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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(Australia and Canada) ‘How I got fooled’: The story behind the retraction of a study of gamers – Retraction Watch (Leto Sapunar | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 29, 2020

In April of this year, Corneel Vandelanotte realized something had gone wrong with a paper he had recently published.

CQU researcher seeking to help Canadian-based researcher ‘sucked in’ to co-authorship of a paper that was subsequently retracted because of flawed analysis, but may also have added false authors and involved data fabrication.  We have included links to 20 related items.

First, there was a post about his paper by Nick Brown, a scientific sleuth, questioning the results, ethics, and authors behind the work. That was followed by a comment on PubPeer by Elisabeth Bik, another scientific sleuth.

“People started alerting me,” Vandelanotte, a public health researcher at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, told Retraction Watch. “Hey, have you seen this blog by Nick Brown? And, and then yeah, okay, that was a bad day. Let me put it that way.”

Vandelanotte grew concerned. He asked the lead author on the paper to see the data. When the lead author refused to share them, saying they were inaccessible, Vandelanotte became convinced: He had been deceived.

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Extending credit – Chemistry World (Emma Pewsey | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 23, 2020

Why more technicians deserve to be on author lists

Imagine how you’d feel if you worked hard on something, and then didn’t get any credit for it. Or worse, someone else gets the credit. Perhaps the lack of recognition only briefly annoys you. But what if it actually causes you to miss out on career opportunities? And when people look back in 50 years’ time, maybe they’ll think people like you didn’t exist – as though all your work occurred without any human intervention. You’ve been erased from history.

Research projects are often only possible because of the involvement of technicians, statisticians, cultural advisers or consumers/community members, but they often are not acknowledged in the research outputs.  But they should be.  We have included links to 11 related items.

In science, getting credit in a research project is often a matter of making it on to the author list of the related publications. This list is supposed to represent all the people who made significant contributions to a study. Yet the history of science is haunted by the ghosts of unacknowledged individuals who helped to produce key scientific breakthroughs.

Arguably, a list of names at the top of an article doesn’t go far enough to recognise individual contributions. While the exact order of names in this list is often delicately negotiated based on perceived importance, it tells the reader little or nothing about what each person actually did.

Fortunately, more journals now allow (or require) author contribution statements to accompany the list of names. Many publications recommend using the contributor roles taxonomy, or Credit: a list of 14 roles that covers pretty much every kind of useful work you can do on a research project, including conceptualisation, providing resources, analysis and data curation.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scholarly Research Integrity (Papers: S. Koby Taswell, et al | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 8, 2020


They had us with the Douglas Adams reference.  Interesting concept of idea-bleaching – the way some editors can shepherd (to use football concept) an idea, protecting it from proper external scrutiny.

The pursuit of truth in research should be both an ideal in aspiration and also a reality in practice. The PORTALDOORS Project (PDP) strives to promote creative authenticity, fair citation, and adherence to integrity and ethics in scholarly research publishing using the FAIR family of quantitative metrics with acronym FAIR for the phrases Fair Attribution to Indexed Reports and Fair Acknowledgment of Information Records, and the DREAM principles with acronym DREAM for the phrase Discoverable Data with Reproducible Results for Equivalent Entities with Accessible Attributes and Manageable Metadata. This report presents formalized definitions for idea-laundering plagiarism by authors, idea-bleaching censorship by editors, and proposed assertion claims for authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers in ethical peer-reviewed publishing to support integrity in research.
All of these principles have been implemented in version 2 of the PDP-DREAM ontology written in OWL 2. This PDP-DREAM ontology will serve as the model foundation for development of a software-guided workflow process intended to manage the ethical peer-reviewed publishing of web-enabled open access journals operated online with PDP software.

Index Terms

Semantic web, knowledge engineering, PORTAL-DOORS Project, DREAM principles, FAIR metrics, metadata management, data stewardship, ethical peer review, misconduct, plagiarism, censorship.

(Italy) There is no I in data: Former grad student has paper retracted after mentor objects – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 5, 2020

Just because you work in a lab doesn’t mean you get to call the data you produce your own. Ask Constantin Heil.

Problems like this can be compounded if your institution’s policy affords HDR candidates shared ownership for data generated as part of their studies.  Does your institution have resources to mitigate this?  We have included two resources from an Australia institution.

In the mid-2010s, Heil was a PhD student at La Sapienza University in Rome, where he conducted studies with his mentor, Giuseppe Giannini. That research led to Heil’s dissertation, a paper titled “One size does not fit all: Cell type specific tailoring of culture conditions permits establishment of divergent stable lines from murine cerebellum.”

Heil — who is now working in Switzerland for a company called SOPHiA Genetics — used some of those data to publish a 2019 article, “Hedgehog pathway permissive conditions allow generation of immortal cell lines from granule cells derived from cancerous and non-cancerous cerebellum,” in a peer-reviewed journal, Open Biology, which belongs to the Royal Society.

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