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“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.

The data were “gorgeous,” she said, initially replicable and well-received:

‘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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APA chief publishing officer: Ignore paper removal request – Eiko blog (January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 28, 2020

On December 24th 2019, I received a legal threat by the American Psychological Association to remove one of my papers from my personal website. Similar requests have been received by other colleagues recently.

This paper highlights again the conflict between journals as commercial versus them being academic entities.

I appealed the request, and have now heard back from APA’s Chief Publishing Officer that I can ignore the request because “it is not intended to limit researchers in highlighting their works on their personal sites”. At least to me, this appears to constitute a radical change of policy with pretty sweeping implications for psychological researchers, and I therefore describe this issue in some detail below.

2017: APA starts the removal request initiative
To the best of my knowledge, the APA started this initiative in 2017, in emails had the same content and were sent by the same authority (see here for a 2017 example email received by a colleague at Princeton). As I discussed in a blog post about the broken publishing system before, APA additionally asked webhosters such as WordPress to force-edit researchers’ websites, leaving this image on the webpage…

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Articles in ‘predatory’ journals receive few or no citations – Science (Jeffrey Brainard | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 24, 2020

Six of every 10 articles published in a sample of “predatory” journals attracted not one single citation over a 5-year period, according to a new study. Like many open-access journals, predatory journals charge authors to publish, but they offer little or no peer review or other quality controls and often use aggressive marketing tactics. The new study found that the few articles in predatory journals that received citations did so at a rate much lower than papers in conventional, peer-reviewed journals.

An important read for anyone who has pondered the downside of publishing with a questionable publisher?  We have included links to 14 related reads.

The authors say the finding allays concerns that low-quality or misleading studies published in these journals are getting undue attention. “There is little harm done if nobody reads and, in particular, makes use of such results,” write Bo-Christer Björk of the Hanken School of Economics in Finland and colleagues in a preprint posted 21 December 2019 on arXiv.

But Rick Anderson, an associate dean at the University of Utah who oversees collections in the university’s main library, says the finding that 40% of the predatory journal articles drew at least one citation “strikes me as pretty alarming.”

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How Frequently are Articles in Predatory Open Access Journals Cited (Papers: Bo-Christer Björk, et al | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 24, 2020

Predatory journals are Open Access journals of highly questionable scientific quality. Such journals pretend to use peer review for quality assurance, and spam academics with requests for submissions, in order to collect author payments. In recent years predatory journals have received a lot of negative media. While much has been said about the harm that such journals cause to academic publishing in general, an overlooked aspect is how much articles in such journals are actually read and in particular cited, that is if they have any significant impact on the research in their fields. Other studies have already demonstrated that only some of the articles in predatory journals contain faulty and directly harmful results, while a lot of the articles present mediocre and poorly reported studies. We studied citation statistics over a five-year period in Google Scholar for 250 random articles published in such journals in 2014, and found an average of 2,6 citations per article and that 60 % of the articles had no citations at all. For comparison a random sample of articles published in the approximately 25,000 peer reviewed journals included in the Scopus index had an average of 18,1 citations in the same period with only 9 % receiving no citations. We conclude that articles published in predatory journals have little scientific impact.

Björk, BC, Sari, Kanto-Karvonen & Harviainen, J. T. (2019) How Frequently are Articles in Predatory Open Access Journals Cited.
Open Access: