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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Disgraced tracheal transplant surgeon is handed 16 month prison sentence in Italy (Papers: Michael Day | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 5, 2019
 

Disgraced surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who faked research relating to dangerous and largely discredited tracheal transplants, has been handed a 16 month prison sentence in Italy for forging documents and abuse of office.

Macchiarini made headlines around the world after claiming a major breakthrough for patients with failing windpipes, by “seeding” an artificial scaffold with a patient’s own stem cells, to generate a functioning trachea.

But excitement at the prospect of a genuine medical advance turned to scandal when it emerged that Macchiarini had falsified results and misled hospital authorities regarding the health of those receiving the experimental procedures. The revelation prompted his research centre, the Karolinska Institute, to eventually disown his …

Day, M. (2019) Disgraced tracheal transplant surgeon is handed 16 month prison sentence in Italy. BMJ. 367:l6676. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l6676. No abstract available. PMID: 31767600
Publisher: https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6676

Contract cheating will erode trust in science – Nature (Tracey Bretag | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on November 13, 2019
 

To combat academic dishonesty, focus on educational systems and not just individual offenders, says Tracey Bretag.

Stories of students paying others to do their work come from all around the world. In the 2015 MyMaster scandal in Australia, hundreds of students who were enrolled in more than a dozen universities paid a total of at least Aus$160,000 (US$108,000) to a ‘service’ that provided ghost-written essays and responses to online tests. In 2018, YouTube stars on more than 250 channels received money for promoting a cheating service called EduBirdie. Similar companies have been uncovered in the United States and elsewhere. Scientists should not deceive themselves: they are not immune.

Part of a series that we call “KPI=Key Perverse Incentives”. Our current system aids and abets the worst behaviour rather than promoting scholarship for improving the world.

Academics call this ‘contract cheating’. My colleagues and I have assembled what is, to our knowledge, the largest data set on the topic — with responses from some 14,000 students and 1,000 teachers across 8 Australian universities. We found that roughly 6% of students have engaged in the practice; that most who cheat do so more than once; and that both post- and undergraduate students engage in it. Cheating is not new, but the proliferation of commercial, online services in the past 5–10 years has made it easier than ever.
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And cheating is becoming increasingly normal. Since the 1990s, universities around the world have reimagined themselves as commercial enterprises that promote educational ‘products’ to student ‘consumers’. In 2017, a commentator likened the brash marketing strategies of some UK universities to the advertising of shampoo, and hundreds of academic papers have openly criticized the ‘marketization’ of higher education. It’s no wonder students opt to take the most convenient route to an academic credential — just as they would shop around for any other deal. In our survey, more than one-third of teachers specifically blamed contract cheating on the commercialization of higher education.
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Repairing an Institutional Reputation Tarnished by Fraudulent Publishing – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 28, 2019
 

The prevailing publish or peril model has not changed in any useful way in the last decade and institutional self-interest to encourage any sort of publication regardless of quality remains. The total laissez-faire attitude is dreadful. Research heads should be held accountable for this. How do we rebuild a culture of doing research as its own end rather than simply trying to find a way to publish as the end?  We will shortly post a resource about this to the subscribers’ area.

Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court ruled that publisher and conference organizer Srinubabu Gedela and his companies OMICS, iMedPub, and Conference Series violated the U.S. FTC Act “by making deceptive claims regarding their academic journals and scientific conferences, and by failing to adequately disclose their publishing fees.” The Court imposed a number of requirements as well as a judgment of $50.1 million.
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Today I’d like to reflect on the implications that this ruling may have for institutions — those that employ researchers and those that fund researchers, especially as this will by no means be the last enforcement action taken against publishers accused of deceptive practices.
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How might an institution repair a tarnished reputation? And, given the reality of fraudulent publishers and their deceptive practices, will institutions consider more strongly guiding author choice of publishing venue in order to protect institutional reputation?
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Institutional Interests
Universities and funders often herald the achievements of their researchers in order to garner positive press coverage, bolster their reputations, or recruit new employees. University rankings and memberships many times depend heavily not only on measures of research activity and quality but also on the impression they generate — the brand identity if you will — of their quality.
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Enhancing the Taxonomies Relating to Academic Integrity and Misconduct (Papers: Loreta Tauginienė, et al | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 27, 2019
 

Abstract
A clear understanding of terminology is crucial in any academic field. When it is clear that complex interdisciplinary concepts are interpreted differently depending on the academic field, geographical setting or cultural values, it is time to take action. Given this, the Glossary for Academic Integrity, newly developed by the European Network for Academic Integrity project, served as the basis for compiling a comprehensive taxonomy of terms related to academic integrity. Following a rigorous coding exercise, the taxonomy was partitioned into three constituent components – Integrity, Misconduct and Neutral terms. A review of relevant literature sources is included, and the strengths and weaknesses of existing taxonomies are discussed in relation to this new offering. During the creation of these artefacts the authors identified and resolved many differences between their individual interpretative understandings of concepts/terms and the viewpoints of others. It is anticipated that the freely-available glossary and taxonomy will be explored and valued by researchers, teachers, students and the general public alike.

Keywords
Academic integrity, Academic misconduct, Taxonomy, Research integrity, Research misconduct, Qualitative content analysis, Concept analysis

Tauginienė, L., Gaižauskaitė, I., Razi, S. et al. Enhancing the Taxonomies Relating to Academic Integrity and Misconduct. Journal of Academic Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-019-09342-4
Publisher (Open Access): https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10805-019-09342-4

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