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COPE Digest
APRIL 2018, Vol 7
Issue 4: Complaints and Appeals

Welcome to the April issue of COPE Digest.

“Journals should have a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher”. This refers to COPE’s Core Practice #3 and it is good advice and might be the only advice you need if all human beings operated solely with agreed upon objective and rational principles and facts.

But, as most editors will have experienced when violations of publication ethics arise, some cases involve passions, disagreements about the facts, allegations and counter allegations and, sometimes, too much bias and gossip. So, in such cases, how do editors separate the wheat from the chaff? What do you do when you are presented with a complex and awkward situation, query or complaint?

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 COPE Co-Chairs Chris Graf and Geri Pearson,
 Vice Chair and Chair Elect Deborah Poff
Case of the Month

POSSIBLE OMISSION OF INFORMATION ESSENTIAL FOR CONCLUSIONS

A journal published a paper describing an observational study comparing two drugs. The conclusion in the paper was that mortality was higher in one group. The analysis was done after adjustment for a large number of confounders, and was approved by the journal’s statistical advisor. The authors of the papers acknowledged that this was an observational study, and did state that residual confounding might be present.

The journal received a letter of concern by a researcher, employed by the company selling one of the drugs, who felt that the authors of the paper omitted essential information that might impact on the conclusions. Should these concerns be published?.

DISCUSSION AND ADVICE FROM THE FORUM
 
Cope's Core Practices
COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
CORE PRACTICE #3:
COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

COPE’s core practice # 3 recommends that:
"Journals should have a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher.”
Such complaints can take many forms (there are 133 cases in the COPE case database), some fairly common and straight forward, others less so...


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Guidance

PREPRINTS DISCUSSION DOCUMENT


While the use of preprints is common in disciplines such as physics and mathematics, the posting of preprints in other research fields has gained momentum in recent years. The discussion document aims to stimulate discussion around the benefits and challenges of preprints and the considerations that stakeholders need to bear in mind. As with all discussion documents, we welcome feedback.

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In the News

 

Included in the news this month are articles related to April's theme: Complaints and Appeals with more publication ethics stories. Below are just a few, read our full news summary for the whole story.

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A checklist for institutions to use when investigating allegations of misconduct by one of their faculty is proposed.

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Two whistleblowers describe the impetus for calling out witnessed fraud, the toll it took on them and their recommendations.

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Peer review fails to prevent publication of paper with unsupported claims about peer review

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SEMINAR: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
30 MAY 2018

The theme for the meeting is "Levers for transparency: from funding through research to publication", highlighting the various ways transparency can be promoted in research, from the perspective of the funder, institution, researcher and publisher. #C0PEAustralia

REGISTER TODAY > 

COPE FORUM

MONDAY 30 APRIL 2018

COPE Forum, where we discuss cases submitted by members, will take place on 30 April from 4-5.30pm (GMT). It is held by webinar and is for COPE members only. Submit your case to the Forum.

REGISTER TODAY > 
SENSE ABOUT SCIENCE, PEER REVIEW WORKSHOP
27April 2018

LONDON, UK
COPE Council member Elizabeth Moylan will speak on behalf of COPE at this workshop on peer review.

MORE INFORMATION >  
CSE Annual Meeting
5-8 May 2018

NEW ORLEANS, USA
COPE Council member Daniel Kulp will run a session on "What to do if you suspect fraud or fabrication". Heather Tierney will be a panel member on the ethics clinic on the issues around preprints and COPE Vice-Chair, Deborah Poff, will be part of a panel discussing citation manipulation.

MORE INFORMATION >  
UKRIO ANNUAL CONFERENCE
23 May 2018

LONDON, UK
This conference will address how to support a culture of high quality and ethical research. COPE co-Chair Chris Graf will present a session on publication ethics.

MORE INFORMATION >  
EASE CONFERENCE
8-10 June 2018

UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Heather Tierney and Vivienne Bachelet, COPE Council members, are running a half day workshop on publication ethics and will be participating in a session on data availability and citation.

MORE INFORMATION >  
Other Events
STM US 2018
24-26 April 2018

PHILADELPHIA, USA
Day one: Breaking down the silos. Day two: Is your publishing house the north star? Day Three: Digital ethics.

MORE INFORMATION >  
ISMTE NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE
2-3 August 2018

BALTIMORE, USA
A date for the diary.

MORE INFORMATION >  
Scielo
ScieLO 20 YEARS CONFERENCE
26-28 September 2018

SÀO PAULO, BRAZIL
The conference will debate the political, methodological and technological issues and trends that define today’s state of the art in scholarly communication.

MORE INFORMATION >  

COPE Digest Editors:

Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director, Taylor & Francis
Nancy C Chescheir, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Obstetrics and Gynecology
COPE - Promoting Integrity in Research and it's Publication
facebook.com/publicationethics
@C0PE
LinkedIn
Publicationethics.org
Copyright © *2018 COPE 
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