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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

COVID-19 research: pandemic versus “paperdemic”, integrity, values and risks of the “speed science” (Papers: Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 11, 2020
 

Abstract

This open access paper from April 2020 makes familiar arguments about the problem of junk science and COVID-19, but they are points worth repeating and we loved the first sentence of the abstract.  We have included links to 16 related items.

Scientific integrity is a learned skill. When researchers and students learn integrity in laboratories or in the classroom, they are empowered to use similar principles in other aspects of their lives. This commentary reviews the concepts related to scientific integrity at a time when science faces important challenges related to the increase(d) number of articles produced regarding research on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has ignited another parallel viral pandemic, with science ranging from robust studies to dishonest studies being conducted, posted, and shared at an unprecedented rate. A balance is needed between the benefits of the rapid access to new scientific data and the threat of causing panic or erroneous clinical decisions based on mistakes or misconduct. The truth is that the “scientific research has changed the world” but now, and more than ever, “it needs to change itself”. A pandemic with a “paperdemic” will be even more complicated to manage if it progresses in an uncontrolled manner and is not properly scrutinized.

Keywords:
SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, research and academic integrity, peer review, pandemic, paperdemic

Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira (2020) COVID-19 research: pandemic versus “paperdemic”, integrity, values and risks of the “speed science”, Forensic Sciences Research, DOI: 10.1080/20961790.2020.1767754
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20961790.2020.1767754

Historicizing the crisis of scientific misconduct in Indian science (Papers: Mahendra Shahare & Lissa Roberts | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 11, 2020
 

Abstract

The Indian experience and recent approach is worth emulating.  National approaches should focus on institutions, structural incentives and only after that research culture.

A flurry of discussions about plagiarism and predatory publications in recent times has brought the issue of scientific misconduct in India to the fore. The debate has framed scientific misconduct in India as a recent phenomenon. This article questions that framing, which rests on the current tendency to define and police scientific misconduct as a matter of individual behavior. Without ignoring the role of individuals, this article contextualizes their actions by calling attention to the conduct of the institutions, as well as social and political structures that are historically responsible for governing the practice of science in India since the colonial period. Scientific (mis)conduct, in other words, is here examined as a historical phenomenon borne of the interaction between individuals’ aspirations and the systems that impose, measure, and reward scientific output in particular ways. Importantly, historicizing scientific misconduct in this way also underscores scientist-driven initiatives and regulatory interventions that have placed India at the leading edge of reform. With the formal establishment of the Society for Scientific Values in 1986, Indian scientists became the first national community worldwide to monitor research integrity in an institutionally organized way.
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Keywords
Scientific misconduct, fraud in science, research integrity, the Society for Scientific Values, India

Shahare, M., & Roberts, L. (2020). Historicizing the crisis of scientific misconduct in Indian science. History of Sciencehttps://doi.org/10.1177/0073275320930908
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0073275320930908

(China, Australia) Against the use and publication of contemporary unethical research: the case of Chinese transplant research (Papers: Wendy C Higgins, et al | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 9, 2020
 

Abstract

This July 2020 paper examines the argument for and against the publication of new, or retraction of old research outputs, where the work utilised organs from executed prisoners.  This isn’t just about an intensely captive relationship.

Recent calls for retraction of a large body of Chinese transplant research and of Dr Jiankui He’s gene editing research has led to renewed interest in the question of publication, retraction and use of unethical biomedical research. In Part 1 of this paper, we briefly review the now well-established consequentialist and deontological arguments for and against the use of unethical research. We argue that, while there are potentially compelling justifications for use under some circumstances, these justifications fail when unethical practices are ongoing—as in the case of research involving transplantations in which organs have been procured unethically from executed prisoners. Use of such research displays a lack of respect and concern for the victims and undermines efforts to deter unethical practices. Such use also creates moral taint and renders those who use the research complicit in continuing harm. In Part 2, we distinguish three dimensions of ‘non-use’ of unethical research: non-use of published unethical research, non-publication, and retraction and argue that all three types of non-use should be upheld in the case of Chinese transplant research. Publishers have responsibilities to not publish contemporary unethical biomedical research, and where this has occurred, to retract publications. Failure to retract the papers implicitly condones the research, while uptake of the research through citations rewards researchers and ongoing circulation of the data in the literature facilitates subsequent use by researchers, policymakers and clinicians.
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Higgins, WC., Rogers, W.A., Ballantyne, A., Lipworth, W. (2020)  Against the use and publication of contemporary unethical research: the case of Chinese transplant research. Journal of Medical Ethics. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2019-106044

Column: How a retracted research paper contaminated global coronavirus research – Los Angles Times (Michael Hiltzik | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 7, 2020
 

Call it the retraction that shook the coronavirus world.

We’ve known this sordid truth for years: Cheats and charlatans lurk amongst us.  With the two high profile retractions, it has become public knowledge and it is the reputation of science that has been tarnished.

On June 4, the Lancet, the British medical journal that is one of the most prestigious scientific publications in the world, withdrew a paper that had been one of the most consequential in the novel field of coronavirus studies.
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The peer-reviewed paper, which the Lancet had published on May 22, said that treating COVID-19 with the antimalarial drugs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine raised the heart-related death risk for COVID-19 patients in the hospital without showing any benefit.

Yes, this is a wake-up call. But we’ve had the wake-up call for years.
IVAN ORANSKY, RETRACTION WATCH

The lead author of the paper, which employed a worldwide database of 96,000 patients from nearly 700 hospitals on six continents, was a highly regarded Harvard cardiac surgeon.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

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