Who’s behind United2Act and how it got started


In 2022, COPE and STM undertook a study with Maverick Publishing Services, based on data from publishers and interviews with stakeholders, to understand the scale of the problem of paper mills, and to consider what actions to take.
Download the report from COPE

Recognising the need for collective action, in May 2023 a virtual summit was organised by COPE and STM with the aim:

“To arrive at a shared actionable multi-stakeholder plan to address the problem of paper mills”

40 participants from 15 countries, representing research bodies, publishers, researchers/sleuths, and universities, as well as representatives from ORCID, Clarivate, and Retraction Watch, actively participated in the event.

Areas of discussion included:

  • Education and awareness, including the creation of educational tools and resources
  • Improvements to post-publication corrections
  • More research on paper mills
  • Support for the development of trust markers
  • Continuing to facilitate dialogue between stakeholders about the manipulation of the publishing process

The outcome of the summit was to agree a Consensus Statement and set up multi-stakeholder Working Groups.

Steering group

  • Deborah Kahn, COPE (Co-chair)
  • Dr Sabina Alam, Taylor & Francis (Co-chair)
  • Dr Stefania Mondello, University of Messina (Vice Chair)
  • Jason Hu, Taylor & Francis (Working group 1)
  • Dr Elizabeth Moylan, Wiley (Working group 2)
  • Professor Jennifer Byrne, University of Sydney (Working group 3)
  • Blaine Butler, Center for Open Science (Working group 4)
  • Dr Nandita Quaderi, Clarivate (Working group 5)
  • Natalie Ridgeway, COPE
  • Caroline Sutton, STM
  • Dr Joris van Rossum, STM
  • Ruth King (Project Manager)

A joint project from

COPE logo
STM logo