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Committee on Publication Ethics

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Committee on Publication Ethics
Formation1997; 27 years ago (1997)
Registration no.1123023
Official language

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to define best practice in the ethics of scholarly publishing and to assist editors and publishers to achieve this.[1][2][3][4]


COPE educates and support editors, publishers and those involved in publication ethics with the aim of moving the culture of publishing towards one where ethical practices become the norm, part of the publishing culture. COPE's approach is firmly in the direction of influencing through education, resources and support of COPE members. It also provides a forum for its members to discuss individual cases.

COPE publishes a monthly newsletter and organises annual seminars. COPE has created an audit tool for members to measure compliance with its 'Core Practices' and guidance in the form of flowcharts, discussion documents, guidelines and eLearning modules.


COPE was established in 1997 by a small group of medical journal editors in the United Kingdom. As of 2022, COPE has over 13,000 members worldwide, from all academic fields. Paid membership is open to editors of academic journals and others interested in publication ethics, and varies per year depending on the membership type.[5]

COPE's first guidelines were developed after discussion at the COPE meeting in April 1999 and were published as Guidelines on Good Publication Practice in the Annual Report in 1999. On their basis, the first edition of Code of Conduct for Editors was published on the first COPE website in November 2004, with an Editorial in the BMJ.[5] The Code was replaced in 2017 with a simplified description of expectations as COPE's Core Practices, with links to COPE's detailed guidance.

Previous COPE Chairs include: Michael Farthing, Fiona Godlee, Harvey Markovitch, Elizabeth Wager, Virginia Barbour,[6][7] Chris Graf and Geraldine Pearson (co-Chairs),[8] Deborah Poff. COPE is currently chaired by Dan Kulp.


COPE is governed by the Trustee Board, who are ultimately responsible for the financial, legal and business operations of COPE as a charitable business and gives authority to Council and the Executive Officer and team to manage the day to day affairs of the organization.

Links with other organizations[edit]

COPE also has links with the Council of Science Editors, the European Association of Science Editors, the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors, the World Association of Medical Editors, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Directory of Open Access Journals, STM, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wager, E. (2010). Getting Research Published: An A to Z of Publication Strategy. Radcliffe Series. Radcliffe Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-84619-408-5. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  2. ^ National Academies of Sciences, E.M.; Affairs, P.G.; Committee on Science, E.M.P.P.; Science, C.R. (2018). Fostering Integrity in Research. National Academies Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-309-39125-2. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  3. ^ Clark, P.A. (2016). Bioethics: Medical, Ethical and Legal Perspectives. IntechOpen. p. 1. ISBN 978-953-51-2847-2. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  4. ^ Mayer, T.; Steneck, N. (2012). Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. World Scientific. p. 1. ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  5. ^ "Membership subscription fees". Committee on Publication Ethics. 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "Virginia Barbour". Homepage. Committee on Publication Ethics. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  7. ^ "COPE Chair, Virginia Barbour, discusses retractions on BBC Radio 4". Homepage. Committee on Publication Ethics. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  8. ^ "Council Members". Homepage. Committee on Publication Ethics. Retrieved 2019-02-14.

External links[edit]