Why Has COPE Developed Guidelines for Cooperation Between Journals and Research Institutions?
Elizabeth Wager
Mat Soc Med. 2012; 24(3): 140-141

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The primary role of COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics) is to provide advice and guidance to journal editors and publishers on ethical issues. COPE also expects its member journals to follow its Code of Conduct (1). The Code emphasizes that editors have a duty to pursue cases of suspected misconduct but makes it clear that such cases should be investigated by the researchers’ institutions, not by the journal.


1. COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. http://publicationethics.org/files/Codeofconductforjournaleditors_0.pdf

2. Wager E. Coping with misconduct. BMJ 2011;343:d6586 (also available at http://publicationethics.org/files/BMJ_institutional_responses_Oct_11.pdf)

3. Sox HC, Rennie D. Research misconduct, retraction, and cleansing the medical literature. Lessons from the Poehlman case. Ann Intern Med. 2006; 144: 609-613.

4. Wager E, Kleinert S. On behalf of COPE Council. Cooperation between research institutions and journals on reseach integrity cases: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). http://publicationethics.org/files/Research_institutions_guidelines_final.pdf and published in this issue.

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