For editors

COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors

General duties and responsibilities of journal editors:

  • Actively seek the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their
    journal’s processes
  • Encourage and be aware of research into peer review and ‘journalology’ and reassess journal processes in the light of new findings
  • Work to persuade their publishers to provide them with appropriate resources, guidance from experts (e.g. designers, lawyers) and adequate training to perform their role in a professional manner and raise the quality of their journal
  • Support initiatives designed to reduce academic misconduct
  • Support initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics
  • Assess the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behaviour and revise policies, as required, to encourage responsible behaviour and discourage misconduct
  • Ensure that any press releases issued by the journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context

Relations with authors

  • Publish clear instructions in their journals about submission and what they expect from authors
  • Provide guidance about criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor
  • Review author instructions regularly and provide links to relevant guidelines (e.g. ICMJE, COPE)
  • Require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication
  • Ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e. individuals who are able to judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests)
  • Respect requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned.