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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Cabell’s Predatory Journal Blacklist: An Updated Review – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 15, 2019
 

A couple of years ago, I published in The Kitchen a review of what was then a new product: Cabell’s Blacklist, a directory of journals that are published using questionable, suspicious, or objectively deceitful and dishonest strategies. The Blacklist was designed to take the place of the controversial Beall’s List, which had recently shut down after being operated out of the library office of Jeffrey Beall for about five years. Beall’s List had offered a mixed bag of benefits and problems from the start, and Cabell’s (publisher of a long-respected serials directory) sought to create a more rigorous and consistent version of the same service.

We have written previously about the limitations of black and whites lists (see further reading). Even though this sounds like a promising fee-for-service tool, researchers should continue to engage in due-diligence when considering a publisher.

A very quick summary for those who may — against all odds — still be blissfully unaware of what terms like “predatory publishing or “deceptive publishing” refer to: what are commonly called predatory publishers are those who lie about their business practices for the purpose of attracting paying authors. These journals misrepresent themselves with regard to, for example, editorial board members (claiming people as editors without permission), peer review practices (falsely claiming to provide meaningful peer review), impact metrics (mostly by lying about their Journal Impact Factor), organizational affiliations (usually claiming a relationship with a nonexistent organization), etc. The common feature of all such journals is that instead of rigorously evaluating and vetting submitted articles, they will instead publish anything submitted as long as the author is willing to pay an article processing charge (APC). By injecting non-vetted content into the scholarly and scientific marketplace and misrepresenting it as peer-reviewed science, these journals contaminate and undermine both the legitimacy and the trustworthiness of scholarly discourse.
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Thus, the introduction of Cabell’s Blacklist in 2017 was a welcome development. It promised a tool that can be used by authors needing help deciding where to publish, by academics and other employers seeking to check the legitimacy of job applicants’ claimed applications or editorial board memberships, or anyone else interested in monitoring the behavior of deceptive publishers. And for those who question the necessity of such a tool, it’s worth noting that Cabell’s Blacklist currently includes almost 12,000 journals — and its list of titles under consideration for inclusion in the Blacklist comes to over 1,000 more.
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Guidance for Researchers on the Implications of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 (Guidance: UCL | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on April 30, 2019
 

Introduction
This guidance note has been compiled to provide an overview of data protection key points for researchers, in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the new UK Data Protection Act 2018. When referring to both, this guidance note will use the term ‘new data protection legislation’.

This document was last updated on 24 May 2018. It may be updated further as relevant guidance on the issues raised is published by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

A. Scope
This guidance applies to researchers who are processing personal data, i.e. information relating to an identified or identifiable living person. Note that ‘processing’ means any operation – collecting, storing, using, transferring, disclosing or destroying – performed on personal data.

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Children in Social Research: Do Higher Payments Encourage Participation in Riskier Studies? (Stephanie Taplin, et al | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on February 18, 2019
 

Abstract

Full disclosure, columns on the advisory panel for this work, But this is a great paper with disciplinary application.

The MESSI (Managing Ethical Studies on Sensitive Issues) study used hypothetical scenarios, presented via a brief online survey, to explore whether payment amounts influenced Australian children and young people to participate in social research of different sensitivity. They were more likely to participate in the lower sensitivity study than in the higher at all payment levels (A$200 prize draw, no payment, $30, or $100). Offering payments to children and young people increased the likelihood that they would agree to participate in the studies and, in general, the higher the payments, the higher the likelihood of their participating. No evidence of undue influence was detected: payments can be used to increase the participation of children and young people in research without concerns of undue influence on their behavior in the face of relatively risky research. When considering the level of payment, however, the overriding consideration should be the level of risk to the children and young people.
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Keywords
children and adolescent, pediatrics, justice, participant selection, inclusion, recruitment, payment for research participation, research ethics, risks, benefits, and burdens of research, beneficence and nonmaleficence, vignette studies, decision-making capacity, surrogate decision makers, parental consent, child assent, voluntariness, coercion
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Taplin, S., Chalmers, J., Hoban, B., McArthur, M., Moore, T. and Graham, A. (2019) Research Ethics Committees’ Oversight of Biomedical Research in South Africa: A Thematic Analysis of Ethical Issues Raised During Ethics Review of Non-Expedited Protocols. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.
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Tips for negotiating the peer-reviewed journal publication process as an early-career researcher – LSE Impact Blog (Margaret K. Merga, et al | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 13, 2019
 

Early-career researchers are subject to higher levels of scrutiny than ever before, with publication in academic journals essential to how they are funded and evaluated, and how their careers will be built. Margaret K. Merga, Shannon Mason and Julia E. Morris share insights from their own experiences of navigating the journal submission and publication process as ECRs, emphasising the importance of being strategic about journal selection, understanding which suggested revisions will actually improve a paper, and knowing what is the right moment to contact the editor for guidance.

This LSE Impact Blog piece provides another set of valuable tips for ECRs, in areas that are often not addressed by institutional professional development.  We have included a collection of other related handy items.

Publishing in quality peer-reviewed journals is essential for early-career researchers (ECRs), due to their need to build a track record and expertise in their field. ECRs are subject to higher levels of scrutiny than ever before, with our contributions quantified through performance measurement indicators which may fail to adequately capture their scope, the efforts applied, and our stage in career. As contended by Hyland, publication is essential “because it is through publication that knowledge is constructed, academics are evaluated, universities are funded, and careers are built, and each year its influence becomes ever more intrusive and demanding”. As ECRs, we are particularly vulnerable to this imperative, as many of us have yet to secure tenure, so we may lack the job security of our more-established senior colleagues.
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The knowledge and skills needed to write an academic journal article for publication and then to successfully negotiate the peer review process are complex and unique. Many ECRs will have experienced inadequate training and mentoring in this area.
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