Committee on Publication Ethics

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


COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and, in particular, how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct.[2] It also provides a forum for its members to discuss individual cases (meeting four times a year in the UK and once a year in North America). COPE does not investigate individual cases but encourages editors to ensure that cases are investigated by the appropriate authorities (usually a research institution or employer).[3]

COPE also funds research on publication ethics, publishes a quarterly newsletter and organises annual seminars in the United Kingdom and the United States. Besides, COPE has created an audit tool for members to measure compliance with its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines.


COPE was established in 1997 by a small group of medical journal editors in the United Kingdom. Now it has over 6000 members worldwide, from all academic fields. Paid membership is open to editors of academic journals and others interested in publication ethics, and varies from £50 to £42,028 per year depending on the membership type.[4]

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, in 2004, the first edition of Code of Conduct for Editors was drafted. The draft underwent wide consultation with COPE Council as well as editors and publishers. The Code was published on the first COPE website in November 2004, with an Editorial in the BMJ.[5] The Code was later revised and improved, and other guidance was also issued to aid editors and publishers in the fight against research and publication misconduct (scientific misconduct).


COPE is run by a governing Council whose members are trustees of the charity. COPE has an independent Ombudsman to adjudicate disputes between COPE members or between them and the organisation. The day-to-day running of COPE is handled by the Operations Manager and Administrator.

Links with other organizations[edit]

It also has links with the Council of Science Editors, the European Association of Science Editors, the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors and the World Association of Medical Editors.

Selected publications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ COPE Resources
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
  3. ^ Wager E, Barbour V, Yentis S, Kleinert S, COPE Council. Retractions: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics. Journal of Critical Care 2009;24:620–622. PDF
  4. ^ "COPE Individual and Corporate Subscription rates 2011" (PDF). Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  5. ^ COPE Resources: Code of Conduct

External links[edit]