Taylor & Francis staff Sarah Blatchford, Natalie Davall, and Rebecca Bryson attended the COPE Asia-Pacific Seminar on June 23, 2014. Chaired by Virginia Barbour, the seminar opened with an introduction to COPE, offering background information on the support COPE provides on publication ethics and giving an overview of recent COPE activities.
The first speakers of the day were Dr. Paul Taylor and Dr. Daniel Barr from the University of Melbourne, discussing publication ethics in relation to student researchers. They discussed the University of Melbourne’s approach to research ethics. While emphasizing that the impacts of research are broad and unpredictable, it is unknown when research might have impact so we have to do what we can do now to make sure it can be trusted. Training and education for student researchers was also discussed, to ensure that they understand ethical policy and practices by their institution and supervisors.
Virginia Barbour presented the recent guidelines from COPE regarding peer reviewers and whistle blowers, both developed on an evidence-based approach. This was followed by a presentation on ethics at Wiley by Deb Wyatt. The cases presented to COPE have become increasingly complex in recent years, with a large rise in cases involving authorship and redundant/duplicate publications. Cases involving false reviewers are now also increasingly presented to COPE, and more information for Taylor & Francis editors on checking the validity of reviewer accounts in ScholarOne Manuscripts or Editorial Manager can be found here.
Sarah Olesen from the Australian National Data Service discussed the ethics of data publication as the last session of the day. One of the argued ethical reasons for data publication is that research is a public resource and so must be shared, although many authors believe their data is not easily accessible to others. Sarah Olesen described data management as the responsibility of the researcher and often part of institutional policy, noting that although data publication and discoverability is the key to good data management, only 15% of data is discoverable.
The seminar closed with a workshop looking at anonymized cases that have previously been presented to the COPE Forum, which made for some thought-provoking debate.
This year’s COPE Asia-Pacific Seminar generated a lot of interesting discussion around publication ethics throughout the research career lifecycle and all slides from the day will be made available by link when posted by COPE.