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Cooperative diversity protocols have attracted a great deal of attention since they are thought to be capable of providing diversity multiplexing tradeoff among single antenna wireless de- vices. In the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) region, cooperation is rarely required; hence, the spectral efficiency of the cooperative protocol can be improved by applying a proper cooperation selection technique. In this paper, we present a simple "cooperation selection" technique based on instantaneous channel measurement to improve the spectral efficiency of cooperative protocols. We show that the same instantaneous channel measurement can also be used for relay selection. In this paper two protocols are proposed-proactive and reactive; the selection of one of these protocols depends on whether the decision of cooperation selection is made before or after the transmission of the source. These protocols can successfully select cooperation along with the best relay from a set of available M relays. If the instantaneous source-to- destination channel is strong enough to support the system requirements, then the source simply transmits to the destination as a non- cooperative direct transmission; otherwise, a cooperative transmission with the help of the selected best relay is chosen by the system. Analysis and simulation results show that these protocols can achieve higher order diversity with improved spectral efficiency, i.e., a higher diversity-multiplexing tradeoff in a slow-fading environment.