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What To Do When You Don’t Trust Your Data Anymore – Laskowski Lab at UC Davis (January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 1, 2020
 

Science is built on trust. Trust that your experiments will work. Trust in your collaborators to pull their weight. But most importantly, trust that the data we so painstakingly collect are accurate and as representative of the real world as they can be.

An important story and lessons about collaborative research, correcting the record and data management.

And so when I realized that I could no longer trust the data that I had reported in some of my papers, I did what I think is the only correct course of action. I retracted them.
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Retractions are seen as a comparatively rare event in science, and this is no different for my particular field (evolutionary and behavioral ecology), so I know that there is probably some interest in understanding the story behind it. This is my attempt to explain how and why I came to the conclusion that these papers needed to be removed from the scientific record.
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(China) ANU study says China deliberately falsifying data on organ transplants – The Canberra Times (Kirsten Lawson | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on January 31, 2020
 

New research blows the lid on China’s claim to have stopped using prisoners and groups such as Falun Gong for organ donation, finding that China appears to have systematically falsified its official data.

The Australian National University research, published on Friday, said analysis of the data implied “deliberate human intervention”, showing centrally coordinated data falsification “has clearly taken place”.

Simply, the rise in the numbers of transplants was “too neat to be true” and appeared to be generated using a simple quadratic equation, familiar to high school students.

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(China) Publishers urged to take stronger stance on Uighur persecution – Times Higher Education (Ellie Bothwell | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on January 30, 2020
 

Scholars say ensuring vulnerable minorities have given consent to use of their data does not go far enough

Academics are pushing journal publishers to take more drastic action in response to China’s crackdown on minority Muslims in the wake of increasing scrutiny over the global science community’s role in the continued persecution.

There have been rising concerns over Western journals’ publication of papers focusing on the DNA of minority ethnic groups by Chinese scientists affiliated with the country’s surveillance agencies.

More than 1 million Uighurs and other members of predominantly Muslim minority groups are believed to have been locked up in internment camps and there are worries that this research is being used to build databases, facial recognition systems and other methods for monitoring these groups.

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Should research misconduct be criminalized? (Papers: Rafael Dal-Ré, et al | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on January 29, 2020
 

Abstract

This isn’t the first time this idea has been floated (indeed it is already criminalised in some jurisdictions) and we’ve had our reservations#, but the argument in this open access paper is well written. #Making something illegal and punishable can engender a black or white attitude: something is either illegal or okay. This outlook may be counterproductive.

For more than 25 years, research misconduct (research fraud) is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism (FFP)—although other research misbehaviors have been also added in codes of conduct and legislations. A critical issue in deciding whether research misconduct should be subject to criminal law is its definition, because not all behaviors labeled as research misconduct qualifies as serious crime. But assuming that all FFP is fraud and all non-FFP not is far from obvious. In addition, new research misbehaviors have recently been described, such as prolific authorship, and fake peer review, or boosted such as duplication of images. The scientific community has been largely successful in keeping criminal law away from the cases of research misconduct. Alleged cases of research misconduct are usually looked into by committees of scientists usually from the same institution or university of the suspected offender in a process that often lacks transparency. Few countries have or plan to introduce independent bodies to address research misconduct; so for the coming years, most universities and research institutions will continue handling alleged research misconduct cases with their own procedures. A global operationalization of research misconduct with clear boundaries and clear criteria would be helpful. There is room for improvement in reaching global clarity on what research misconduct is, how allegations should be handled, and which sanctions are appropriate.
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Keywords
Research misconduct, scientific misconduct, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, research fraud

Dal-Ré, R., Bouter, L. M., Cuijpers, P., Gluud, C., & Holm, S. (2020) Should research misconduct be criminalized? Research Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747016119898400
Publisher (Open Access): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1747016119898400

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