What does COPE do, and how does it do it? Here's some information from the Committee itself:
"As your journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), we would like to welcome you and take this opportunity to explain a little more about COPE, the benefits of membership and the features of our website.
COPE was founded in 1997 by a group of journal editors concerned about publication misconduct, e.g. plagiarism, redundant publication, fraudulent data, unethical research, breaches of confidentiality, etc. Originally a loose gathering of a few individuals, COPE is now a registered charity with over 6000 members across all disciplines.
Membership in COPE sends a signal to authors and reviewers that your journal upholds the highest ethical standards, that you intend to follow COPE’s Code of Conduct and that you will take appropriate action in cases of possible misconduct. Benefits of membership include:
• Ability to bring cases to the quarterly COPE Forum for advice (in person or by telephone); minutes (including advice and follow-up information on all cases discussed) are available to all COPE members;The COPE Forum meets every three months in London, UK and is open to members and appropriate guests. Members are invited to submit cases in advance, which are anonymised before circulation. Cases are then discussed during the Forum, with advice given on appropriate action. Members are asked to provide feedback about their cases at subsequent meetings.
• Facility to obtain confidential advice on sensitive ethical issues between Forum meetings from COPE’s chairman or officers;
• Free attendance at annual seminars (held in the UK and USA);
• Quarterly newsletter;
• E-learning course on publication ethics (under development);
• Publication ethics audit tool.
All cases submitted to the Forum (suitably anonymised and without any information about the submitting journal) are entered into the database, which may be helpful in answering queries about cases similar to those that have been discussed before and will also form a useful research tool".Membership of COPE does not preclude readers and authors from letting us know if they read or see anything untoward in our pages.So if you see anything that looks wrong, please let us know as soon as possible.