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June 2023

Committee on Publication Ethics issues “Best practices for guest edited collections” for journal editors and guest editors

Many researchers receive email invitations from guest editors of a journal to submit a paper to a special issue that collects together research papers on a specific topic. These guest edited collections can be extremely helpful to researchers as they offer a “deep dive” into a specific research topic; however, they can also be an open door to unethical research and publication behaviors. According to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), these unethical behaviors can include predatory publishing, peer review fraud, citation cartels, undisclosed competing interests, and identity theft.

To help journals ethically organize, commission, and edit accepted papers for guest edited collections, COPE has issued “Best practices for guest edited collections”. The guidance contains three checklists for journal editors and guest editors to follow: (1) when creating the guest edited collection; (2) when editing the content; and (3) concerning the ethical responsibilities before submission, during peer review, and after publication.



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