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Research Ethics MonthlyISSN 2206-2483

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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

NIH to researchers: Don’t publish in bad journals, please – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 17, 2018

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has noticed something: More of the research it’s funding is ending up in questionable journals. Recently, the agency issued a statement highlighting some qualities of these journals — aggressively soliciting submissions, failing to provide clear information about pricing — and urging researchers to avoid them. The NIH’s goal: to “help protect the credibility of papers arising from its research investment.” We asked the NIH for more information about the guide notice; a representative returned responses, asking that we attribute them to the NIH Office of Extramural Research.

It’s great to see a peak research funding body taking this tangible step to tackle illegitimate publishers. We believe research projects that were funded out of public tax dollars should be accessible without the community having to pay large subscription fees. Open Access is the obvious answer. But illegitimate publishers with their poor/non-existent editorial standards and otherwise poor quality means publishing with them effectively squanders public money. We hope to see Australasian research funding bodies adopt similar positions as the NIH.

Retraction Watch: What prompted the NIH to issue this guide notice? Was there an incident?
NIH: NIH continually seeks ways to improve the quality, significance, and impact of funded research. Several recent articles have raised concerns about the practices of some journals and publishers, and we became aware that NIH research is sometimes published in journals that do not adhere to established best practices.
RW: The guide notice says: “The NIH has noted an increase in the numbers of papers reported as products of NIH funding which are published in journals or by publishers that do not follow best practices promoted by professional scholarly publishing organizations.” Can you tell us any more about the numbers underlying that statement?

NIH: We do not have hard numbers to share with you. That said, we have noticed reports from the community related to this topic.


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A way to ensure honesty and integrity in research – The New Strait Times (Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on March 16, 2018

IN science work, a major badge of excellence is the acceptance of original research for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Science or Nature.

Publication of a new scientific breakthrough or insight brings recognition, career advancement, and, in the most exceptional cases, starts a high achiever on a road to the ultimate award — the Nobel Prize.

Given its importance, the pursuit of publication is bound to lead sometimes to over-zealousness and elements of unethical conduct, which in recent years have involved many high-profile cases and personalities.

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Designing integrated research integrity training: authorship, publication, and peer review (Papers: Mark Hooper, et al)0

Posted by Admin in on March 14, 2018


This paper describes the experience of an academic institution, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), developing training courses about research integrity practices in authorship, publication, and Journal Peer Review. The importance of providing research integrity training in these areas is now widely accepted; however, it remains an open question how best to conduct this training. For this reason, it is vital for institutions, journals, and peak bodies to share learnings.

We describe how we have collaborated across our institution to develop training that supports QUT’s principles and which is in line with insights from contemporary research on best practices in learning design, universal design, and faculty involvement. We also discuss how we have refined these courses iteratively over time, and consider potential mechanisms for evaluating the effectiveness of the courses more formally.

Hooper, M., Barbour V., Walsh A.., Bradbury, S. and Jacobs J. (2018) Designing integrated research integrity training: authorship, publication, and peer review. Research Integrity and Peer Review (2018) 3:2
Publisher (Open Access):

Authorship, Publication, and Peer Review (Guidance: QUT | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 14, 2018

Authorship & Publication and Journal Peer Review are training programs produced by the QUT Library and the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity. You can view and download many of the course materials on this site.

This is quite simply amongst the best institutional online professional development material we’ve seen about research integrity. What we really liked was the use of researcher experience and reflection, which reinforces the message research integrity must be integral to research practice, not separate to the design/conduct/reporting of quality research. Our hearty huzzah! to everyone involved.

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