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Cooperative transmission is an emerging communication technique that takes advantage of the broadcast nature of wireless channels. However, due to low spectral efficiency and the requirement of orthogonal channels, its potential for use in future wireless networks is limited. In this paper, by making use of multiuser detection (MUD) and network coding, cooperative transmission protocols with high spectral efficiency, diversity order, and coding gain are developed. Compared with the traditional cooperative transmission protocols with singleuser detection, in which the diversity gain is only for one source user, the proposed MUD cooperative transmission protocols have the merit that the improvement of one user's link can also benefit the other users. In addition, using MUD at the relay provides an environment in which network coding can be employed. The coding gain and high diversity order can be obtained by fully utilizing the link between the relay and the destination. From the analysis and simulation results, it is seen that the proposed protocols achieve higher diversity gain, better asymptotic efficiency, and lower bit error rate, compared to traditional MUD schemes and to existing cooperative transmission protocols. From the simulation results, the performance of the proposed scheme is near optimal as the performance gap is 0.12dB for average bit error rate (BER) 10-6 and 1.04dB for average BER 10-3, compared to two performance upper bounds.