ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
Search
Generic filters
Exact text matches only
Search into
Filter by Categories
Research integrity
Filter by Categories
Human Research Ethics

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesInstitutional responsibilities

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Exempting low-risk health and medical research from ethics reviews: comparing Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands (Papers: Anna Mae Scott, et al | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on April 1, 2020
 

Abstract

Background
Disproportionate regulation of health and medical research contributes to research waste. Better understanding of exemptions of research from ethics review in different jurisdictions may help to guide modification of review processes and reduce research waste. Our aim was to identify examples of low-risk human health and medical research exempt from ethics reviews in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands.

Methods
We examined documents providing national guidance on research ethics in each country, including those authored by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), National Health Service (United Kingdom), the Office for Human Research Protections (United States) and the Central Committee on Research Involving Humans (the Netherlands). Examples and types of research projects exempt from ethics reviews were identified, and similar examples and types were grouped together.

Results
Nine categories of research were exempt from ethics reviews across the four countries; these were existing data or specimen, questionnaire or survey, interview, post-marketing study, evaluation of public benefit or service programme, randomised controlled trials, research with staff in their professional role, audit and service evaluation, and other exemptions. Existing non-identifiable data and specimens were exempt in all countries. Four categories – evaluation of public benefit or service programme, randomised controlled trials, research with staff in their professional role, and audit and service evaluation – were exempted by one country each. The remaining categories were exempted by two or three countries.

Conclusions
Examples and types of research exempt from research ethics reviews varied considerably. Given the considerable costs and burdens on researchers and ethics committees, it would be worthwhile to develop and provide clearer guidance on exemptions, illustrated with examples, with transparent underpinning rationales.

Scott, A.M., Kolstoe, S., Ploem, M.C., Hammatt, Z. & Glasziou, P.  (2020) Exempting low-risk health and medical research from ethics reviews: comparing Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. Health Research Policy and Systems. 18(11). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-019-0520-4
Publisher (Open Access): https://health-policy-systems.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12961-019-0520-4

Australian junior scientists report damaging lack of support at work – Nature (Chris Woolston | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 31, 2020
 

System built on short-term contracts and grants causes many to consider leaving.

Four out of five early-career researchers in Australia have considered leaving science or their jobs because of factors including questionable research practices and an absence of institutional support, suggests a survey of 658 postdocs and junior faculty members.

What does your institution do to support early career researchers?  This story suggests Australian institutions aren’t doing enough

The study was led by Katherine Christian, a social scientist at Federation University Australia in Ballarat, who is collecting data for her PhD thesis on the challenges faced by early-career researchers in the country. “I found everything I expected, but more so,” she says.
.

The national survey ran online from March to June 2019; it targeted people who had earned a PhD or equivalent degree within the past ten years and were working at research institutions or universities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine. The results were posted on the preprint server bioRxiv last month (K. Christian et al. Preprint at bioRxiv http://doi.org/dn8m; 2020).
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

10 Types of Plagiarism in Research – Wiley (Helen Eassom | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2020
 

A useful typology of plagiarism that points to the varying forms that exist (not just unattributed copying).

Last year, we wrote about the steps Wiley is taking to target plagiarism. For each manuscript submitted to a Wiley Open Access journal using the ScholarOne submission system, an automatic report is generated using the iThenticate anti-plagiarism software, a process that benefits authors and editors alike by ensuring high ethical standards across the open access programme. Plagiarism however, continues to be a huge problem in scientific publishing. In order to address these ongoing issues, a deeper knowledge and understanding of the nature of plagiarism is required. With this in mind, iThenticate have conducted a survey of scientific researchers, in which respondents were asked to both rate the severity and commonness of ten forms of plagiarism. The following infographic (used with permission from iThenticate) shows the ten types, along with percieved commonness and seriousness. You can also view the survey summary here.

Access the graphic

NSF tallies 16 cases of alleged harassment by grantees in first year of new rules – Science (Jeffrey Mervis | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2020
 

It’s been 1 year since the National Science Foundation (NSF) implemented a new policy governing when universities must tell it about possible sexual harassment by grantees. Despite adopting a narrow definition of who is covered, agency officials say they are surprised by how many notifications—16 to date—they have received.

Let’s be clear, such harassment is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.  It is also vitally important to pick up that institutions promote a culture that prevents this, but also that allegations need to substantiated as campuses could become rife with the so-called ‘cancel’ culture that could see false allegations due to competition for funding.

The rules apply only to researchers who received an award after 22 October 2018 or a recent amendment to an earlier award, and kick in only when an institution takes what is called an “administrative action.” That could range from monitoring someone’s behavior to banning the alleged perpetrator from campus. Institutions must also notify NSF of the final decision in a harassment investigation involving an NSF grantee, the end of a process that can drag on for years.
.

If followed by institutions, the notification rules should reduce the chances that the agency is blindsided by media reports of current grantees who are found guilty of harassment. But the rules will not create a database of all sexual harassment investigations at NSF-funded institutions, nor was that NSF’s intention. Rather, the rule addresses NSF’s obligation to ensure a “safe and secure” research environment at places where it is spending money.
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

0