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

Ethics of Internet research trigger scrutiny – Nature (Elizabeth Gibney | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 12, 2017

Concern over the use of public data spurs guideline update.

This case highlights the degree to which there has been an important shift in the degree to which online research can circumvent anonymity strategies that in the recent past seemed impenetrable. We will be following PERVADE with keen interest.

British graffiti artist Banksy is renowned for his anonymity. But that status was dented last year when researchers published a paper that cross-referenced the locations of Banksy’s street art with public information about people’s addresses and likely movements (M. V. Hauge et al. J. Spatial Sci. 61, 185–190; 2016). The team, led by academics at Queen Mary University of London, concluded that someone previously suspected to be Banksy probably was the secretive artist.
Because the study used public data, a university ethics committee said that the work was exempt from formal review — and informally advised academics that it would do no harm because a UK national newspaper had already identified the person in question as Banksy. But for some ethicists, the paper highlights growing concerns about the potential hazards of research that uses public data. “I think this study should never have been done,” says Jake Metcalf, a technology ethicist at the think tank Data & Society in New York City.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Evidence based medicine manifesto for better healthcare – The BMJ (Carl Heneghan et al | June 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 11, 2017

A response to systematic bias, wastage, error, and fraud in research underpinning patient care

Another item bemoaning the impact of poor research on clinical practice but it also points to an initiative to address this.

Informed decision making requires clinicians and patients to identify and integrate relevant evidence. But with the questionable integrity of much of today’s evidence, the lack of research answering questions that matter to patients, and the lack of evidence to inform shared decision how are they expected to do this?
Too many research studies are poorly designed or executed. Too much of the resulting research evidence is withheld or disseminated piecemeal.1 As the volume of clinical research activity has grown2 the quality of evidence has often worsened,3 which has compromised the ability of all health professionals to provide affordable, effective, high value care for patients.”

Read the rest of this editorial and listen to a 41 minute discussion

Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers? (Papers: Martin Paul Eve and Ernesto Priego | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on October 9, 2017

Abstract: ‘Predatory publishing’ refers to conditions under which gold open access academic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews. Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors. We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scientific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

Keywords: Open Access, Scholarly Communications, Predatory Publishing, Evaluative Cultures, Academia

Eve PM & Priego E (2017) Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers? Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. 15(2)
Publisher (Open access):

This thought-provoking open access paper explores an important question that is often not carefully considered: Who is actually harmed by predatory publishers? The answer to that question then inevitably prompts a reflection on why those harms occur and perhaps provides a frame for discussions about publication ethics with HDR candidates and other early career researchers. See the August 2017 post in the Research Ethics Monthly blog by Israel and Allen ( about identifying where not to publish.

Experiments in Judaism: Jewish Sources, Ethics, and Research with Human Subjects (Books: Alyssa Henning | 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on October 8, 2017

Henning explores the value of drawing on religious ethical traditions, in this case Judaism, as a source for challenging the limits of contemporary research ethics discourses. Her thesis offers an analysis of the scandal in 1963 at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in Brooklyn when Dr Southam injected live, cultured cancer cells into 22 elderly patients to monitor their immune responses. She also explores the discourse of duty as a counter to the language of rights and liabilities.

Henning, Alyssa Anne (2015) Experiments in Judaism: Jewish Sources, Ethics, and Research with Human Subjects. Northwestern University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Also see
28/12/2013 – NYC’s forgotten cancer scandal – New York Post
Read the original news story from 1964