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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(China/US) Stolen Research: Chinese Scientist Is Accused of Smuggling Lab Samples – New York Times (Ellen Barry | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2020
 

Zaosong Zheng, a promising cancer researcher, confessed that he had planned to take the stolen samples to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, and publish the results under his own name

BOSTON — Zaosong Zheng was preparing to board Hainan Airlines Flight 482, nonstop from Boston to Beijing, when customs officers pulled him aside.

Inside his checked luggage, wrapped in a plastic bag and then inserted into a sock, the officers found what they were looking for: 21 vials of brown liquid — cancer cells — that the authorities say Mr. Zheng, 29, a cancer researcher, took from a laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Under questioning, court documents say, Mr. Zheng acknowledged that he had stolen eight of the samples and had replicated 11 more based on a colleague’s research. When he returned to China, he said, he would take the samples to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital and turbocharge his career by publishing the results in China, under his own name.

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A randomized trial of a lab-embedded discourse intervention to improve research ethics – PNAS ( Dena K. Plemmons, et al | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 4, 2020
 

Significance
The ethical practice of research requires researchers to give reasons and justifications for their actions, both to the other members of their research team as well as to external audiences. We developed a project-based training curriculum intended to make ethics discourse a routine practice in university science and engineering laboratories. Here, we report the results of a randomized control trial implemented among science and engineering laboratories in two research-intensive institutions. We demonstrate that, compared with the control laboratories, treatment laboratory members perceived improvements in the quality of discourse on research ethics within their laboratories as well as enhanced awareness of the relevance and reasons for that discourse for their work as measured in surveys administered 4 mo after the intervention.

Abstract

An interesting, hands-on and open access discussion about research integrity training in laboratory settings.

We report a randomized trial of a research ethics training intervention designed to enhance ethics communication in university science and engineering laboratories, focusing specifically on authorship and data management. The intervention is a project-based research ethics curriculum that was designed to enhance the ability of science and engineering research laboratory members to engage in reason giving and interpersonal communication necessary for ethical practice. The randomized trial was fielded in active faculty-led laboratories at two US research-intensive institutions. Here, we show that laboratory members perceived improvements in the quality of discourse on research ethics within their laboratories and enhanced awareness of the relevance and reasons for that discourse for their work as measured by a survey administered over 4 mo after the intervention. This training represents a paradigm shift compared with more typical module-based or classroom ethics instruction that is divorced from the everyday workflow and practices within laboratories and is designed to cultivate a campus culture of ethical science and engineering research in the very work settings where laboratory members interact.
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Keywords
research ethics, randomized trial, authorship, data management

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Taiwanese Researchers’ Perceptions of Questionable Authorship Practices: An Exploratory Study (Papers: Sophia Jui-An Pan & Chien Chou | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 28, 2020
 

Abstract
In 2014, SAGE Publications retracted 60 articles authored by Taiwanese researchers due to suspected peer-review fraud. This scandal led to the resignation of the Minister of Education at the time since he coauthored several retracted works. Issues regarding the lack of transparent decision-making processes regarding authorship were further disclosed. Motivated by the scandal, we believe that this is one of the first empirical studies of questionable authorship practices (QAPs) in East Asian academia; we investigate Taiwanese researchers’ perceptions of QAPs. To meet this purpose, a self-reported survey was developed. Four hundred and three local researchers, including research faculty (e.g., professors), postdoctoral researchers, and Ph.D. students, participated in the survey. Four major findings resulted. First, the underlying causes of Taiwanese doctoral students’ engagement in QAPs were attributable to their desire to achieve particular academic-related successes and their feeling of reciprocal obligation to support other researchers. Second, the underlying motives for Taiwanese research associates’ (i.e., research faculty and postdoctoral fellows) engagement in QAPs were attributable to their attempts to achieve particular career successes and of the desire to consolidate their professional networks. Third, the participants generally agreed that QAPs had a long history among local academics but were rarely reported. Fourth, participants’ backgrounds (i.e., research discipline, academic rank, and type of affiliations) had significant effects on their responses regarding particular authorship issues; however, their gender did not have a significant effect. QAPs are a critical issue in Taiwanese academia; therefore, we discussed the implications of the current findings including subsequent instruction and future research.

Pan, S.J. & Chou, C. (2020) Taiwanese Researchers’ Perceptions of Questionable Authorship Practices: An Exploratory Study. Science and Engineering Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-020-00180-x
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11948-020-00180-x

Oops!… I Did It Again. When to correct or retract? – Science Integrity Digest (Elisabeth Bik | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 27, 2020
 

How many image duplications in a paper would be acceptable? If the paper has two identical photos that represent different experiments, and the authors’ reply is: ‘Oops, we uploaded the wrong photo’, that would be acceptable. Mistakes happen, and the authors can correct the error by sending in an erratum with the correct photo(s). But should editors be equally forgiving in the case of two cases of “Oops, we made a mistake”, or other, more complicated scenarios?

An interesting piece about image manipulation, ‘errors’, corrections, retractions and misconduct proceedings

Let’s take a look at different types and numbers of duplications. As I explained in two previous blog posts (here and here), there are three categories of image duplications.
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  • Category I duplications: simple, identical duplications.
  • Category II duplications: duplications involving shift, rotation, or a flip.
  • Category III duplications: parts within the same panel are duplicated or parts from other panels are duplicated into another panel.
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