Year : 2012  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155-160

Cooperation between research institutions and journals on research integrity cases: Guidance from the committee on publication ethics

1 Publications Consultant, Sideview, Princes Risborough, United Kingdom
2 Senior Executive Editor, The Lancet, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Elizabeth Wager
Sideview, 19 Station Road, Princes Risborough, HP27 9DE
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.97030

Rights and Permissions

Institutions and journals both have important duties relating to research and publication misconduct. Institutions are responsible for the conduct of their researchers and for encouraging a healthy research environment. Journals are responsible for the conduct of their editors, for safeguarding the research record, and for ensuring the reliability of everything they publish. It is, therefore, important for institutions and journals to communicate and collaborate effectively on cases relating to research integrity. To achieve this, we make the following recommendations. The institutions should:
  • have a research integrity officer (or office) and publish their contact details prominently
  • inform journals about cases of proven misconduct that affect the reliability or attribution of the research that they have published
  • respond to journals if they request information about issues, such as, disputed authorship, misleading reporting, competing interests, or other factors, including honest errors, that could affect the reliability of the published study
  • initiate inquiries into allegations of research misconduct or unacceptable publication practice raised by journals
  • have policies supporting a responsible research conduct and systems in place for investigating suspected research misconduct.
The journals should:
  • publish the contact details of their editor-in-chief who should act as the point of contact for questions relating to research and publication integrity
  • inform institutions if they suspect misconduct by their researchers, and provide evidence to support these concerns
  • cooperate with investigations and respond to institutions' questions about misconduct allegations
  • be prepared to issue retractions or corrections (according to the COPE guidelines on retractions) when provided with findings of misconduct arising from investigations
  • have policies for responding to institutions and other organizations that investigate cases of research misconduct.

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