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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Guest Post: Encouraging Data Sharing: A Small Investment for Large Potential Gain – Scholarly Kitchen (Rebecca Grant, et al | January 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 20, 2019
 

Data sharing is like maths at school.*

Bear with us.

It might seem harder than the other subjects. You might feel your teachers are not very good at explaining it. But if you do not pay attention, you will very quickly find that many real-world skills rely on maths; and you would have benefited from learning the basics as it provides a solid foundation for the rest of your adult life (whether your ambitions are to become an astronaut, a Grandmaster of chess, or simply to balance your personal expenses).

Likewise, data sharing and data management form the foundation of global academic collaboration, discovery and scientific advancement. Sadly, surveys show that academics rarely get formal training in good data management (let alone best practice), and data management is rarely incentivized by institutions. All too often even the basics are ignored, with data ending up languishing on a USB stick or on a paper notepad.

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We need to relearn how to play nice in peer review – UA/AU (Daniel Harris | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 16, 2019
 

By changing the way we discuss scholarly work, we will not only improve scholarship but also reduce the unnecessary hostility rampant in academia.

Academia has emerged as an unassuming minefield of mental health hazards. Examples from the scholarly and lay literatures detail rampant depression, anxiety and panic symptoms among academics, especially graduate students. A recent study of over 3,000 PhD students in Belgium revealed that 32 percent were at risk of having or developing a psychiatric disorder. It was also found that compared to a highly educated general population, PhD students had 3.5 times the risk of lost self-confidence and 3.4 times the risk of feeling worthless. Family-work conflicts and a culture of closed decision-making were among the strongest independent predictors of psychiatric distress among participants.

A recent example from the news media described “the silencing effect of academia” and the “need to be thick-skinned” to progress successfully as an academic. Despite the concerning severity and omnipresence of anxiety experienced by the author and the author’s peers, a culture of silence reigned. Nature also published a series of testimonials written by doctoral students and researchers describing their experiences with mental health and suggestions to drive culture change. Establishing support systems, broadening career prospects, and accessing professional mental health services, were among the many suggestions to remain resilient in a viciously competitive, and at times, distressingly lonely work environment. As a PhD student in epidemiology, my lay review of these articles forced me to consider my own journey as a researcher and graduate student in public health.

Like most graduate students, I suffer from imposter syndrome. As such, I obsess about the quality of my work – afraid, at best, to disappoint my department and mentor, and at worst, to have my name blacklisted among the community of public health researchers. While my obsessive tendencies are arguably adaptive, they nonetheless hinder my quality of life and have questionable long-term sustainability. Therefore, like the scientist I am, I went searching for possible etiological explanations for my worsening anxiety. Paradoxically, I discovered that I frequently contribute to the very academic culture causing my own mental health challenges: the unnecessary and unacademic belittling of peer-reviewed work.

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Commentary: a broader perspective on the RePAIR consensus guidelines (Responsibilities of Publishers, Agencies, Institutions, and Researchers in protecting the integrity of the research record) (Papers: Zoë H. Hammatt | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on April 14, 2019
 

The topic of responsibilities of publishers, agencies, institutions, and researchers in protecting the integrity of the research record is relevant for each of these stakeholders in the research enterprise. The RePAIR Consensus Guidelines reflect conversations on this important topic among diverse stakeholders rather than a single constituency. As such, they provide a starting point for additional discussion around improving communication among those handling retractions.

To advance the field beyond the Singapore and Montreal Statements and other referenced guidelines such as those produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the RePAIR Guidelines could serve as a springboard for articulating points of tension and offering solutions.

If these guidelines seek to offer specific recommendations on procedural aspects of interaction between stakeholders, however, extension beyond existing procedural guidelines (e.g., COPE and CLUE, referenced in the article) would be necessary. Such extension would require thorough literature review and additional consultation to ensure feasibility and a clear focus.

Hammatt, ZH (2018) Commentary: a broader perspective on the RePAIR consensus guidelines (Responsibilities of Publishers, Agencies, Institutions, and Researchers in protecting the integrity of the research record). Research Integrity and Peer Review. 20183:14 https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-018-0056-0

Publisher (Open Access): https://researchintegrityjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41073-018-0055-1

Corruption risks involving publicly funded research (CCC | December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on April 13, 2019
 

 PREVENTION IN FOCUS

What you should know

  • The Queensland public sector conducts research in diverse sectors including medical and health sciences, agriculture, engineering and the biological sciences. In 2014-15, Australian governments spent more than $3,000 million on research and development.
  • Queensland has set the precedent for researchers to be prosecuted and convicted of fraud and attempted fraud in relation to fabrication of research results and fraudulent grant applications.
  • Units of public administrations (UPAs) and those who manage and supervise research within them have a responsibility to ensure not only the intellectual integrity of the work being undertaken within their agency, but also the financial and administrative probity related to its conduct and delivery

Access a complete copy of this guidance  document (PDF)

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