ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesInstitutional responsibilities

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(Australian case) A researcher with 30 retractions and counting: The whistleblower speaks – Retraction Watch (Artemisia Stricta | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 24, 2019
 

Retraction Watch readers who have been following our coverage of retractions by Ali Nazari may have noticed that an anonymous whistleblower was the person who flagged the issues for journals and publishers. That whistleblower uses the pseudonym Artemisia Stricta, and we’re pleased to present a guest post written by him or her.

Something is seriously out of place with the roughly 200 publications by Ali Nazari, a scientist at Swinburne University who studies structural materials. Some of these problems have been known by journals and publishers for years — some since 2012 — yet their response has been mixed. Some have retracted papers. Some have decided not to, so far. And others have been mum.

The issues are serious enough to call into question the reliability of Nazari’s entire body of work. During 2010-2012, around 30 of Nazari’s papers duplicated images from Li et al. 2004, reporting that the materials had been produced by his group. The images, whose scale, orientation, brightness and contrast has been changed from the originals, reportedly represented materials different from those in Li et al.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Two papers that we’ve covered have been retracted—here’s why – ars Technica (John0 Timmer | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 24, 2019
 

Not all retractions are created equal.

Science is an activity performed by humans, so it’s inevitable that some of the scientific papers we cover will end up being wrong. As we noted yesterday, the cause can range from factors completely outside of a researcher’s control—like OS implementation oddities—to mistakes and errors or even intentional fraud. In some cases, the problems are minor or peripheral to the main conclusions of a study and can be handled with a correction. In others, the issues are fatal to the paper’s conclusion. In these cases, the only option is to retract the paper.

When Ars discovers that a paper we’ve covered has been retracted, we make an effort to go back and provide a notice of it in our article. But until recently, we didn’t have a formal policy regarding what that notice should look like, and we typically didn’t publish anything new to indicate a retraction had occurred.

Having given it some thought, that practice seems insufficient. A failure to prominently correct the record makes it easier for people to hang on to a mistaken impression about our state of understanding. Perhaps more importantly, not reporting a retraction leaves people unaware of a key aspect of science’s self-correcting nature and how retractions can sometimes actually advance our scientific understanding. This is definitely apparent in the contrast between two retractions that we’ll revisit today.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

 

Fining one ‘predatory’ publisher won’t fix the problem of bad science in journals – STAT (Adam Marcus | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 21, 2019
 

Science publishers aren’t supposed to be in the disinformation business. And that’s precisely what a federal judge in Nevada was saying late last month when she slapped OMICS International with a $50 million penalty in a suit brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Judge Gloria M. Navarro agreed with regulators that OMICS, which publishes hundreds of journals and puts on scientific conferences, was guilty of “numerous express and material misrepresentations regarding their journal publishing practices.”

The ruling clearly is a win for honest brokers in scientific publishing. But it’s not the solution to the problem of so-called predatory journals — a term used to describe for-profit publications that pretend to offer peer review and editing but in reality do little, if any, of either.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(Australia) UNSW skin cancer researcher Levon Khachigian hit with string of retractions – ABC News (Elise Worthington and Kyle Taylor | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 20, 2019
 

Levon Khachigian cuts an imposing figure in the hallways of the UNSW School of Medical Sciences.

This disheartening case isn’t the first time it has been suggested an independent national body should investigate allegations of research misconduct, that Australia’s approach has an inherent conflict of interest problem and something needs to change.

The 55-year-old cell biologist rose to the top of the university’s academic hierarchy, on a salary package once worth more than $250,000 a year.
.

In the elite world of academia, where prestige is driven by publication in top scientific journals and research funding is scarce, Professor Khachigian has been a big earner, bringing more than $23 million in funding to the university over his three-decade career.

The cancer and cardiovascular researcher was once regarded as a rising star on the brink of a breakthrough treatment for skin cancer.
.

Professor Khachigian is the winner of multiple Eureka prizes, widely regarded as the “Oscars” of Australian science, and once told a newspaper that the toughest part of the job was “when a research paper is rejected for publication on whimsical grounds”.

.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

0