In this very interesting post, Professor Jennifer Byrne (University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, NSW Health Pathology) looks at the mistakes being made in circRNAs papers, even in high-profile, supposedly high-quality and distinguished publications.
She reflects on what might be the cause of those mistakes, why they are a big deal what could be the consequences.
Why is it that honest researchers make such a serious mistake?
Is a sign of lack of experience, insight and knowledge? Or is it an indication something far more dubious and questionable?
This very accessible post does a great job of explaining complex genetic concepts in lay terms.
This points to the need for research institutions and research publishers to have sufficient expertise in the topic, to truly understand circRNAs and reagents.
If someone asked you for some recommended reading or viewing to help them understand human research ethics, animal ethics or research integrity, what would you recommend?
The policies and standards issued by National governments, learned societies, funding bodies and academic publications are generally not especially engaging or entertaining.
In this blog post, Sally Dalton-Brown discusses a couple of options from the streaming and fiction publishing offerings.
They won’t exactly discuss, explain or define the principles of ethical or responsible conduct. Neither will they explain how to adhere to national requirements or instutiona policy. That isn’t surprising, but that is probably not the point. Entertainment, enjoyment and a bit of fun is a great way to engage people with the important elements of ethical and responsible behaviour in the design and conduct of research.
This material could be usefully included in the resource library for members of an institution’s research ethics committee.
The need for ethical guidance for research other than human research or animal-based scientific work
In this post, AHRECS Senior Consultant, Gary Allen, reflects on the fact that some research that does not require research ethics review from a Human Research Ethics Committee or an Animal Ethics Committee involve serious ethical questions that could benefit from guidance and ethical standards.
He uses four topical cases to illustrate why this is an important matter.
(1.) Kennewick Man and the ancient DNA (aDNA) furore – A case where there was an argument about the providence of an ancient body and whether it was subject to First Nation considerations.
(2.) Karl Andersson’s Masturbation Over Child Porn autoethnography project – A case that raised concern and commentary about the ethical oversight of research where there is potential for public harm.
(3.) Myanmar Amber Studies – A question about researchers purchasing amber samples from the country of Myanmar, when there are concerns that the revenue could be used to fund human rights abuses.
(4.) Artifical Intelligence Ethics Review – The use of Artificial Intelligence can have the potential for discrimination of marginalised communities and individuals. Given this potential for harm, it has been asked if there is a need for some form of ethics review of this work.
Adele’s Adventures in Wonderland*: Reflections on a 12-year journey in ethics, research integrity and so much more
In this post, inspired by Lewis Carol’s book, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Adele Kay reflects on the wild and wacky (and sometimes surreal) experiences she had in a great career in the human research ethics, research integrity, animal, etc spaces.
She generously shares observations, tips and suggestions how to navigate this space with good humour.
Part of this is reading, interpreting and explaining national frameworks to executive and other senior staff.
She reflects upon useful skills, experience, training and education.
Working for constructive change on these matters from within an institution can sometimes be frustrating and feel a little wacky. Often AHRECS has been brought in to provide an independent and expert opinion on what internal staff have been saying for some time.
We suspect her commentary and experiences will both ring true for experienced practitioners and offer helpful tips.
We greatly enjoyed this post and we hope you will too.
AHRECS is conducting Human Research Ethics and Animal Ethics workshops in Perth in November.
Wed 3 November 2021 – Animal Ethics workshop
The theme this year focuses on managing large groups of animals such as in laboratories, farms and in the wild. Researchers are adept at managing animals, but when the numbers become very large things can become ethically complex. For instance, how are the 3R principles being met?[iv] Further, when there is overlap between research and the management of a farm or when research is focused on the needs of wildlife the ethical complexities of managing animals as part of research can increase. What are the key issues an AEC needs to focus on and how is this best approached? Expert speakers will address these issues covering the ethical considerations of integrating research into large farm operations, the ethical issues of undertaking environmental research involving large numbers of animals, and a panel of experts will discuss the ethical issues encountered when managing large laboratory projects involving animals.
Wed 17 November – Human Ethics workshop
The theme this year focuses on “what I wish I knew before I started”. It is not uncommon for research to raise ethical questions that were not…
In this post, Gary Allen and Nik Zeps explore the human research ethics arguments and imperatives that only allow for the sharing of data, but establish a public good that can make sharing expected and essential.
This expectation should shape the approach to consent, the framing of assurances given to potential participants about confidentiality and e reflected in the application for research ethics review.
Research ethics committees and review bodies should be cognisant of these ethical arguments during the research ethics review of projects
Institutions must have clear policies and guidance material on data sharing.
In this post find out why Gary is cranky about the proposed good practice guide for Australian Research Integrity Advisers.
#SPOILERALERT It is because he believes institutions need a network of collegiate Research Integrity Advisers to nurture and support a community of practice within their institution.
He also thinks mandatory reporting and telling people to speak in hypotheticals are STUPID.
While Gary describes this as a personal opinion, we agree. We don’t see how mandatory reporting will make serving as an RIA would be appealing or encourage anyone to consult them about whether an individual’s practice is appropriate.
AHRECS provides desktop audit and blueprint on Research Integrity within an institution and conducts professional development for RIAs.
Contact email@example.com to discuss.
In this post Daniel Sokol writes about a troubling research integrity/human research ethics case that relates to Poland, the UK and Australia.
When I sat on the Ministry of Defence’s Research Ethics Committee, some research projects were potentially dangerous. The risks of testing a new piece of military diving equipment, for example, are obvious. If it malfunctions, the volunteer could drown or suffer brain damage. The risks of historical research can be more subtle but they are nonetheless real, as shown by a recent case involving the University of Warwick.
Dr Anna Hájková, an associate professor of modern continental European history, researches the queer history of the Holocaust. She claimed that a Jewish prisoner may have engaged in a lesbian sexual relationship with a Nazi guard in Hamburg in 1944.
After the war, the prisoner worked as an actress and emigrated from…
When it comes to human research and ethics review, self-censorship comes in two forms.
All views expressed in this post are my own and not of my employer,
AHRECS has considerable experience working with universities, hospitals, research institutions, government and non-government organisations
Michael James PhD, Senior Researcher, Rheumatology Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital Les Cleland AM MBBS