The quality of the research record in the form of peer-reviewed journal archives is a reflection of not only the quality of the research publication and correction process, but also the quality of the underlying knowledge creation process. Key to the integrity of the research record are honesty and accountability from all parties involved in governing, performing, and publishing scholarly work. A concerted effort is needed to nurture an ethical research publishing culture by promoting ethical practice, relevant training, and effective systems for responding to allegations of research or publication misconduct. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is a membership organisation that aims to promote integrity in research publishing, for example, by developing and encouraging best practices to ensure that research is reported ethically, completely, and transparently. COPE uses the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing as part of its criteria when evaluating publishers and journals as members. Researchers can also make use of these guidelines to assess a journal's quality and to gain insights into what peer-reviewed journals expect from authors. The present article outlines and discusses these guidelines to help life science researchers publish ethically, as well as to identify ethical journals as readers, authors, and reviewers.

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