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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

COPE Forum 2 June 2020: What does peer review mean in the arts, humanities and social sciences? – COPE (June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 30, 2020
 

The topic for discussion at our June 2020 COPE Forum asked the question: are there differences in gender and diversity issues in arts, humanities, and social sciences in peer review from other disciplines?

In the recent study by COPE in collaboration with Taylor & Francis on the arts, humanities and social science (AHSS) disciplines, respondents focused on a number of language, quality, diversity and inclusivity issues. In terms of the most frequently identified issues, these were:

1. Addressing language and writing quality barriers while remaining inclusive
2. Issues around the way in which authors receive and respond to criticism
3. Detecting plagiarism and poor attribution standards
4. Issues handling responses from reviewers to authors
5. Issues of self-plagiarism
6. Difficulties in upholding anonymity to authors and/or reviewers during peer review
7. Recognising and dealing with bias in reviewer comments
8. Assuring fair representation of new voices and diverse perspectives
9. Potential conflict of interest between authors and reviewers
10. Managing complaints and appeals

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A Disclosure Form for Work Submitted to Medical Journals (Papers Editorial: Darren B. Taichman, et al | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2020
 

A Proposal From the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors

Many factors, including professional and personal relationships and activities, can influence the design, conduct, and reporting of the clinical science that informs health care decisions. The potential for conflict of interest exists when these relationships and activities may bias judgment.1 Many stakeholders—editors, peer reviewers, clinicians, educators, policy makers, patients, and the public—rely on the disclosure of authors’ relationships and activities to inform their assessments. Trust in the transparency, consistency, and completeness of these disclosures is essential.

Ten years ago, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) adopted the “ICMJE Form for the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest” as a uniform mechanism for collecting and reporting authors’ relationships and activities that readers might consider relevant to a published work.2 The goal was to avoid the confusion (and often ensuing controversy) created when journals vary in how they collect and report this information. We believe a uniform disclosure form has been helpful, but problems remain. First, the software supporting the current form is increasingly problematic, making its use difficult or impossible for an increasing number of authors. More important, however, is that many authors and readers misunderstand, misapply, or misinterpret the disclosures.

Although some individuals violate the public trust by purposefully hiding relevant relationships and activities, we believe most authors are committed to transparent reporting and consider it as vital to the advancement of clinical science. Nonetheless, disagreement, confusion, and controversy regarding authors’ disclosures arise when opinions differ over which relationships and activities to report. An author might not report an item that others deem important because of a difference in opinion regarding what is “relevant,” confusion over definitions, or a simple oversight. Some authors may be concerned that readers will interpret the listing of any item as a “potential conflict of interest” as indicative of problematic influence and wrongdoing, a concern often raised regarding the requirement to report publicly funded grants. For their part, some readers fail to recognize that their own relationships and activities influence how they assess the work of others and what they deem to be a “conflict” for others or themselves.

Taichman, D.B., Backus, J., Baethge, C., Bauchner, H., Flanagin, A., Florenzano, F., Frizelle,  F. A., Godlee, F., Gollogly, L., Haileamlak, A., Hong, S., Horton, R., James, A., Laine, C., Miller, P. W., Pinborg, A., Rubin, E. J., Sahni, P.,(2020) A Disclosure Form for Work Submitted to Medical JournalsA Proposal From the International Committee of Medical Journal EditorsJAMA. 2020;323(11):1050–1051. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22274
Publisher: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2759826

(US) JetBlue’s Founder Helped Fund A Stanford Study That Said The Coronavirus Wasn’t That Deadly – Buzzfeed News (Stephanie M. Lee | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 22, 2020
 

A Stanford whistleblower complaint alleges that the controversial John Ioannidis study failed to disclose important financial ties and ignored scientists’ concerns that their antibody test was inaccurate.

A highly influential coronavirus antibody study was funded in part by David Neeleman, the JetBlue Airways founder and a vocal proponent of the idea that the pandemic isn’t deadly enough to justify continued lockdowns.

That’s according to a complaint from an anonymous whistleblower, filed with Stanford University last week and obtained by BuzzFeed News, about the study conducted by the famous scientist John Ioannidis and others. The complaint cites dozens of emails, including exchanges with the airline executive while the study was being conducted.

The study — released as a non-peer-reviewed paper, or preprint, on April 17 — made headlines around the world with a dramatic finding: Based on antibodies in thousands of Silicon Valley residents’ blood samples, the number of coronavirus infections was up to 85 times higher than believed. This true infection count was so high that it would drive down the virus’s local fatality rate to 0.12%–0.2% — far closer to the known death rate for the flu.

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(Australia) Clinical Trials and Other Physician-Industry Interactions in Australia – Global Forum (Ric Day | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 10, 2020
 

The representative body of the innovative, prescription medicines industry in Australia, Medicines Australia is responsible for administering the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct. This self-regulatory system, underpinned by legislation, sets the standard for the ethical promotion and marketing of prescription medicines in Australia. These standards must be adhered to by member companies. Penalties for breaches of the Code of Conduct can be considerable and are increasing in severity year after year. Breaches of the Code and the resultant fines are published on the Medicines Australia website quarterly along with the comprehensive Code of Conduct Annual Report.

Clinical Trials

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) has just concluded their International Clinical Trials conference, opened by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt. As an indication of the interest in the topics the conference discussed, the official Conference Twitter hashtag #ACTAconf trended at number 4 in all of Australia!

As part of his presentation, Hunt launched an upgraded version of the Clin Trial Refer app which now delivers a comprehensive listing of clinical trials that are recruiting globally. Feedback from end-users and experts incorporated in this new Version 2 includes features such as customized searches that notify individual in real-time of trials in their areas of interest. Search filters such as age, tumour type, mutation status, and telehealth options can also be applied. The phase 1 cohort feature, among many new features, should improve recruiting. Pending studies and the cohorts being sought by investigators (including inclusion and exclusion criteria) can also be viewed to give patients and doctors opportunity to consider their participation.

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