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

“I was shocked. I felt physically ill.” And still, she corrected the record – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 30, 2020
 

Two years ago, Julia Strand, an assistant professor of psychology at Carleton College, published a paper in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review about how people strain to listen in crowded spaces (think: when they’re doing the opposite of social distancing).

Finding a mistake in your lauded research can be devastating.  But as this case demonstrates, responding well and publicly can enhance not damage your reputation.

The article, titled “Talking points: A modulating circle reduces listening effort without improving speech recognition,” was a young scientist’s fantasy — splashy, fascinating findings in a well-known journal — and, according to Strand, it gave her fledgling career a jolt.
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The data were “gorgeous,” she said, initially replicable and well-received:
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‘We planned follow-up studies, started designing an app … for use in clinical settings, and I wrote and was awarded a National Institute of Health grant (my first!) to fund the work.”
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Read the rest of this discussion piece

(US) Nobel Prize-winning scientist Frances Arnold retracts paper – BBC News (January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 27, 2020
 

American scientist Frances Arnold, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry, has retracted her latest paper.

This story highlights why lab heads need to be vigilant, rather than just adding their names to papers from their labs. We suspect there are a lot of papers out there that the senior author has not even read them.

Prof Arnold shared the award with George P Smith and Gregory Winter for their research on enzymes in 2018.
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A subsequent paper on enzymatic synthesis of beta-lactams was published in the journal Science in May 2019.
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It has been retracted because the results were not reproducible, and the authors found data missing from a lab notebook.
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Reproduction is an essential part of validating scientific experiments. If an experiment is a success, one would expect to get the same results every time it was conducted.
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Read the rest of this discussion piece

(US and China) KU researcher charged with failing to disclose conflict of interest with Chinese university – KMBC News (August 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2020
 

A researcher at the University of Kansas was indicted Thursday on federal charges of hiding the fact he was working full-time for a Chinese university while doing research at KU funded by the U.S. government.

Feng “Franklin” Tao, 47, of Lawrence, Kansas, is charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of program fraud, according to Jim Cross, the public information officer for U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister in the District of Kansas.

Tao is an associate professor at KU’s Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis. He was employed since August 2014 by the CEBC, the mission of which is to conduct research on sustainable technology to conserve natural resources and energy.

Read the rest of this news story

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