A COPE guide
To help ensure the integrity of the scholarly record and the publication process, editorial offices should define and implement best practices in publication ethics. This COPE guide is a comprehensive toolkit that explains expected ethical practices in scholarly publishing, and highlights resources for editorial offices to develop their codes of ethical conduct and practice.
You can also use this toolkit to prepare your application for COPE membership by identifying areas in need of development within your policies and processes to align with COPE's Core Practices and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.
- Journals should have robust and well described practices for all the areas within the COPE Core Practices.
- Journals should be transparent about their processes and business practices according to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. COPE expects journals to apply these principles in publishing practice.
- Clear and transparent policies should be in place describing requirements for authorship and contributorship.
- Peer review processes, including what is peer reviewed, what model of peer review is used and how the process is managed must be transparent.
- Journals must have processes in place to respond to allegations of research, publication, and review misconduct whether before or after publication.
- Journals should clearly describe definitions of what, and how, conflicts of interest must be disclosed by authors, reviewers, editors, journals and publishers.
- Requirements for data availability, use of reporting guidelines, and registration of clinical trials and other study designs should be clear in journal guidelines.
- Journals must publish clear guidelines on the ethical conduct of research, according to the research discipline.
- Copyright and publishing licences must be clearly described, as well as any author or reader fees.
- Transparency of journal management is required including the business model, policies, processes, and software for the efficient running of the journal.
- Journals must describe how they manage post-publication debate and perform corrections and retractions.
- The journal and publisher must have guidelines in place to handle complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or the publisher.