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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Some scientists hate NIH’s new definition of a clinical trial. Here’s why – Nature (Jocelyn Kaiser | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on August 3, 2017
 

Nancy Kanwisher, a cognitive neuroscientist, has spent her career pinning down how the human brain responds to visual inputs such as faces. As part of that work, Kanwisher asks volunteers—usually college students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, where she works—to lie in an MRI machine that records their brain activity while they do a task, such as viewing a photo. Although such studies reveal information that can be relevant to diseases, and disorders such as autism, they do not test treatments.

But a few weeks ago, Kanwisher and colleagues in related behavioral research fields—from cognitive psychology to vision science—were dismayed to learn that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, could soon deem their studies to be clinical trials. That designation would impose a raft of new requirements on studies that have already passed ethics review, such as following different standards for funding applications, and reporting results on clinicaltrials.gov, a public database.

NIH officials say they simply want to ensure that all clinical trials—including those testing drugs, medical devices, and behavioral interventions—meet recently bolstered standards for rigor and transparency. But Kanwisher and others say that the agency’s widening definition of clinical trials could sweep up a broad array of basic science studies, resulting in wasted resources and public confusion. “The massive amount of dysfunction and paperwork that will result from this decision boggles the mind” and will hobble basic research, Kanwisher says. To prevent that outcome, she and dozens of other researchers, along with several scientific societies, have flooded NIH with letters and emails expressing concern about the policy, which the agency announced last September but is only now implementing.

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Work by group at Australian university faces scrutiny – Retraction Watch (Victoria Stern | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 24, 2017
 

A journal is investigating research by a group in Australia, after receiving “serious allegations” regarding a 2017 paper about treating eye burns.

The journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology, has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the 2017 paper while it investigates. The notice does not specify the nature of the allegations. Meanwhile, several other papers by the three researchers, based at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, have also come under scrutiny. Late last month, Frontiers in Pharmacology retracted a 2015 paper by Kislay Roy, Rupinder Kanwar, and Jagat R Kanwar, citing image duplication. A 2015 paper in Biomaterials received a correction in May 2017, again flagging image duplication.

Roy, the first author on the papers, is a postdoctoral research fellow; Rupinder Kanwar, a middle author, is a senior lecturer; and Jagat R Kanwar, the corresponding author on all three, is head of the Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research.

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Covert Research The Art, Politics and Ethics of Undercover Fieldwork (Books: David Calvey | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 23, 2017
 

Undercover research is an emotive and controversial field often equated with deception and transgression. Using classic examples and contemporary case studies this book challenges covert research’s dispersed place within the social sciences and rehabilitates its reputation as a powerful research method.

Drawing in part on his own undercover research into the night-time economy of bouncers, the author explores the roots and evolution of covert research; his deft treatment of the fear and fascination within furtive fieldwork is grounded in the practicality of the methods and tools needed to conduct quality research in the field.

Packed with learning-by-example tips, this book shows that with critical imagination and proper ethical foundations, covert research could be a great addition to your methodological toolkit.

Calvey, D. (2017). Covert Research: The Art, Politics and Ethics of Undercover Fieldwork, SAGE Publications.
Publisher: https://au.sagepub.com/en-gb/oce/covert-research/book234298

Scholars Cry Foul at Their Inclusion on List of Academics Paid by Google – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Chris Quintana | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 21, 2017
 

This week an advocacy group published what it called a list of scholars who have received money from Google and who have written papers that supported its interests, sometimes without disclosing that apparent conflict of interest. Sarah T. Roberts said she doesn’t understand why she was on the list.

Sure, she told The Chronicle, she was a Google fellow in 2009, but that meant a $7,000 award to cover her expenses during a 10-week stint working in Washington, D.C., for the American Library Association.

Why that 2009 fellowship would be relevant to a 2015 paper on information privacy — in which Ms. Roberts, an assistant professor of information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, was listed as the fourth author — is not clear to her. More important, she said, she didn’t receive any money from the technology giant in connection to that paper. And if the advocacy group’s concern was that she had benefited from Google in the past, that information is on her curriculum vitae.

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