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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

What universities can learn from one of science’s biggest frauds – Nature (Holly Else – June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 3, 2019
 

Detailed analysis of misconduct investigations into huge research fraud suggests institutional probes aren’t rigorous enough.

By day, Andrew Grey studies bone health. But over the past few years, he’s developed another speciality: the case of one of science’s most prolific fraudsters.

From 1996 to 2013, Yoshihiro Sato, a Japanese bone-health researcher plagiarized work, fabricated data and forged authorships — prompting retractions of more than 60 studies in the scholarly literature so far. Grey and colleagues at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the University of Aberdeen, UK, are among the researchers who have raised concerns about Sato’s work over the past decade or so, and they have studied the case in detail — in particular, how universities involved in the research investigated concerns about his work and allegations of misconduct.

At the World Conference on Research Integrity in Hong Kong from 2 to 5 June, Grey’s team described its years-long efforts to clean up Sato’s literature, and presented its analysis of the inquiries conducted by four universities in Japan and the United States ensnared in the scandal (the team published its analysis of three investigations in a paper in February1). Grey says their findings provide evidence to support a growing view in the academic community: that university investigations into research misconduct are often inadequate, opaque and poorly conducted. They challenge the idea that institutions can police themselves on research integrity and propose that there should be independent organizations to evaluate allegations of research fraud should.

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Implementation of a responsible conduct of research education program at Duke University School of Medicine (Papers: Christian Simon, et al 02 June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 2, 2019
 

ABSTRACT
Academic medical centers rarely require all of their research faculty and staff to participate in educational programs on the responsible conduct of research (RCR). There is also little published evidence of RCR programs addressing high-profile, internal cases of misconduct as a way of promoting deliberation and learning. In the wake of major research misconduct, Duke University School of Medicine (DUSoM) expanded its RCR education activities to include all DUSoM faculty and staff engaged in research. The program included formal deliberation of the Translational Omics misconduct case, which occurred at Duke. Over 5,000 DUSoM faculty and staff participated in the first phase of this new program, with a 100% completion rate. The article reports on the program’s development, challenges and successes, and future directions. This experience at Duke University illustrates that, although challenging and resource intensive, engagement with RCR activities can be integrated into programs for all research faculty and staff. Formal, participatory deliberation of recent cases of internal misconduct can add a novel dimension of reflection and openness to RCR educational activities.

KEYWORDS: Responsible conduct of research, research integrity, RCR education, ethics education

Simon, C., Beerman, R.W., Ariansen, J.L., Kessler, D, Sanchez, A.M, King, K., Sarzotti-Kelsoe, M., Samsa, G. Bradley, A., Torres, L., Califf, R. & Swamy G.K. (2019) Implementation of a responsible conduct of research education program at Duke University School of Medicine. Accountability in Research, 26:5, 288-310, DOI: 10.1080/08989621.2019.1621755
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08989621.2019.1621755?cookieSet=1

Enhancing ethics review of social and behavioral research: developing a review template in Ethiopia (Papers: Liya Wassie, et al | August 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 1, 2019
 

Abstract

Background:
Africa is increasingly becoming an important region for health research, mainly due to its heavy burden of disease, socioeconomic challenges, and inadequate health facilities. Regulatory capacities, in terms of ethical review processes, are also generally weak. The ethical assessment of social and behavioral research is relatively neglected compared to the review of biomedical and clinical studies, which led us to develop an ethics review assessment tool for use in the review of social and behavioral research in Ethiopia, which could potentially be of value in low- and middle-income settings.

Methods:
Initially, we did a comprehensive literature review on principles, guidelines, and practices of research ethics, on social and behavioral studies, from which we extracted query terms to explore the opinions of selected key informants and focus groups in Ethiopia. The discussants and informants were selected using a convenience sampling method to evaluate an ethics review template, which integrated issues that commonly arise in social and behavioral studies. Finally, we directly solicited opinions from the discussants about the desirability, feasibility, acceptability, and relevance of the ethics review assessment tool and used the resulting data to refine our initial draft.

Results and conclusion:
Although the same basic ethics principles govern all research studies, social and behavioral research have some disciplinary particularities that may require reviewers to exercise a different orientation of ethical attention in some cases. Using a qualitative approach, we developed a review assessment tool that could potentially be useful to raise awareness, focus attention, and strengthen the review of social and behavioral studies by ethics review committees, particularly in settings without a long-standing tradition of reviewing such research. This process also exposed some areas where further capacity building and discussion of ethical issues may be necessary among stakeholders in the review of social and behavioral research.

Keywords
Behavioral, social, qualitative, biomedical research, ethics review, low and middle income

Liya Wassie, Senkenesh Gebre-Mariam, Geremew Terekegne et al. (2019) Enhancing ethics review of social and behavioural research: Developing a review template in Ethiopia. Research Ethics 15(4) 1–23.
Publisher (Open Access): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1747016119865731

(Japan) Former university president up to ten retractions – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 24, 2019
 

The former president of Tohoku University in Japan has just had a tenth paper retracted, because it duplicated one of his earlier works.

One of the most recent retractions by materials scientist Akihisa Inoue, late last month, was of a paper in Materials Transactions that had duplicated a now-retracted paper and was subject to an expression of concern in 2012:

This article had been acknowledged by the Editorial Committee of Materials Transactions as the secondary publication from the previously published paper, because the contents were almost identical. Recently, the original paper was retracted. Unreferred reproduction from another paper which was not pointed out in the announcement has also been found. Therefore, this article is improper as a scientific paper, and it is retracted with the primary author’s agreement. The authors are required to pay more careful attention to contributing papers.

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