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Table 1 Definition of scientific misconduct and COPE guidelines for journal responses to errors or misconduct

From: A randomised investigation of journal responses to academic and journalist enquiry about possible scientific misconduct

Definition of scientific misconduct
Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing or reviewing research, or in reporting research results [5]
COPE guidelines
Problem Recommended action
A small part of otherwise reliable publication is misleading (especially if honest error) Correction
Incorrect author list  
Inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct Expression of concern
Evidence that findings are unreliable but authors’ institution will not investigate  
Believe an investigation has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive  
An investigation is underway but results not be available for some time  
Clear evidence that findings are unreliable because of misconduct or honest error Retract publication
Findings have been published previously  
Research is unethical  
  1. COPE Committee on Publication Ethics