ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Toward global standardization of conducting fair investigations of allegations of research misconduct (Papers: Rei Nouchi, et al | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 24, 2020


With more research projects involving international collaborators, we need a standardised international approach to the investigation of alleged research misconduct.  Relying on institutions to investigate themselves is having some predictable shortcomings.  Time for change.

In the United States, through nation-wide discussions, the procedures for handling allegations of research misconduct are now well established. Procedures are geared toward carefully treating both complainants and respondents fairly in accordance with the US framework. Other countries, which have their own cultural and legal framework, also need fair and legally compatible procedures for conducting investigations of allegations of research misconduct. Given the rapid growth of international collaboration in research, it is desirable to have a global standard, or common ground, for misconduct investigations. Institutions need clear guidance on important subjects such as what information should be included in the investigation reports, how the investigation committee should be organized once research misconduct allegation has been received, how to conduct the investigation, how the data and information obtained should be taken as evidence for vs. against misconduct, and what policies the investigation committee should follow. We explore these issues from the viewpoint of members of committees investigating accusations of research misconduct (hereafter referred to as “investigation committees”) as well as persons overseeing the committees in Japan. We hope to engender productive discussions among experts in misconduct investigations, leading to a formulation of international standards for such investigation.

Research integrity, research ethics, research misconduct, responsible conduct of research

Nouchi, R., Aihara, H., Arie, F., Asashima, M., Daida, H., Fudano, J., Fujiwara, Y., Fushiki, S., Geller, R.J., Hatano, K., Homma, T., Kimura, M., Kuroki, T., Miki, K., Morita, I., Nitta, K., Shinohara, A., Siomi, M.C., Yoshida, M. & Ichikawa, I. (2020) Toward global standardization of conducting fair investigations of allegations of research misconduct. Accountability in Research.DOI: 10.1080/08989621.2020.1747019
Publisher (Open Access):

(US) FDA revokes emergency use ruling for hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by Trump as a Covid-19 therapy – STAT (Lev Facher | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday said it had withdrawn an emergency approval for use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment.

The latest development in the hydroxychloroquine saga.  We have included links to seven related items.

Almost since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Trump and other world leaders have touted hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment based on scattered anecdotes, not reliable scientific studies. But the FDA said Monday that the drug, along with chloroquine, is “unlikely to be effective in treating Covid-19,” and highlighted “serious side effects.”

The FDA’s withdrawal of the emergency use order, which Politico first reported, appears to formally close the door on U.S. officials’ willingness to use the drug to prevent or treat Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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What to do when your research comes under fire – Nature Index (Andy Tay | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 16, 2020

3 pieces of advice from the frontlines of scientific debate.

Nothing could have prepared chemist Dan Shechtman for the waves of criticism that would follow his discovery of quasi-crystals.

This piece offers excellent advice.  A worthy inclusion in your institution’s Research Integrity Resource Library.

A direct challenge to the assumption that all crystals have an ordered and repeating atomic structure, the patterns of atomic arrangement in quasi-crystals do not repeat.

“Before publishing my work, only a few scientists knew about my finding and their reactions were varied. Many felt that the data were encouraging, while some were more sceptical,” says Shechtman, now a Distinguished Emeritus Professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

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Zombie papers: Why do papers by the most prolific fraudster in history keep getting cited? – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 9, 2020

It’s a bit like a slugger crediting Barry Bonds for help with his homerun swing. An anesthesiology journal has retracted a 2018 paper that cited three retracted papers by Yoshitaka Fujii, the record-holder for most retractions by a single author.

It is interesting that some are calling for full cancellation. While we generally support the work of Retraction Watch, in this case we think what’s proposed here is a bad idea. It is better to have the work marked for what it is, flawed and with a detailed retraction notice, in the public record so others may learn.

As we’ve written before, journals had a spotty record in reacting to the Fujii scandal, which peaked in 2012. And the latest case involves a bit of that indifference — but other negligence, as well.

The article in question, “Priming with different doses of Metoclopramide preceded by tourniquet alleviates propofol induced pain: a comparative study with lidocaine,” appeared in 2018 in the Egyptian Journal of Anaesthesia (EJA). Three of the citations were of papers by Fujii, although the article had other failings, too.

Those citations caught the attention of a reader, who wrote letter to the editor in 2019. The author duly noted that one of the Fujii references — which we’ll call zombie papers — had been retracted in 2013, while the other two had been retracted in 2018, but after the authors had submitted their manuscript to the EJA.

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