Research and Publication Ethics course


Research and publication ethics course

Research and Publication Ethics (RPE) is a two credit course approved by University Grants Commission (UGC) for awareness about publication ethics and publication misconducts ( and it is mandatory for research scholars of University of Calicut who have started their course work on 1st January 2020


Mahatma Gandhi University also made it compulsory for all Ph.D. students for their course work programme from 2019 admission onwards as Course IV (

University of Calicut order regarding Course at St.Thomas College(Autonomous), Thrissur

Department of Library and Information Studies and Research Council of St Thomas Collegein association with Directorate of Research, University of Calicut is offering RPE online through St Thomas E-learning platform (STEP), to those who are interested, including those who are studying, working or doing research outside the College. The course will commence from 12th August 2020.

The course content will be available to the learners on payment of enrolment fee of Rs 250. If they want to be certified, they have to pay examination fee of Rs 750, pass an examination and St Thomas College will issue the certificate.

Those interested are requested to fill their details in the form available at

<> and pay the fee from 07th to 14th August 2020.

If you face any difficulty or have any queries regarding the registration of course, please fill the form available at

Course title:

Research and Publication Ethics (RPE): Course for awareness about the publication ethics and publication misconducts

Course level:

2 credit course (30 Hrs)


M.Phil, Ph.D. students and interested faculty members


Enrollment fee: Rs 250

Examination fee: Rs 750


Interdisciplinary Studies

Resource Team:

Dr. Subhash Chandra Lakhotia,  BHU Distinguished Professor (Lifetime) & INSA Senior Scientist, FNA, FASc, FNASc, SSB

Dr. Yahya A. I., Professor & HoD of Chemistry, University of Calicut, Kerala

Dr. Sajeev T V, Senior Principal Scientist, KFRI, Peechi, Thrissur, Kerala

Dr. Peter M Raj, Associate Professor, Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA),  Thrissur, Kerala

Dr. Sreejesh S, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Kerala

Dr. Vinu C T, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu

Dr. Ramesh C. Gaur, Ph.D. Fulbright Scholar (Virginia Tech, USA) , Dean & Director (Lib&Inf.)/ Head – Kala Nidhi Division

Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) (Autonomous body of Ministry of Culture, Government of India),  New Delhi
Dr Gitanjali Yadav MNASc, Staff Scientist V, Computational Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Plant Genome Research,  New Delhi, Lecturer, University of Cambridge, Dept. of Plant Sciences Downing Site, Cambridge, CB2 3EA, UK

Dr. Abdul Azeez T.A., University Librarian, University of Calicut

Dr. Francis A. T., University Librarian, Kerala Agricultural University

Dr. Vinod V.M., Assistant Librarian, University of Calicut

Dr.  Sriram V., Librarian, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

Mr Jasimudeen S, Librarian, St. Stephen’s College, Uzhavoor

Ms Vineetha Davies, Librarian, St Aloysius College, Elthuruth, Thrissur – 680611

Mr Biju V.V.,  Librarian, Sacred Heart College (Autonomous), Thevara, Ernakulam – 682013

Mr. Sanjo Jose, Librarian, St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur

Dr. Joby Thomas K, Associate Professor, St.Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur

Dr. V.M. Chacko, Assistant Professor, St.Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur

Important dates:

Commences on 12th August 2020

Completes on 5th October 2020

About the course

Course code: CPE-RPE


This course has total 6 units focusing on basics of philosophy of science and ethics, research integrity, publication ethics. Hands on sessions are designed to identify research misconduct and predatory publications. Indexing and citation databases, open access publications, research metrics (citations, h-index, impact factor, etc.) and plagiarism tools will be introduced in this course.


Online lectures(2.30 pm – 3.30 pm), group discussions through online platforms, and practical sessions. Students have to attend online lectures, watch offline videos, complete reading materials and assignments, for which schedule will be announced in the due course.


Continuous assessment will be done through assignments and quizzes. Weightage will be given for active participation. Online examination will be conducted at the end of the course.

Attendance – 75 % in online lectures

Assignments – All assignment have to be completed in stipulated time

Final examination –5 point scale Grading System, atleast 2 grade point average required for pass.

Course Structure:

The course comprises of six modules listed in table below. Each module has 4-5 units.

Modules Unit Title Teaching Hours
RPE 01 Philosophy and Ethics 4
RPE 02 Scientific Conduct 4
RPE 03 Publication Ethics 7
RPE 04 Open Access Publishing 4
RPE 05 Publication Misconduct 4
RPE 06 Database and Research Metrics 7
Total 30

Syllabus in detail:


RPE 01: Philosophy and Ethics (4 hrs)

  1. Introduction to Philosophy: definition, nature and scope, concept, branches
  2. Ethics: Definition, moral philosophy, nature of moral judgments and reactions.

RPE 02: Scientific Conduct (4 hrs)

  1. Ethics with respect to science and research
  2. Intellectual honesty and research integrity
  3. Scientific misconducts: Falsification, Fabrication and Plagiarism (FFP)
  4. Redundant publications: duplicate and overlapping publications, salami slicing
  5. Selective reporting and misrepresentation of data

RPE 03: Publication Ethics (7 hrs)

  1. Publication ethics: definition, introduction and importance
  2. Best practices/standards setting initiatives and guidelines: COPE, WAME etc.
  3. Conflicts of interest
  4. Publication misconduct: Definition, concept, problems that lead to unethical behavior and vice versa, types
  5. Violation of publication ethics, authorship and contributorship
  6. Identification of publication misconduct, complaints and appeals
  7. Predatory publishers and journals


RPE 04: Open Access Publishing (4hrs)

  1. Open access publications and initiatives
  2. SHERPA/RoMEO online resource to check publisher copyright & self-archiving policies
  3. Software tool to identify predatory publications developed by SPPU: UGC-CARE list of journals
  4. Journal finder/journal suggestion tools viz. JANE, Elsevier Journal Finder, Springer Journal Suggester, etc.

RPE05: Publication Misconduct (4 hrs)

  1. Group discussions (2 hrs)
  2. Subject specific ethical issues, FFP, authorship
  3. Conflicts of interest
  4. Complaints and appeals: examples and fraud from India and abroad

 Software tools (2 hrs)

Use of reference management software like Mendeley, Zotero etc. and anti-plagiarism software like Turnitin, Urkund

RPE 06: Databases and research metrics (7 hrs)

  1. Databases (4hrs)
  2. Indexing databases
  3. Citation databases: Web of Science, Scopus etc.
  4. Research Metrics (3hrs)
  5. Impact factor of journal as per Journal Citation Report, SNIP, SJR, IPP, CiteScore
  6. Metrics: h-index, g-index,i-10 index, altmetrics



Dr.Chacko VM, Faculty of RPE (Co-ordinator)

HoD & Assistant Professor, Statistics, St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, e-mail:

Mr. Sanjo Jose (Jt. Co-ordinator)

Librarian, St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, e-mail:

For details about the Research and Publication Ethics course, click here for UGC Guidelines 
For details about the Doctoral Studies, click here