10 Mar 2007

Publication ethics - COPE and WAME

In the battle to maintain ethical standards in science and medical publishing, two groups deserve a special mention - the Committee on Publication Ethics, and the World Association of Medical Editors.

The Committee on Publication Ethics is based in London and has member journals around in world, although mainly in Europe. COPE centres on meetings every three months, when editors present anonymised cases when they have concerns about the conduct of a study or publication ethics, and an annual seminar. Anyone reading in the BMJ about the apparent total fabrication of trials of high-dose mannitol for head injury will no doubt be interested to hear that COPE had been consulted for its advice during this investigation. Several BioMed Central journals have taken cases to COPE - we recently consulted them with a question about when an author's publication rate becomes too high to be feasible without gift authorship or fraud.

The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME, pronounced "whammy") is made up of individual editors of biomedical journals. WAME aims to encourage ethical practices among its members and to encourage communication among editors. The WAME listserve acts as the core of WAME's activities and archives of these discussions can be browsed through. A list of resources for editors is also available - I'll be helping to add to these, after being invited to join the Education Committee.

o easily search the websites of WAME and COPE you can install these search plugins.

No comments: