later retracted....Read more

Education corner

Image manipulation

Our recent reclassification and analysis of COPE cases found that those involving data have been increasing, and in 2009-2012 this was the most frequent topic discussed in cases brought to the COPE Forum. The most common areas involved unauthorized use of data and image manipulation. Editors may therefore find it helpful to have pointers to useful resources to help them learn about and deal with image manipulation....Read more

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