ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
Search
Generic filters
Filter by Keywords
Research ethics committees
Research integrity
From
To
Authors

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesControversy/Scandal

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

New tool looks for signs of image doctoring – Retraction Watch interview (Alison McCook | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 1, 2018
 

One of the most common reasons for retractions is image manipulation. When searching for evidence of it, researchers often rely on what their eyes tell them. But what if screening tools could help? Last week, researchers described a new automated tool to screen images for duplication (reported by Nature News); with help from publishing giant Elsevier, another group at Harvard Medical School is developing a different approach. We spoke with creators Mary Walsh, Chief Scientific Investigator in the Office for Professional Standards and Integrity, and Daniel Wainstock, Associate Director of Research Integrity, about how the tool works, and why — unlike the other recently described automated tool — they want to make theirs freely available.

Retraction Watch: What prompted you to develop this tool?

Mary Walsh and Daniel Wainstock: When reviewing concerns that two published images, representing the results of different experiments, might actually be the same, we typically assess whether the images are too similar to derive from different samples. The answer is often obvious to the naked eye, but not always, and we wanted to determine if it was possible to quantify the similarities.

Read the rest of the interview

Facebook’s New Data Restrictions Will Handcuff Even Honest Researchers – Wired (Robbie Gonzalez | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 24, 2018
 

LAST WEEK, WHEN news broke (again) that Cambridge Analytica had allegedly misused 50 million Facebook users’ data, it immediately raised a difficult question: When a company possesses information about some 2 billion people, is its chief obligation to share that information, or protect it?

It appears the changes by Facebook will make it harder for researchers, but we suspect the wider community will be completely fine with that.

The answer’s not as obvious as you might think. To social and computer scientists, Facebook is arguably the most valuable data repository on earth. Insight into many of the most pressing issues of our time, from social media’s role in political processes to technology’s impact on individual wellbeing, could well reside on the social network’s servers—a fact that has led many scientists and policymakers to call for more permeable borders between public researchers and Facebook’s private data hoard.
.
But then Cambridge Analytica happened, and gave a lot of researchers a scare: Tapping into Facebook’s data is already more onerous than many of them would like. How would the company’s reaction to one of its most devastating public disasters to date affect their access going forward?
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(UK) ‘Unethical not to’ submit Brexit interviews to MPs, says academic – THE (John Morgan | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 20, 2018
 

Emma Briant defends actions over exchanges with key figures from Leave.EU and Cambridge Analytica parent

An academic who submitted to a UK parliamentary inquiry interviews with key figures from Leave.EU and Cambridge Analytica’s parent company – raising questions about how voters were targeted in the European Union referendum – says that it would have been “unethical” not to do so.

This instalment in the frankly alarming saga about Cambridge Analytica raises an important question, especially for social scientists: How to approach confidentiality when we believe there is a higher moral imperative to disclose to an authority? We have included links to a few related items.

Emma Briant, senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Essex, submitted essays and audio files of interviews to the UK’s Electoral Commission, Information Commissioner’s Office and Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee. The DCMS committee published Dr Briant’s material on 16 April as part of its inquiry into “fake news”.
.
Dr Briant has since faced suggestions that her decision to hand over the material raises questions about research ethics, particularly in the context of the Economic and Social Research Council’s principles of ethical research, given that those interviewed agreed to contribute to an academic research project.
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Disgraced surgeon is still publishing on stem cell therapies – Science (Matt Warren | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2018
 

Paolo Macchiarini, an Italian surgeon, has been fired from two institutions and faces the retraction of many of his papers after findings of scientific misconduct and ethical lapses in his research—yet this hasn’t prevented him from publishing again in a peer-reviewed journal. Despite his circumstances, Macchiarini appears as senior author on a paper published last month investigating the viability of artificial esophagi “seeded” with stem cells, work that appears strikingly similar to the plastic trachea transplants that ultimately left most of his patients dead. The journal’s editor says he was unaware of Macchiarini’s history before publishing the study.

“I’m really surprised,” says cardiothoracic surgeon Karl-Henrik Grinnemo, one of the whistle-blowers who exposed Macchiarini’s misconduct at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm. “I can’t understand how a serious editorial board can accept manuscripts from this guy.”

Macchiarini was once heralded as a pioneer of regenerative medicine because of his experimental transplants of artificial tracheas that supposedly developed into functional organs when seeded with a patient’s stem cells. But his career came crashing down after the Swedish documentary Experimenten showed the poor outcomes of his patients, all but one of whom have now died. (The lone survivor was able to have his implant removed.) Macchiarini was subsequently fired from KI, both the university and a national ethics board found him guilty of scientific misconduct in several papers, and Swedish authorities are now considering whether to reopen a criminal case against him.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

0