Research and Publication Ethics Course 2022

Research and Publication Ethics (RPE) is a two credit course approved by University Grants Commission (UGC) for awareness about publication ethics and publication misconducts. The course is mandatory for research scholars of University of Calicut who have started their course work from 1st January 2020 onwards. Mahatma Gandhi University also made it compulsory for all Ph.D. students for their course work programme from 2019 admission onwards as Course IV.

If you are interested in joining RPE course to be organised by St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, please give the details as follows.   The duration of the course is 36 hours. Syllabus of the course include all topics stipulated by UGC plus few additional topics like academic writing, reference management and intellectual property rights.

Please note that attending the Research and Publication Ethics course conducted by St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur will NOT exempt you from appearing the course work examination (PQE) at your respective universities, where you have registered for PhD. This course is intended only to impart knowledge and lessons on the topics of Research and Publication Ethics.

St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, is offering RPE online, to those who are interested, including those outside the College.

Enrolment to course:           13.09.2022

Closing date of application: 20.09.2022

Commencement of course: 22.09.2022

Physical classes at St Thomas College (Tentative & optional): 24.10.2022 and 25.10.2022

Tentative completion of course:         26.10.2022
Tentative Online Objective examination date: 07.11.2022
Course fee: Rs 750 (For those who do not require to attend the examination)Examination fee: Rs 250 (For those who attend the examination have to pay Rs 1000 in total.)
If the learners want to be certified, an additional registration fee of Rs 250 have to be paid and pass an examination. St Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, will issue an e-certificate.

All research scholars enrolled in institutions at Thrissur are encouraged to attend physical classes.



Overview of the course

This course has total 6 units focusing on basics of philosophy of science and ethics, research integrity, publication ethics. 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 are introduced in this course.


Interactive video sessions, group discussions through online platforms, and practical sessions. Students have to attend online lectures, watch offline videos, read online resources and complete assignments.


Those students who want to be issued with a certificate of St Thomas College are required to satisfy the following:

Final examination – 50 % marks is required for a pass

Course Structure:

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

Modules Unit Title Teaching Hours
RPE 01 Philosophy and Ethics 5
RPE 02 Scientific Conduct 5
RPE 03 Publication Ethics 8
RPE 04 Open Access Publishing 5
RPE 05 Publication Misconduct 5
RPE 06 Database and Research Metrics 8
Total 36

 Syllabus in detail: Theory

RPE 01: Philosophy and Ethics

  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

  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

  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

  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

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

 Software tools

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

 RPE 06: Databases and research metrics

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


Mr. Sanjo Jose (Course Coordinator)

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

Dr Chacko V M, Coordinator & Dean of Research

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