by Kurt Spurlock, Quality Manager at Research Square
For almost 20 years, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has provided important resources on publication ethics, from best practices for journal editors and authors to flowcharts to guide decision making on specific cases.
Recently, we at Research Square became an Associate Corporate member of COPE, joining thousands of other participants in academic publishing. Although we’re not a publisher, much of COPE’s work resonates with us and informs how we serve both authors and publishers. Our Vice President of Pre-Publication Services, Dr. Sarah Taylor, speaks for all of us when she says, “We are delighted to join COPE both to support the organization and to signal our shared focus on ethical behavior in communicating research.”
We were also fortunate to attend to COPE’s North American Seminar this year: seats filled quickly, and the waitlist was dozens deep. The jam-packed, one-day seminar featured three engaging speakers: Betsy Donohue from Digital Science, David Crotty from Oxford University Press and Executive Editor at SSP’s blog, The Scholarly Kitchen, and Todd Carpenter from the National Information Standards Organization (and a Scholarly Kitchen chef as well). The theme across all three talks was publishing metrics, especially nontraditional or “alternative” metrics—what they can and should capture, how they can and should be used, and of course, how they present ethical implications for authors and publishers.
The afternoon covered more directly practical matters. The ever-popular group sessions on case studies propped up some thoughtful, at times intense, discussion of publication ethics. This feature is always a good reminder of COPE’s usefulness. By providing editors and those in academic publishing a forum to discuss complicated and often delicate ethical issues, COPE helps put those best practices into action. The final activity of the day was to design another of COPE’s flowcharts, this one for how to navigate an author’s appeal of a review. Again, this hands-on group work grounds COPE’s work in creating applicable resources for the sake of consistency across all of academic publishing.
We’re glad to be official COPE members and look forward to connecting more closely with the organization in the future.
Kurt Spurlock, Research Square’s Quality Manager, leads quality assurance for the company’s manuscript services, including editing, translation, manuscript formatting, and scientific illustration. Kurt has worked at Research Square for more than seven years in various roles focusing on quality and has worked with, and on behalf of, countless researchers to help ensure that their work meets journal standards. He holds an MA in English literature and a BS in physics. He currently serves on the industry advisory board for the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors and is a member of the Council of Science Editors and the American Society for Quality. He is also certified as an editor by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences.