Publication Ethics

COPE Flowcharts

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

The Committee on Publishing Ethics started with a relatively small group of medical journal editors in the UK and then was registered as a charitable company limited by guarantee in the UK and set up by a Memorandum of Association in 2007.

Quoting from the COPE Website December 7, 2014:

” 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. It also provides a forum for its members to discuss individual cases. 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).

All COPE members are expected to follow the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

COPE has produced an eLearning course for new editors. Eleven modules in total, the course currently includes: An Introduction to Publication Ethics, Plagiarism, and Authorship among others. COPE also funds research publication ethics, organizes annual seminars globally and has created an audit tool for members to measure compliance with its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. ”

Thus COPE is not an adjudicating body but seeks to provide advice on editing and maintaining ethical standards in publications and provides advice on anonymized cases.

Now with 9,000 members and growing, those interested are encouraged to view the website of this vibrant society providing important services to the healthcare profession.

Web site:

In our provision (with permission of the flowcharts and the Japanese translation provided as a pro bono service by Patrick Barron of Tokyo Medical University, we hope to increase awareness and understanding of this essential part of healthcare communications fulfilled by COPE.