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The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has published guidance, in the form of a flowchart, on how to deal with suspected plagiarism. This flowchart has been adapted, with permission, to Cochrane's editorial process. Editorial teams with a case of suspected plagiarism should follow the process outlined in the flowchart in the Figure Flowchart. As shown in the flowchart, there is no arbitrary threshold that should be used to signify plagiarism, rather the nature of the duplicated material is as important as the incidence.


It is good practice to ensure that the Co-ordinating Editor and Contact Editor (if used) for a review are informed in cases of overlapping text and correspondence with authors. When authors make changes in response to an Editor’s feedback, a member of the editorial team should check the revised manuscript when resubmitted to confirm the revisions are sufficient.

Box 22, 24, and 27 - add NSE. Also add a note to say that NSE will inform EiC of any actions taken if escalated.


Flowchart. What to do if plagiarism is suspected
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Adapted with permission from COPE from the flowchart (2013): “What to do if you suspect plagiarism: Suspected plagiarism in a submitted manuscript.
Network Senior Editor will inform Editor in Chief of any actions taken if escalated.

Substantial and/or repeat instances of plagiarism