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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

COPE policy and procedure updates added to the resource library0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2017

In recent weeks the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has released a number of important updates to its policies, procedures and guidance material. These include:

Core practices
Changes to COPE’s disputes process
COPE Sanctions Policy

Scholarly Kitchen has a useful discussion piece about these changes and their significance for researchers.

COPE’s policies, procedures and resource material reflect good practice used by a significant proportion of publishers around the globe), can be important for international collaborations (e.g. in terms of a shared understanding of authorship criteria) and could be an important reference for Australian research institution if a lot of detail is removed from the Australian Code.

(COPE) Core practices0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2017

“COPE’s role is to assist editors of scholarly journals and publishers/owners – as well as other parties, such as institutions and funders, albeit less directly – in their endeavor to preserve and promote the integrity of the scholarly record through policies and practices that reflect the current best principles of transparency, as well as integrity. COPE’s new recommendations are intended to reflect these aims, in a practical way. COPE have therefore reviewed the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Editors and have consolidated them into one, much shorter, document entitled “Core Practices”. [Available to download as an A4 poster.]

The core practices page includes links to COPE resources.

COPE’s Core Practices should be considered alongside specific national and international codes of conduct for research and is not intended to replace them.

Background to why the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors has been replaced with the Core Practices...”

Allegations of misconduct
Authorship and contributorship
Complaints and appeals
Conflicts of interest/Competing interests
Data and reproducibility
Ethical oversight
Intellectual property
Journal management
Peer review processes
Post-publication discussions and corrections

Access the full statement of the COPE core practices 

Artificial intelligence in peer review: How can evolutionary computation support journal editors? (Papers: Maciej J. Mrowinski, et al | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on December 15, 2017


With the volume of manuscripts submitted for publication growing every year, the deficiencies of peer review (e.g. long review times) are becoming more apparent. Editorial strategies, sets of guidelines designed to speed up the process and reduce editors’ workloads, are treated as trade secrets by publishing houses and are not shared publicly. To improve the effectiveness of their strategies, editors in small publishing groups are faced with undertaking an iterative trial-and-error approach. We show that Cartesian Genetic Programming, a nature-inspired evolutionary algorithm, can dramatically improve editorial strategies. The artificially evolved strategy reduced the duration of the peer review process by 30%, without increasing the pool of reviewers (in comparison to a typical human-developed strategy). Evolutionary computation has typically been used in technological processes or biological ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that genetic programs can improve real-world social systems that are usually much harder to understand and control than physical systems.

Mrowinski MJ, Fronczak P, Fronczak A, Ausloos M, Nedic O (2017) Artificial intelligence in peer review: How can evolutionary computation support journal editors? PLoS ONE 12(9): e0184711. Publisher (open access);

Like many thoughtful conversations about artificial intelligence and research outputs the point here is how smart systems can assist peer reviewers not replace them.


COPE Discussion document: Who “owns” peer reviews?0

Posted by Admin in on December 13, 2017

“This document aims to stimulate discussion about ownership rights in peer reviewer reports. Here we set out some of the issues that have arisen in previous discussions around peer review, some of which are specific to various models of peer review. We hope that the concepts discussed assist journal editors and publishers in establishing guidelines and clear policies for handling issues surrounding who owns peer reviews. COPE welcomes additional comments from journal editors, reviewers, researchers, institutions, funders and third party services on this subject…”

Read the rest of this discussion piece