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

Why Professors Are Writing Crap That Nobody Reads – NewsIn Asia (Editor | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on August 13, 2020

Perhaps us including this item might seem tangential to our normal material, but this is a topic we are increasingly concerned about.  Research structures that primarily reward quantity over contribution to knowledge have distorted science and encourage cheats/fraud.  This dominant mindset has also created the fertile/lucrative field for questionable publishers.  We have included links to 15 related items.

Half of academic papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, peer reviewers, and journal editors.

Professors usually spend about 3-6 months (sometimes longer) researching and writing a 25-page article to submit an article to an academic journal. And most experience a twinge of excitement when, months later, they open a letter informing them that their article has been accepted for publication, and will therefore be read by…

Yes, you read that correctly. The numbers reported by recent studies are pretty bleak:

82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once.

Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read.

Half of academic papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, peer reviewers, and journal editors.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(China) Study of China’s ethnic minorities retracted as dozens of papers come under scrutiny for ethical violations – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | August 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on August 11, 2020

A legal journal has retracted a 2019 article on the facial genetics of ethnic minorities in China for ethics violations, and the publisher, Springer Nature, is investigating more than two dozen other articles for similar concerns.

The article, “Y Chromosomal STR haplotypes in Chinese Uyghur, Kazakh and Hui ethnic groups and genetic features of DYS448 null allele and DYS19 duplicated allele,” appeared in the International Journal of Legal Medicine.

Three of the authors were affiliated with the notorious Karamay Municipal Public Security Bureau, which the U.S. government hit with sanctions in October 2019 for being:

implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the XUAR.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Getting Started as a Peer Reviewer (May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 8, 2020

Peer review is an integral process in the scientific community. Not only does it help to verify and disseminate advances, but it also provides young scientists with important experience evaluating science. But peer review does not always come naturally. There are lots of nuances to navigate when you enter the world of peer review. This digital edition offers guidance and advice specifically aimed at helping early-career researchers take the initial steps toward becoming a peer reviewer.

Handbook to inform the practice of new peer reviewers, or reviewers who aspire to be great.  Great mentors can guide excellent research practice, while poor mentors let us all down.  Also a useful read for HDR supervisors and RIAs.

Here you will find advice on:

  • How to become a reviewer
  • How to figure out if you have a conflict of interest
  • How to evaluate a review article
  • How to be a constructive and valuable reviewer

Please let us know a little more about yourself so that we can share other exciting Cell Press content that will interest you. By registering and downloading this supplement, you consent to your personal data being used by Elsevier B.V., its affiliates worldwide, and the below funding entity(ies) to provide you with information about related programs, products, and services.

Download the handbook

Wikipedia, The Free Online Medical Encyclopedia Anyone Can Plagiarize: Time to Address Wiki‑Plagiarism (Papers: Michaël R. Laurent | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on August 5, 2020


At least two members of the AHRECS team have made contributions to Wikipedia.  An interesting debate article. The purpose of publication is to provide information to others, not to advance careers. The motivation behind publication is often the latter though. We intend to explore this further the issues around how we got so lost in advancing knowledge as the goal. Wikipedia’s closest predecessor was Encyclopedia Britannica and this got plagiarised galore by students/schoolchildren because at the time there were scant other resources available. Ideally, people who use Wikipedia should use their original source material and adapt the content so that it makes sense in their present piece, with appropriate recognition of the sources. But maybe we have a different perspective, having donated to Wikipedia.  It is a very valuable starting point to find information but must be used ethically.

Plagiarism and self-plagiarism are widespread in biomedical publications, although journals are increasingly implementing plagiarism detection software as part of their editorial processes. Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia written by its users, has global public health importance as a source of online health information. However, plagiarism of Wikipedia in peer-reviewed publications has received little attention. Here, I present five cases of PubMed-indexed articles containing Wiki-plagiarism, i.e. copying of Wikipedia content into medical publications without proper citation of the source. The true incidence of this phenomenon remains unknown and requires systematic study. The potential scope and implications of Wiki-plagiarism are discussed.

Biomedical research, Ethics in publishing, Online health information, Open access, Plagiarism, Wikipedia

Laurent, M.R. (2020) Wikipedia, The Free Online Medical Encyclopedia Anyone Can Plagiarize: Time to Address Wiki-Plagiarism. Pub Res Q (2020).
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