In its Code of Conduct, COPE reminds journal editors of their duty to pursue cases of suspected misconduct but emphasizes that, in nearly all cases, editors should not attempt to conduct investigations themselves. One reason why editors value COPE and the opportunity to discuss anonymous cases is that instances of misconduct frequently start with vague suspicions or allegations, and it is often not clear how an editor should respond. In the early stages, editors usually have only a partial account of events and only incomplete information about a case. In addition, because editors are usually not based at the authors’ institution and have not been involved with the research or publication being disputed, they are not in a position to reach a judgment or to arbitrate. For example, if a researcher claims that she has been unjustly omitted from the list of authors, while the other authors claim that she did not contribute to the project sufficiently to qualify for authorship, the editor has no way of deciding where the truth lies. One important principle of the flowcharts is therefore that editors should not judge cases themselves but should work with the appropriate authorities, for example, the authors’ institutions, research funders, or an organization such as the US Office of Research Integrity, which is properly constituted to handle such cases and can obtain the necessary information.