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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

179 professors indicted in research publishing scam – University World News (Unsoo Jung 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2015

“In an unprecedented crackdown on academic misconduct, as many as 179 university professors from some 110 universities in South Korea were indicted on Monday after an extensive criminal investigation into a huge copyright scam.

The professors have been charged with republishing existing textbooks written by others under their own names by modifying the covers with the alleged connivance of the publishing companies.

According to the Prosecutors’ Office which conducted an extensive criminal investigation, this is the first time university professors have faced criminal charges for copyright violations using ‘cover-swapping’ tricks. It is also the first time so many professors have been indicted in a single investigation.

The unprecedented scale of violations has severely shaken the academic community and could have wider repercussions on public trust in academia, validity of research, and the global ranking of South Korean universities.”

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Academics ‘Livid,’ ‘Concerned’ Over Allegations that CMU Helped FBI Attack Tor – Motherboard (Ethan Zuckerman 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on December 13, 2015

“On Wednesday, Motherboard reported that a “university-based academic research institute” had been providing information to the FBI, leading to the identification of criminal suspects on the dark web.

Circumstantial evidence pointed to Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Software Engineering Institute and an attack carried out against Tor last year. After the publication of Motherboard’s report, the Tor Project said it had learned that CMU was paid at least $1 million for the project.

On Thursday, other academics who focus on the dark web and criminal marketplaces expressed anger and concern at CMU’s alleged behavior, feeling that the research broke ethical guidelines, and may have a knock-on effect on other research looking into this space.

“These revelations are likely to have a chilling effect on research. It can be much harder to gain people’s trust when they can point to examples of researchers who have actively helped law enforcement operations,” Monica Barratt, a research fellow from the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre in Australia who has researched the use of Silk Road in various countries, told Motherboard in an email.”

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JIF-boosting stratagems – Which are appropriate and which not? (Paper: B Martin, 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 14, 2015

Journal editors report having come under pressure to increase the Journal Impact Factor of their publication. Unfortunately, this has spawned a range of questionable editorial practices designed to game the system, including adding multiple citations to the journal in journal editorials, increasing self-citation within the journal by pressurising authors, creating publication rings of self-citation practices between a small number of allied journals, queuing articles online for up to two years before hard publication. In a substantial and welcome editorial piece, Research Policy analyses these trends and argues that in compromising their own integrity editors are forfeiting their authority over other forms of research misconduct.

Martin, B. (2016) Editorial: Editors’ JIF-boosting stratagems – Which are appropriate and which not? Research Policy 45, 1–7.
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Ashley Madison Hack Creates Ethical Conundrum For Researchers – Huffington Post (Joe Satran 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on September 3, 2015

“When hackers dug into the databases of infidelity-focused dating website Ashley Madison and made the personal information of millions of users publicly available in mid-August, suspicious spouses weren’t the only ones tempted to take a peek. Sex researchers, whose work is often hamstrung by subjects’ reluctance to reveal intimate details in surveys, salivated at the opportunity to get an unvarnished look at the secret desires of a huge swath of Americans.”