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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Friday afternoon’s funny – Reclaiming medical devices0

Posted by Admin in on August 14, 2020

Cartoon by Don Mayne
Full-size image for printing (right mouse click and save file)

This chuckle touches on an important point for medical device clinical trials: There needs to be monitoring and support arrangements funded and in place for a period well beyond the duration of the trial.

Five better ways to assess science – Nature Index (Benjamin Plackett | August 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on August 12, 2020

Hong Kong Principles seek to replace ‘publish or perish’ culture

The practice of valuing quantity above quality in research needs to change if trust in science is to be maintained.

This great Nature Index piece, and the Hong Kong Principles it describes, suggest an approach to research practice and culture, that applauds quality over quantity and that celebrates responsible conduct.  We included links to 10 related pieces.

That is the conclusion of a paper introducing a new set of guidelines for academic assessment called the Hong Kong Principles.

Named after a 2019 conference in the city where they were first discussed, the guidelines are designed to incentivise more rigorous science.

The 5 Hong Kong Principles:

  • Assess responsible research practices
  • Value complete reporting
  • Reward the practice of open science (open research)
  • Acknowledge a broad range of research activities
  • Recognise essential other tasks like peer review and mentoring

Read the rest of this discussion piece

The Science Sleuth Holding Fraudulent Research Accountable – leapsmag (Kira Peikoff | August 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on August 10, 2020

For most people, when they see the word “whistleblower,” the image that leaps to mind is a lone individual bravely stepping forward to shine a light on misconduct she has witnessed first-hand. Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood exposing safety violations observed while working the line at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant. Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre in The Informant!, capturing on his pocket recorder clandestine meetings between his employer and its competitors to fix the price of lysine. However, a new breed of whistleblower is emerging who isn’t at the scene of the crime but instead figures it out after the fact through laborious review of publicly available information and expert analysis. Elisabeth Bik belongs to this new class of whistleblower.

Using her expertise as a microbiologist and her trained eye, Bik studies publicly available scientific papers to sniff out potential irregularities in the images that suggest research fraud, later seeking retraction of the offending paper from the journal’s publisher. There’s no smoking gun, no first-hand account of any kind. Just countless hours spent reviewing scores of scientific papers and Bik’s skills and dedication as a science fraud sleuth.

While Bik’s story may not as readily lend itself to the big screen, her work is nonetheless equally heroic. By tirelessly combing scientific papers to expose research fraud, Bik is playing a vital role in holding the scientific publishing process accountable and ensuring that misleading information does not spread unchecked. This is important work in any age, but particularly so in the time of COVID, where we can ill afford the setbacks and delays of scientists building on false science. In the present climate, where science is politicized and scientific principles are under attack, strong voices like Bik’s must rise above the din to ensure the scientific information we receive, and our governments act upon, is accurate. Our health and wellbeing depend on it.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Getting Started as a Peer Reviewer (May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 8, 2020

Peer review is an integral process in the scientific community. Not only does it help to verify and disseminate advances, but it also provides young scientists with important experience evaluating science. But peer review does not always come naturally. There are lots of nuances to navigate when you enter the world of peer review. This digital edition offers guidance and advice specifically aimed at helping early-career researchers take the initial steps toward becoming a peer reviewer.

Handbook to inform the practice of new peer reviewers, or reviewers who aspire to be great.  Great mentors can guide excellent research practice, while poor mentors let us all down.  Also a useful read for HDR supervisors and RIAs.

Here you will find advice on:

  • How to become a reviewer
  • How to figure out if you have a conflict of interest
  • How to evaluate a review article
  • How to be a constructive and valuable reviewer

Please let us know a little more about yourself so that we can share other exciting Cell Press content that will interest you. By registering and downloading this supplement, you consent to your personal data being used by Elsevier B.V., its affiliates worldwide, and the below funding entity(ies) to provide you with information about related programs, products, and services.

Download the handbook