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

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us


Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Selecting a publisher: Essential resources for HDR candidates and early career researchers0

Posted by Admin in on February 27, 2016

Research integrity codes like the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research direct that the results of research should only be reported once. Of course this does not preclude the reporting of a completely new analysis of data collected for a project that has previously been reported (albeit with appropriate citation of the earlier output). This underlines the importance of the selection of a quality publisher/avenue to ensure  the maximum impact for your work.

In the case of journals a good place to start is Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers 2015. Beall’s list is widely a regarded as one of the best lists of its kind. It is however important to remember that a single resource, especially a static list, should not conclude your assessment of a potential publisher. A couple of things to remember about Beall’s list include:

i) not all open access journals are necessarily predatory or of a poor standard; and

ii) in some cases predatory journals can take over the name of dead respected journals (a phenomenon sometimes referred to as a Zombie Journal) and so not necessarily appear on the Beall’s list .

Another useful resource is Ulrich’s international periodicals directory – check with your library to see whether your institution has paid for access to Ulrich’s directory.

If you are a HDR candidate you should always discuss the selection of a publisher with your supervisor and consult a research librarian for your area. If you are an early career researcher your colleagues and mentors are a good source of ideas/information.

What to do when you make a mistake? Advice from authors who’ve been there (Alison McCook 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on January 31, 2016

“After a group of researchers noticed an error that affected the analysis of a survey of psychologists working with medical teams to help pediatric patients, they didn’t just issue a retraction — they published a commentary explaining what exactly went wrong.

The error was discovered by a research assistant who was assembling a scientific poster, and noticed the data didn’t align with what was reported in the journal. The error, the authors note, was:

an honest one, a mistake of not reverse coding a portion of the data that none of the authors caught over several months of editing and conference calls. Unfortunately, this error led to misrepresentation and misinterpretation of a subset of the data, impacting the results and discussion.

Needless to say, these authors — who use their “lessons learned” to help other researchers avoid similar missteps — earn a spot in our “doing the right thing” category. The retraction and commentary both appear in Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology.

Their first piece of advice in “Retraction experience, lessons learned, and recommendations for clinician researchers” — assume errors will happen, and not vice versa:

1. Be mindful that the likelihood of making errors in a number of research endeavors is high and common. Assume that errors will be made rather than not! Risk for errors is higher in our current research climate where there are often larger study teams, the members are in different locations, and may represent individuals from different disciplines with diverse skillsets.

Other advice: Assign authors overlapping tasks to avoid “gaps in accountability,” regularly check data entry and analysis, and set aside large blocks of time for research to avoid missing details. There were a few tidbits that seemed especially important, from our perspective:

Own your errors and avoid defensiveness by covering them up or diverting responsibility. Handle errors when they are discovered. Although challenging and humbling, errors should be handled and promptly corrected when discovered. Keep in mind how much worse it will be if your errors are discovered by your editor, a reader, or your institution.

Other especially noteworthy advice: Model ethical conduct for your students by doing the right thing.”

McCook A (2016) What to do when you make a mistake? Advice from authors who’ve been there. Retraction Watch, 5 March. Available at: (accessed 31 January 2016).

The curly fry conundrum why social media likes say more than you might think (Paper – Video: Jennifer Golbeck 2013)0

Posted by Admin in on January 23, 2016

This video explores privacy issues associated with social media and moves towards considering the harms and benefits that might be associated with research on human-computer interaction.

“It’s sometimes said of Facebook that the users aren’t the customer, they’re the product. And so how do you get a company to cede control of their main asset back to the users? It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s something that we’re going to see change quickly.

Do you like curly fries? Have you Liked them on Facebook? Find out the surprising things Facebook (and others) can guess about you from your random Likes and Shares. Computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck explains how this came about, how some applications of the technology are not so cute — and why she thinks we should return the control of information to its rightful owners.”

Golbeck J (2013, October). The curly fry conundrum why social media likes say more than you might think [Video file]. Retrieved from

Scientific fraud and the power structure of science (Papers: Brian Martin 1992)0

Posted by Admin in on January 14, 2016

ABSTRACT: In the routine practice of scientific research, there are many types of misrepresentation and bias which could be considered dubious. However, only a few narrowly defined behaviours are singled out and castigated as scientific fraud. A narrow definition of scientific fraud is convenient to the groups in society — scientific elites, and powerful government and corporate interests — that have the dominant influence on priorities in science. Several prominent Australian cases illustrate how the denunciation of fraud helps to paint the rest of scientific behaviour as blameless.

Keywords: scientific fraud, bias, misrepresentation

Brian Martin. Scientific fraud and the power structure of science. Prometheus, Vol. 10, No. 1, June 1992, pp. 83-98. How the definition of scientific fraud omits many commonplace forms of misrepretation and bias and serves the interests of scientific elites.