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Soon after we took over as editors of Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2003 we were alerted by a reader to a potential overlap of content between material published in Sexually Transmitted Infections and in The Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. We investigated this and took our concerns to The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We subsequently published a Notice of Redundant Publication,1 together with a response from the authors concerned.2 The unfolding of events is eloquently described in the accompanying article written by the COPE Ombudsman (see page 236).
We urge you to read his detailed account, which has been agreed by all of those involved. It describes some of the difficulties authors and editors may encounter during the publication process—even when all parties are acting in good faith.
Competing interests: None.