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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) Study of Pepcid as virus remedy stalls after $21M – Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Richard Lardner and Jason Dearen | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on August 4, 2020

Conflict, misconduct alleged in fast-tracked federal effort

A nearly $21 million government-funded study to see if a popular, over-the-counter heartburn medication could be a covid-19 remedy has fizzled amid allegations of conflicts of interest and scientific misconduct, according to interviews, a whistleblower complaint and internal government records obtained by The Associated Press.

At a time when the world is desperate for a cure, misinformation swirls and economies struggle, the behaviour described by this story is diabolical.

In mid-April, the Trump administration funded a study of famotidine, the main ingredient in Pepcid, despite a lack of published data or studies to suggest heavy doses would be effective against the novel coronavirus.

Now, the Pepcid project faces an uncertain future. Northwell Health, the New York health care provider hired to conduct the testing at its hospitals, put the trial on hold due to a shortage of hospitalized covid-19 patients in that state. Northwell is partnered with Alchem Laboratories, the Florida-based pharmaceutical company that received the contract.

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(UK) Misconduct allegations push psychology hero off his pedestal – Science (Cathleen O’Grady | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 28, 2020

One of Anthony Pelosi’s most ambitious projects was on the back burner for more than 2 decades. In the early 1990s, Pelosi, a psychiatrist at Priory Hospital Glasgow, published two extensive critiques of the work of Hans Eysenck, a giant of 20th century psychology. Eysenck’s papers contained questionable data and results so dramatic they beggared belief, Pelosi concluded. His critiques, and those by several others, were widely discussed in the field, but never led to formal investigations. Buried by the demands of clinical practice, research, and a young family, Pelosi never found the time to continue his effort. No one, he says, “picked up the baton.”

The far reach of this misconduct and the absurdness of Eysenck’s claims shouldn’t distract us from an important point: Renown doesn’t make research misconduct impossible.

More than a quarter-century later, Eysenck, who was celebrated for his theories of personality and individual differences, is finally falling from his pedestal. Last week, the International Journal of Social Psychiatry and the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine issued expressions of concern for seven of his papers. Other journals have issued 64 such statements, as well as 14 retractions, over the past 6 months.

The renewed scrutiny comes in the wake of an inquiry by King’s College London (KCL), where Eysenck was a psychology professor from 1955 to 1983 at what was then the Institute of Psychiatry. But Pelosi and others argue KCL failed to include many of Eysenck’s other papers that also deserve a more thorough investigation in light of his lasting influence on the literature.

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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