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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

SPEECH: Actions to advance research integrity – Dr Alan Finkel AO (6th World Conference on Research Integrity | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 17, 2019
 

Looking around the room today, I’m reminded that research truly is a human pursuit: it thrives on face-to-face connections.

It’s easy to forget that, when you’re a student, and it’s late at night, and you’re the last person left in the lab – again.

So, every so often, it’s worth pausing to remember just how many people are out there, working hard, gathering data – just like you.

Worldwide, there are more than eight million researchers.

Every year, we produce well over a quarter of a million new PhDs.

China alone has added more than a million people to its research workforce since 2011.

Not all of these researchers will work in academia – but those who do are highly productive.

They publish in the order of four million academic journal articles every year, spread across more than 40,000 journals.

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Should journals credit eagle-eyed readers by name in retraction notices? – Retraction Watch (Benjamin Mazer | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 12, 2019
 

One of the most highly-cited journals in cardiology has retracted a paper less than a month after publishing it in response to criticism first posted on Twitter.

The article, “Short-term and long-term effects of a loading dose of atorvastatin before percutaneous coronary intervention on major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome: a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials,” was published online January 3 in the European Heart Journal (EHJ). Its authors purported to analyze clinical trials of patients who were given a loading dose of atorvastatin, a cholesterol medication, before undergoing cardiac catheterization.

How closely the study authors adhered to their own methods came under question on January 8, when Ricky Turgeon, a cardiology pharmacist, posted a series of tweets in which he claimed some of the studies included in the analysis either did not test the drug in patients undergoing the procedure — referred to as PCI — or patients had not all been diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome, commonly known as a heart attack. With many of the trials included in the analysis not abiding by the predefined inclusion criteria, the study’s conclusions are unreliable, argued Turgeon.

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How Do You Publish the Work of a Scientific Villain? – WIRED (Megan Molteni | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 11, 2019
 

HOW DO YOU handle the data of a scientist who violates all the norms of his field? Who breaches the trust of a community that spans the entire globe? Who shows a casual disregard for the fate of the whole human species?

On the one hand, you might want to learn from such a person’s work; to have a full and open dissection of everything that went wrong. Because, spoiler, there was a lot that went wrong in the case in question. But rewarding such “abhorrent” behavior, as one scientist put it, with a publication—the currency of the scientific world—would send a message that ethical rules only exist to be broken.

This is the precarious situation in which we find ourselves today, as scientists hash out the next chapter of the human gene-editing scandal that erupted two weeks ago, when the Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed that for the last two years he has been working in secret to produce the world’s first Crispr-edited babies. Scientists denounced the work with near-unanimous condemnation, citing its technical failures as well as its deep breaches of ethical (and possibly legal) lines. What’s much less certain is what should happen to the work, now that it’s been done.

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Plan U: Universal access to scientific and medical research via funder preprint mandates (Papers: Richard Sever, et al | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 10, 2019
 

Abstract
Preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv represent a highly successful and relatively low cost mechanism for providing free access to research findings. By decoupling the dissemination of manuscripts from the much slower process of evaluation and certification by journals, preprints also significantly accelerate the pace of research itself by allowing other researchers to begin building on new results immediately. If all funding agencies were to mandate posting of preprints by grantees—an approach we term Plan U (for “universal”)—free access to the world’s scientific output for everyone would be achieved with minimal effort. Moreover, the existence of all articles as preprints would create a fertile environment for experimentation with new peer review and research evaluation initiatives, which would benefit from a reduced barrier to entry because hosting and archiving costs were already covered.

Sever, R., Eisen, M., Inglis, J. (2019) Plan U: Universal access to scientific and medical research via funder preprint mandates. PLoS Biology 17(6): e3000273. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000273
Publisher (Open Access): https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000273

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