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Major publishers sue ResearchGate over copyright infringement – Nature (Holly Else | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 4, 2019

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society say that the academic-networking website violates US copyright law.

Two journal publishers have launched legal proceedings in the United States against academic-networking site ResearchGate for copyright infringement.

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) say that the ResearchGate website violates US copyright law by making articles in their journals freely available. The two publishers filed the claim with the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on 2 October.

ResearchGate, which is based in Berlin, Germany, declined to comment to Nature. In October 2017, the same publishers launched a similar suit for copyright infringement in Germany, which has not yet concluded. At the time, ResearchGate declined to comment on this lawsuit.

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Is it time for a new classification system for scientific misconduct? – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 1, 2019

Are current classification systems for research misconduct adequate? Toshio Kuroki — special advisor to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Gifu University — thinks the answer is no. In a new paper in Accountability in Research, Kuroki — who has published on research misconduct before — suggests a new classification system. We asked him a few questions about his proposal. The answers are lightly edited for clarity.

Retraction Watch (RW): Why did you feel that a new classification of misconduct was necessary?

Toshio Kuroki (TK): The STAP affair, starring Haruko Obokata, was my inspiration to become a “misconductologist.” In 2016, I published a book in Japanese on research misconduct for the general public.

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(US) ‘It’s time for systemic change’: Scientific leaders urge new efforts to curb sexual harassment in the field – STAT (Megan Thielking | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 1, 2019

Leaders of one of the nation’s most prominent scientific groups are calling for the research community to “act with urgency” to address sexual and gender-based harassment in the field.

“It’s time for systemic change,” three leaders of the American Association for the Advancement of Science wrote in an editorial published Thursday in Science.

The editorial — penned by AAAS president Dr. Margaret Hamburg, chair of the board Susan Hockfield, and president-elect Steven Chu — follows on the heels of a new policy on harassment adopted by the organization last weekend. That policy allows the organization to revoke the membership of elected fellows in cases of proven scientific misconduct or serious breaches of professional ethics. The policy also makes it clear: Sexual and gender-based harassment violate those standards and are grounds for removal.

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Amid ethics outcry, should journals publish the ‘CRISPR babies’ paper? – STAT (Adam Marcus | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 31, 2018

Like researchers everywhere, He Jiankui — the scientist in China who claims to have used CRISPR to edit embryos to create babies protected from HIV — is eager to publish scientific papers. It is, after all, a publish-or-perish world — although in He’s case, his fate at home may rest more with what the Chinese government thinks of his behavior than what a peer reviewer says about his work.

Part of the dilemma for a journal editor will be which ethical standard to apply, whether that standard provides any guidance with regard to research on an unborn fetus, the genetic manipulation of humans, risk management and consent. A journal faces a pretty stark dilemma that the edition the paper appears in will attract huge attention, be highly cited (though probably not positively) and the journal title will suddenly be on everyone’s lips. But the reputation of the publication, publisher and editor is likely to take a massive hit. Would you publish?  We doubt we would.

As STAT reported Monday, He shopped around a manuscript earlier this fall about using CRISPR to edit genes for a different purpose — to prevent an inherited condition that causes sky-high cholesterol levels — but it was rejected because of ethical and scientific shortcomings. And two weeks ago, in the face of withering criticism over his lack of transparency, He told the International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong that he had submitted a paper on the “CRISPR babies” work to a journal.

Given the maelstrom surrounding He’s claims, however, should any journals even consider papers from him? And if they do, what should they keep in mind?

Jeremy Berg, editor of Science, told STAT that while he could not comment on whether the paper had been submitted to his journal, “given the numerous ethical issues with this situation as presented, we would be extremely unlikely to consider it.”

Howard Bauchner, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, wouldn’t comment on the possibility of a submission by He either, but said, “I believe articles should be reviewed and not judged based upon what is written in the media.”.

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