ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
Search
Generic filters
Exact text matches only
Search into
Filter by Categories
Research integrity
Filter by Categories
Human Research Ethics

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

Research Integrity

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Question for Research Ethics Monthly readers: Win for your institution a new 12-month subscription to https://www.ahrecs.vip0

Posted by Admin in AHRECS Admin, Human Research Ethics, Research Integrity, Services on December 23, 2019 / Keywords: , ,
 

Prof. Mark Israel and Dr Gary Allen

We would like to encourage institutions to try out the ahrecs.vip set of resources. We also would like to crowdsource additional material and request the help of members of the research ethics community of practice. People like you. So, if you would like an opportunity to win a new 12-month subscription to ahrecs.vip, please send us your answer to one of the following questions:

  1. The best thing our HREC ever did was…
  2. The most important change I’d make to how my institution deals with research ethics is…

Your response to either of these questions should be between 50 and 500 words and can take the form of a short briefing note, a poem or a video recording with emphasis on either entertainment or information or both. Your submission must be received by 5pm Friday 31 March 2020.

Entries will be judged by members of the AHRECS team.  The best entry will win for their institution a new 12-month subscription to https://www.ahrecs.vip (valued at $350).  The April edition of the Research Ethics Monthly will include excerpts from some of our favourite entries and AHRECS reserves the right to draw on material within the entries and reproduce within the ahrecs.vip site while acknowledging the source of the material.

For more information send an email to gary.allen@ahrecs.com.

It’s the hand you’re dealt: Copyright card games and publishing board games are in!0

Posted by Admin in Research Integrity on December 21, 2019 / Keywords: , , ,
 

Nerida Quatermass | University Copyright Officer | Project Manager, Creative Commons Australia at Queensland University of Technology

As a university copyright officer, I provide copyright information for research and scholarly communication – from ethics applications to publication.

What’s up, Doc?

Copyright questions can often be a manifestation of a larger issue than copyright. For example, a question about the mining or use of Twitter posts while involving third party copyright is also a matter of contract – what use of content is allowed under platform terms. Alternatively, the question might be about copyright, but it’s one where the law doesn’t provide the answer – does the scope of the fair dealing for research exception extend to publication? These types of enquiries illustrate that researchers need to understand copyright and a range of related issues relevant to research and communication.]

Myth-busting

Couple these uncertainties with the fact that there is no harmony in copyright laws between jurisdictions in a global research and communication community, and it means there are sure to be some persistent copyright myths to de-bunk in order to understand what is allowed. For example, the concept of “fair use” of copyright is well known globally and researchers in Australia often ask if the use they want to make of third-party copyright is a “fair use”. They are not aware that they cannot rely on it in Australia and are not generally aware of the “fair dealing” provisions that are available to them. Misinformation combined with limited confident knowledge about re-use rights leave researchers confused and anxious about copyright matters.

Back to basics

The savvy 21st century researcher needs some basic copyright knowledge to feel confident to manage their own copyright, their use of third-party copyright, and related publication matters. Researchers have always been required by traditional publishers to manage copyright, but today funder and institutional requirements for Open Access require a level of knowledge about open licensing and the effect of a Creative Commons licence on communication and reuse.\

Out with the old

Copyright is a pretty dry topic. At Queensland University of Technology, within the Research Support Team I am a member of, a wide range of copyright guidance is available including self-help, workshop and direct enquiry. When we “teach” in traditional workshops I am not confident that transferrable learning occurs in a way that will enable future decision making. In part, I put this down to a lack of engagement in traditionally-delivered workshops and seminars.

Making a game of it

Game play has benefits to adult learning, and this is a direction that copyright education has gone in. The UK Copyright Literacy organisation mantra is “decoding copyright and bringing you enlightenment”. Jane Secker and Chris Morrison (2016) have led the way by creating games which are played in workshops. They have found that the interactivity of a games situation engages learners in training, but is also a drawcard to attend.  Chris and Jane have created two games: Copyright the Card Game which teaches the basics of copyright law and application; and The Publishing Trap which facilitates informed decision making for the research lifecycle including IP and copyright.  Following suit and inspired by this, Tohatoha – Aotearoa New Zealand’s peak open advocacy body have released Creative Commons Release ‘Em Poker – a poker style card game about Creative Commons licensing. This game is correct for all jurisdictions because CC licences are global.

Back to the thorn that is jurisdictional copyright, this year I worked with the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee and a number of librarians to localise Copyright the Card Game to Australian copyright law. The resulting Copyright the Card Came: Australian Edition is correct for Australian law; and it has an Australian look and feel to it.

The proof is in the pudding

This year, Australian librarians and copyright officers have played Copyright the Card Came: Australian Edition in workshops, and professional development programs and at conferences. The feedback has been very positive. The interactive environment and scenario-based play is a positive contribution to learning which has made the copyright workshop a much more enjoyable prospect for teachers and learners.

If you are interested in playing, ask your librarian or copyright officer if they can organise it. Alternatively, all the resources including the card deck and workshop presentation are available online.

A beautiful deck of Creative Commons Release ‘Em Poker cards can be purchased online. Copyright: The Card Game and The Publishing Trap resources can be printed from the websites below.

Copyright the Card Came: Australian Edition

Creative Commons Release ‘Em Poker

The Publishing Trap

Reference

Secker, Jane and Morrison, Chris (2016) Copyright education and training. In: Copyright and E-learning: a Guide for Practitioners. Facet Publishing, London, UK, pp. 211-238. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/67926/1/Secker_Copyright%20education_2016.pdf

This post may be cited as:

Quatermass, N. (21 December 2019) It’s the hand you’re dealt: Copyright card games and publishing board games are in! Research Ethics Monthly. Retrieved from: https://ahrecs.com/research-integrity/its-the-hand-youre-dealt-copyright-card-games-and-publishing-board-games-are-inhttps://ahrecs.com/research-integrity/its-the-hand-youre-dealt-copyright-card-games-and-publishing-board-games-are-in

Pondering on whether to submit your research output to a journal?0

 

The significance of how we talk and think about the pachyderm elephant mammoth in the room.

Dr Gary Allen
AHRECS Senior Consultant

The names we give things matter. The Bard may have been willing to allow a rose to stand in place for any noun, but he hadn’t encountered unscrupulous publishers.

Thanks to Beall’s List, over the last few years we may have been ready to declare that an unscrupulous journal was predatory. Prior to early 2017, many of us defaulted to Beall’s List to label a journal and its publisher as being naughty or nice.

In general, a predatory journal is one that claims an editorial board, impact factor and quality assurance process it doesn’t actually have and is far more focussed on fast profits than a meaningful contribution to scholarly wisdom. Often predatory journals come within suites belonging to a predatory publisher. Other dubious behaviours of these unscrupulous publishers include:

  1. Listing eminent/influential editors who don’t actually have any involvement or association with the publication (and refusing to remove names when challenged).
  2. Styling their website after a reputable publisher or using a very similar journal title in the hopes of tricking the unwary.
  3. Offering to add undeserving co-authors to a publication… for a price.

Chances are our professional development workshops during this time would have been loaded with tips on how to spot a predatory journal, to be suspicious of unsolicited emails from publishers, and to be aware publishing with a predatory publisher could be a costly mistake (Eve and Priego 2017).

But credible voices started to ask whether we should pay heed to blacklists (Neylo 2017) and that Beall’s List hadn’t been without its problems (Swauger 2017). The difficulty is that blacklists tend to be conservative and can privilege established ways of doing business. There are quality open access publishers using non-traditional editorial and author-pays models and ‘traditional’ publishers whose business practices may not be that friendly to good academic practice.

After Beall’s List disappeared, we were all given good reason to reflect upon where not to publish. I was co-author of an earlier post on this topic (Israel and Allen 2017).

Over the last few years, it has become clear the relationship between questionable publishers and researchers was more complex than a predator/prey dichotomy where hapless authors were being tricked by unscrupulous publishers (submitting a paper to them because they were fooled by the false claims of peer review/editorial processes).

In this context, we saw: commentary that pointed to researchers publishing with predatory publishers was not limited to the global South (Oransky 2017); educational materials produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics; peak funding bodies urging grant-recipients to stay away from illegitimate publishers (Lauer 2017); the growth of predatory conferences (Cress 2017), and institutions treating as fraud the use of such publications in applications (Campanile & Golding 2017). I wrote about this shift in an earlier post in the Research Ethics Monthly (Are we missing the true picture? Stop calling a moneybox a fishing hook).

Recently we have been noting how ‘junk science’ disseminated by questionable publishers is hurting research (Gillis 2019), is undermining public trust in research (Marcus 2019), is underpinning claims by climate change denialists and the anti-vaccine movement based on ‘alternative facts’, and is something selection committees should be aware of (Flaherty 2019). The toxic effects of dodgy publications have been described as citation pollution (Hinchliffe & Michael Clarke 2019, Beach 2019).

AHRECS recommends professional development efforts be updated again. The content discussed above should be retained but added to it should be a call for us all to safeguard the integrity and trustworthiness of science by creating an environment within which the incentive for our colleagues to use dodgy publication outlets is diminished.

In the subscribers’ areas you will find a short template ppt about this topic (which you can modify and use) and an AHRECS branded version with embedded audio by Professor Mark Israel. To access the subscribers’ area for institutions go to https://www.ahrecs.vip and for individuals go to https://www.patreon.com/ahrecs

References

Allen, G. (26 October 2018) Are we missing the true picture? Stop calling a moneybox a fishing hook. Research Ethics Monthly. Retrieved from: https://ahrecs.com/research-integrity/are-we-missing-the-true-picture-stop-calling-a-moneybox-a-fishing-hook

Beach, R. (2019  28 October) Citation Contamination: References to Predatory Journals in the Legitimate Scientific Literature. Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | October 2019). Retrieved from: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/10/28/citation-contamination-references-to-predatory-journals-in-the-legitimate-scientific-literature

Eve, P. M. & Priego E. (2017) Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers? Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. 15(2)
Publisher (Open access): http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/867/1042

Gillis, A. (2019 09 July) The Rise of Junk Science. The Walrus. Retrieved from: https://thewalrus.ca/the-rise-of-junk-science/

Hinchliffe, L. J. & Clarke, M. (2019 25 September) Fighting Citation Pollution — The Challenge of Detecting Fraudulent Journals in Works Cited. Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved from: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2019/09/25/fighting-citation-pollution/

Israel M. & Allen G. (2017 26 July) In a world of hijacked, clone and zombie publishing, where shouldn’t I publish? Research Ethics Monthly. Retrieved from: https://ahrecs.com/research-integrity/world-hijacked-clone-zombie-publishing-shouldnt-publish

Lauer, M. (2017) Continuing Steps to Ensuring Credibility of NIH Research: Selecting Journals with Credible Practices. Extramural Nexus. Retrieved from: https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2017/11/08/continuing-steps-to-ensuring-credibility-of-nih-research-selecting-journals-with-credible-practices/

Marcus, A (2019 09 January) Oft-quoted paper on spread of fake news turns out to be…fake news. Retraction Watch. Retrieved from: https://retractionwatch.com/2019/01/09/oft-quoted-paper-on-spread-of-fake-news-turns-out-to-befake-news/

Neylon, C. (2017 29 January) Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period. LSE Impact Blog. Retrieved from: https://cameronneylon.net/blog/blacklists-are-technically-infeasible-practically-unreliable-and-unethical-period/

Oransky, I. (2017) Predatory journals: Not just a problem in developing world countries, says new Nature paper. Retraction Watch. Retrieved from: http://retractionwatch.com/2017/09/06/predatory-journals-not-just-developing-world-countries-says-new-nature-paper/

Swauger, S. (2017) Open access, power, and privilege. College & Research Libraries News. 78(11)
Publisher (Open Access): http://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/16837/18434

This post may be cited as:
Allen, G. (31 October 2019) Pondering on whether to submit your research output to a journal?. Research Ethics Monthly. Retrieved from: https://ahrecs.com/research-integrity/pondering-on-whether-to-submit-your-research-output-to-a-journal

Ethics, Security and Privacy – the Bermuda Triangle of data management?0

 

Malcolm Wolski and Andrew Bowness
Griffith University

 

To manage sensitive research data appropriately, ethics, security and privacy requirements need to be considered. Researchers are traditionally familiar with ethics, but often have not considered the privacy and security pieces of the puzzle. Our reasons for making this statement are:

  • IT products used in research change rapidly
  • Legislation changes rapidly and there are jurisdictional issues
  • Most researchers are not legal or IT experts
  • No one teaches them enough basics to know what is risky behaviour

The recent revision to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018) on Management of Data and Information in Research highlights that it is not just the responsibility of a university to use best practice, but it is also the responsibility of the researcher. The responsible conduct of research includes within its scope the appropriate generation, collection, access, use, analysis, disclosure, storage, retention, disposal, sharing and re-use of data and information. Researchers have a responsibility to make themselves aware of the requirements of any relevant codes, legislation, regulatory, contractual or consent agreements, and to ensure they comply with them.

It’s a complex world

However, this is becoming an increasingly more complex environment for researchers. First, privacy legislation is dependent on jurisdiction of participants. For one example, a research project involving participants in Queensland is impacted by not only the Australian Privacy Act but also the Queensland version (Information Privacy Act 2009 Qld), and, if a participant or collaborator is an EU citizen, the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).

Secondly, cybersecurity and information security activities in universities have increased dramatically in recent times because of publicised data breaches and the impact of data breach legislation. If your research involves foreign citizens, you may also find foreign legislation impacting the type of response required.

Thirdly, funding agencies, such as government departments are increasingly specifying security and privacy requirements in tender responses and contracts.

These are having an impact on research project governance and practices, particularly for projects where the researcher has identified they are working with sensitive data. While the conversation typically focuses on data identified under the privacy acts as sensitive (e.g. Personally Identifiable Information (Labelled) under the Australian Privacy Act), researchers handle a range of data they may wish to treat as sensitive, whether for contractual reasons (e.g. participant consent, data sharing agreements) or for other reasons (e.g. ethical or cultural).

We have noticed an increasing trend within institutions where researchers are being required to provide more information on how they manage data as specified in a proposal or in a data sharing agreement. This typically revolves around data privacy and security, which is different from the ethics requirements.

What does “security” and “privacy” mean to the practitioner

IT security is more about minimising attack points though process or by using IT solutions to prevent or minimise the impacts of hostile acts or alternatively minimise impacts though misadventure (e.g. leaving a laptop on a bus). Data security is more in the sphere of IT and not researchers. This is reflected in which software products, systems and storage are “certified” to be safely used for handling and managing data classified as sensitive. IT usually also provides the identity management systems used to share data.

We have also noticed that researchers are relying on software vendors’ website claims about security and privacy which is problematic because most cloud software is running from offshore facilities which do not comply with Australian privacy legislation. Unless you are an expert in both Australian legislation and cybersecurity you need to rely on the expertise of your institutional IT and cybersecurity teams to verify vendors’ claims.

In the current environment, data privacy is more about mandated steps and activities designed to force a minimal set of user behaviours to prevent harm caused through successful attacks or accidental data breaches. It usually involves punishment to force good behaviour (e.g. see Data Breach Legislation for late reporting). Typically, data privacy is more the responsibility of the researcher. It usually involves governance processes (e.g. who has been given access to what data) or practices (e.g. what software products the team actually uses to share and store data).

What we should be worrying about

The Notifiable Data Breaches Statistics Report: 1 April to 30 June 2019 highlighted that only 4% of breaches, out of 254 notifications, were due to system faults, but 34% were due to human error and 62% due to malicious or criminal acts. Based on these statistics, the biggest risk associated with data breaches is where the data is in the hands of the end-user (i.e. the researcher) not with the IT systems themselves.

We argue the risks are also greater in research than the general population because of a number of factors such as the diversity of data held (e.g. data files, images, audio etc), the fluidity of the team membership, teams often being made up of staff across department and institutional boundaries, mobility of staff, data collection activities offsite, and the range of IT products needed in the research process.

For this discussion, the focus is on the governance and practice factor within the research project team and how this relates back to the ethics requirements when it has been highlighted that the project will involve working with sensitive data.

Help!!

We have worked closely with researcher groups for many years and have noticed a common problem. Researchers are confronted with numerous legislative, regulatory, policy and contractual requirements all written in terminology and language that bears little resemblance with what happens in practice. For example, to comply with legislation:

  • what does sending a data file “securely” over the internet actually look like in practice and which IT products are “safe”?
  • Is your university-provided laptop with the standard institutional image certified as “safe” for data classified as private? How do you know?
  • Is your mobile phone a “safe” technology to record interviews or images classified as private data? What is a “safe” technology for field work?

Within the university sector a range of institutional business units provide support services. For example, IT may provide advice assessing the security and privacy compliance of software, networked equipment or hardware infrastructure and the library may provide data management advice covering sensitive data. At our institution, Griffith University, the eResearch Services and the Library Research Services teams have been working closely with research groups to navigate their way through this minefield to develop standard practices fit for their purpose.

What we think is the best way forward

Our approach is to follow the Five Safes framework which has also been adopted by the Office of the National Data Commissioner. For example:

  • Safe People Is the research team member appropriately authorised to access and use specified data i.e. do you have a documented data access plan against team roles and a governance/induction process to gain access to restricted data?
  • Safe Projects Is the data to be used for an appropriate purpose i.e. do you have copies of the underlying data sharing/consent agreements, contracts, documents outlining ownership and licensing rights?
  • Safe Settings Does the access environment prevent unauthorised use i.e. do IT systems and processes support this and are access levels checked regularly?
  • Safe Data Has appropriate and sufficient protection been applied to the data i.e. what is it and does it commensurate with the level of risk involved?
  • Safe Outputs Are the statistical results non-disclosive or have you checked rights/licensing issues?

Expect to see a lot more of the Five Safes approach in the coming years.

References

Hardy, M. C., Carter, A., & Bowden, N. (2016). What do postdocs need to succeed? A survey of current standing and future directions for Australian researchers.2, 16093. https://doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2016.93

Meacham, S. (2016). The 2016 ASMR Health and Medical Research Workforce Survey. Australian Society of Medical Research.

Contributors

Malcolm Wolski, Director eResearch Services, Griffith University

Andrew Bowness, Manager, Support Services, eResearch Services, Griffith University

This post may be cited as:
Wolski, M. and Bowness, A. (29 September 2019) Ethics, Security and Privacy – the Bermuda Triangle of data management?. Research Ethics Monthly. Retrieved from: https://ahrecs.com/research-integrity/ethics-security-and-privacy-the-bermuda-triangle-of-data-management

0