COPE provides advice to editor and publisher on all aspects of publication ethics and, in particular, how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct. It also provides a forum for its members to discuss individual cases (meeting four times a year in the UK and once a year in North America). COPE does not investigate individual cases but encourages editors to ensure that cases are investigated by the appropriate authorities (usually a research institution or employer).
COPE also funds research on publication ethics, publishes a quarterly newsletter and organises annual seminars in the United Kingdom and the United States. Besides, COPE has created an audit tool for members to measure compliance with its Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines.