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

The Dutch Fight for Research Integrity – Times Higher Education (David Matthews June 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 3, 2016
 

Every researcher in the Netherlands is to be questioned about whether they have committed research misconduct or engaged in “sloppy science” as part of a major national effort to bolster scientific standards.

In response to rising concerns over a “reproducibility crisis” in science and a series of high-profile fraud cases in the Netherlands, the country is to commit 8 million euros ($9 million) to understanding the problem, finding solutions and trying to reproduce critical studies.

Lex Bouter, professor of methodology and integrity at VU Amsterdam and one of the driving forces behind the initiative, said that in the Netherlands “during the past 10 years we had three to four really serious wake-up calls” about scientific misconduct.

Read the full news story

Have 1 in 5 UK academics fabricated data? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook July 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 2, 2016
 

A small survey of UK academics suggests misconduct such as faking data and plagiarism is occurring surprisingly often.

The survey — of 215 UK academics — estimated that 1 in 7 had plagiarized from someone else’s work, and nearly 1 in 5 had fabricated data. Here’s how Joanna Williams and David Roberts at the University of Kent summarize the results in their full report, published by the Society for Research into Higher Education:

“-Using references to support predetermined arguments rather than illuminate debate was undertaken by 38.1% (± 5.1%) respondents. This was the most frequently reported incidence of malpractice.

-36.0% (± 7.6%) of respondents reported self-plagiarising. This is more than one in three researchers.

-17.9% (± 6.1%) of academics surveyed reported having fabricated (entirely invented) research data. This is almost 1 in 5 researchers.

-13.6% (± 7.5%) of respondents reported having engaged in plagiarism.”

Read the full story

Unsuccessful trial accrual and human subjects protections: an empirical analysis of recently closed trials (Papers: Benjamin Carlisle et al 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on July 1, 2016
 

Abstract

Background
Ethical evaluation of risk–benefit in clinical trials is premised on the achievability of resolving research questions motivating an investigation.

Objective
To determine the fraction and number of patients enrolled in trials that were at risk of not meaningfully addressing their primary research objective due to unsuccessful patient accrual.

Methods
We used the National Library of Medicine clinical trial registry to capture all initiated phases 2 and 3 intervention clinical trials that were registered as closed in 2011. We then determined the number that had been terminated due to unsuccessful accrual and the number that had closed after less than 85% of the target number of human subjects had been enrolled. Five factors were tested for association with unsuccessful accrual.

Results
Of 2579 eligible trials, 481 (19%) either terminated for failed accrual or completed with less than 85% expected enrolment, seriously compromising their statistical power. Factors associated with unsuccessful accrual included greater number of eligibility criteria (p = 0.013), non-industry funding (25% vs 16%, p \ 0.0001), earlier trial phase (23% vs 16%, p \ 0.0001), fewer number of research sites at trial completion (p \ 0.0001) and at registration (p \ 0.0001), and an active (non-placebo) comparator (23% vs 16%, p \ 0.001).

Conclusion
A total of 48,027 patients had enrolled in trials closed in 2011 who were unable to answer the primary research question meaningfully. Ethics bodies, investigators, and data monitoring committees should carefully scrutinize trial design, recruitment plans, and feasibility of achieving accrual targets when designing and reviewing trials, monitor accrual once initiated, and take corrective action when accrual is lagging.

Keywords
Medical ethics, research ethics, clinical trials, trial accrual, recruitment

Carlisle B, Kimmelman J, Ramsay T and MacKinnon N (2014) Unsuccessful trial accrual and human subjects protections: an empirical analysis of recently closed trials. Clinical Trials. 12(1):77-83. doi: 10.1177/1740774514558307.
Publisher: http://ctj.sagepub.com/content/12/1/77.long

(Retraction Watch) Join our team: Retraction Watch needs a part-time editor (June 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on June 29, 2016
 

“We’re so inundated with story ideas and projects, we need some extra help! Specifically, we’re looking for a part-time editor who can be available during specific hours when we need an extra pair of hands.

Our friends at Retraction Watch tell us that they are still looking for expressions of interest and the time difference between New Zealand/Australia and US eastern time might be helpful.

During that time, you would review tips and write up breaking stories if they arise, as well as edit guest posts and other stories we couldn’t get to during the day. We’re specifically looking for someone who can be available for a fixed block of time, for a total of 12 hours per week.

The specific hours are Monday through Thursday, 2:30-5:30 p.m. eastern. We do not currently have an office, so the editor can be based anywhere, and will be expected to work from home. Our co-founders are based in New York, so proximity to that area is helpful, but not necessary.

Experience writing and editing breaking news and investigative stories is a must, as is a deep understanding of science publishing. You have to be comfortable dropping everything to jump on a story. There may even be the potential to contribute to bigger projects such as the feature we wrote for Nature on fake peer reviews.

Interested? Send a cover letter, resume, and clips to oransi01 [at] nyu.edu (the second “0” is a zero), with “RW part-time editor” as a subject line.”

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