COPE Requires Greater Consistency and Accountability

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

Abstract


The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is the largest ethics-related body in the world. However, the lack of clear policy related to the ethics of self-plagiarism, its stated inability to intervene in ethics-related conflicts involving several of its members causing a relative lack of opacity when authors wish to communicate concerns with or about a COPE member, inconsistent use of ethics guidelines by all its members, and the inability to call out its members when these may appear to be violating COPE editorial guidelines all contribute to the decrease in trust that authors – who are clearly not represented by the COPE charter – have in this organization and its members. One of the key corrupting factors is money. COPE members pay annual fees to become members, but only editors and publishers can become members. Consequently authors’ rights and concerns about COPE members are rarely addressed. Authors, who already have minimal rights in the entire publishing process, and very limited recourse for self-defense or protest, are considerably marginalized should conflicts with a COPE member exist. How then, can authors and the public hold COPE members more accountable?

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2017.v8n1p11


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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