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Institutional Conflict of Interest Policies at U.S. Academic Research Institutions (Papers: David B. Resnik, et al | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on January 11, 2019

Institutional conflict-of-interest policies at US academic research institutions, Resnik D.B, Ariansen, MS, Jamal, J. and Kissling, G.E.

Prof. Colin Thomson AM | AHRECS Profile |

The following is an excerpt of text posted to the AHREC subscribers’ area. The full commentary and other great research integrity and human research ethics items available for USD15/month. Because Patreon uses PayPal this can be paid on an institutional credit card and AHRECS can provide a receipt.

This informative although confined study shows that only 28% of United States academic research institutions have published or accessible policies about institutional conflicts of interest. Most had policies regarding conflicts of interest of faculty members and of members of institutional review boards.

In our work with Australian tertiary institutions, we have noticed a similar trend but have not assessed its extent. We agree with the authors of this resource that institutional conflicts of interest are important and need to be addressed publicly and specifically.
The authors refer to the Jesse Gelsinger incident involving the University of Pennsylvania and the subsequent enquiry that showed the likely influence of such conflicts. A more notorious example was that involving Dr Nancy Olivieri, the University of Toronto and the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.  This was a long-running and complex saga that culminated in a 500 page report by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.  The importance of the issues and the challenges they present to those involved in ethical conduct of research are well described by Baylis.

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Institutional conflicts of interest (ICOIs) occur when the institution or leaders with authority to act on behalf of the institution have conflicts of interest (COIs) that may threaten the objectivity, integrity, or trustworthiness of research because they could impact institutional decision making. The purpose of this study was to gather and analyze information about the ICOI policies of the top 100 U.S. academic research institutions, ranked according to total research funding.

From May–June 2014, the authors attempted to obtain ICOI policy information for the top 100 U.S. academic research institutions from publicly available Web sites or via e-mail inquiry. If an ICOI policy was not found, the institutions’ online COI policies were examined. Data on each institution’s total research funding, national funding rank, public versus private status, and involvement in clinical research were collected. The authors developed a coding system for categorizing the ICOI policies and used it to code the policies for nine items. Interrater agreement and P values were assessed.

Only 28/100 (28.0%) institutions had an ICOI policy. ICOI policies varied among the 28 institutions. Having an ICOI policy was positively associated with total research funding and national funding ranking but not with public versus private status or involvement in clinical research.

Although most U.S. medical schools have policies that address ICOIs, most of the top academic research institutions do not. Federal regulation and guidance may be necessary to encourage institutions to adopt ICOI policies and establish a standard form of ICOI review.

Resnik, D. B., Ariansen, J. L., Jamal, J., & Kissling, G. E. (2016). Institutional Conflict of Interest Policies at U.S. Academic Research Institutions. Academic medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 91(2), 242-6. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000980
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Is it time for a new classification system for scientific misconduct? – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 1, 2019

Are current classification systems for research misconduct adequate? Toshio Kuroki — special advisor to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Gifu University — thinks the answer is no. In a new paper in Accountability in Research, Kuroki — who has published on research misconduct before — suggests a new classification system. We asked him a few questions about his proposal. The answers are lightly edited for clarity.

Retraction Watch (RW): Why did you feel that a new classification of misconduct was necessary?

Toshio Kuroki (TK): The STAP affair, starring Haruko Obokata, was my inspiration to become a “misconductologist.” In 2016, I published a book in Japanese on research misconduct for the general public.

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What These Medical Journals Don’t Reveal: Top Doctors’ Ties to Industry – New York Times (Charles Ornstein and Katie Thomas | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 10, 2018

One is dean of Yale’s medical school. Another is the director of a cancer center in Texas. A third is the next president of the most prominent society of cancer doctors.

These leading medical figures are among dozens of doctors who have failed in recent years to report their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their studies are published in medical journals, according to a review by The New York Times and ProPublica and data from other recent research.

Dr. Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, the president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, for instance, declared that he had no conflicts of interest in more than 50 journal articles in recent years, including in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

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Australian Public Service Commission – Conflicts of Interest0

Posted by Admin in on November 29, 2018

“The public is entitled to have confidence in the integrity of their public officials, and to know that an Australian Public Service (APS) employee’s personal interests do not conflict with his or her public duties.

In accordance with section 13(7) of the Code of Conduct contained in the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act), an APS employee must:

  • take reasonable steps to avoid any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with the employee’s APS employment; and
  • disclose details of any material personal interest of the employee in connection with the employee’s APS employment.

Access the APSC  CoI page