SANP has become a member of COPE, the Committee of Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/). This recognises an ethically serious approach to the publication of scientific content and a transparent publishing policy.
With the rise of major players in the publishing industry and the subsequent spread of the open access model, there are more and more so-called "predatory publishers" – fraudulent enterprises that pose as reputable publishers with the sole aim of collecting publication fees. Orientation aids are becoming correspondingly more important.
Founded in 1997 in the UK at an initially informal meeting, COPE has since grown into a professional non-profit institution with over 12,500 members in 103 countries. Its goal is to firmly anchor ethical practices in the publishing culture of scientific content and thus improve the quality of scientific publications.
Journals that are COPE members must first undergo extensive reviews. They comply with 16 principles of transparency regarding peer review procedures, their ethical policies, and also their ownership structure and sources of income. This information is disclosed on the website. In addition, they agree to comply with the core practices defined by COPE regarding journal management, peer review procedures, handling of complaints and uncovered scientific misconduct. Violations can be punished, and members can even be expelled.
This clearly distinguishes journals that are COPE members from dubious publications. COPE membership has become a seal of quality for authors and readers; it provides assurance that important standards of scientific quality and journal integrity are maintained.
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