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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Guest Post — Open Research in Practice: Moving from Why to How? – Scholarly Kitchen (Fiona Murphy, et al | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 11, 2019
 

Today’s research knowledge can be harvested and data analyzed faster than has been possible in all previous generations combined. As a result, Open Research practices and outputs face a number of tensions between initial intentions and unforeseen consequences. For example, the FAIR Data Principles propose that research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable — but nothing has prepared us for the use and misuse of personal data. Even if they start out ethically approved and safe in the researcher’s toolkit, they can later be sold to a third party in exchange for analytical services, enabling machines to identify disease states from a picture, classify your intelligence and demographic profile in four “likes” or less, or traffic organs and direct market to those that need them on social media.

And so our questions about Open Research are also changing — from “why” to “how” — amidst growing awareness that the required skill sets, both technical and social, are not yet part of the standard training programs for researchers. Consider, for example, the questions and challenges that early career researchers face as they critique a distinguished professor’s work while conducting an open peer review. How do they balance the need for research integrity and rigorous review without career-ending consequences? How do we protect reviewers who review in good faith only to be raked through the coals on social media, while the perpetrators are funded and their work is published.

So, if you actually want to practice Open Research, how do you learn about it? How do you balance effort with effect? How do you discover and validate the standards that are being adopted by your communities?

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Authorship – NHMRC Good Practice Guide (June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 10, 2019
 

A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Contents

1. Introduction 1
2. Authorship criteria 1
2.1 What is a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution? 1
2.2 What does it mean to be accountable for the research output? 2
3. Responsibilities of institutions 2
3.1 Design and promote institutional policies 2
3.2 Provide training for researchers 3
4. Responsibilities of researchers 3
4.1 Ensure appropriate and fair attribution of authorship 3
4.2 Formalise authorship arrangements 4
4.3 Acknowledge contributions other than authorship 4
4.4 Be accountable for the research output 4
4.5 Approve research output 5
4.6 Engage in relevant training 5
5. Resolution of disputes 5
6. Breaches of the Code 6
7. Definitions 6
Additional resources

Access the Good Practice Guide

Farewell authors, hello contributors – Nature (Alex Holcombe | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 10, 2019
 

More disciplines must embrace a system of academic credit that rewards a greater range of roles more specifically, says Alex Holcombe.

We graduate students flocked to our department’s ‘sherry hour’ — it meant free drinks. As I fished around in the beer bucket, a friendly professor struck up a conversation. He needed a programmer, and my skills fit the bill. He offered to pay. I could have used the money, but knew that dollars wouldn’t get me a professorship. For that, what I needed was authorship.

But the professor told me that “just programming” did not merit authorship. According to the journals in our field, becoming an author required participation in the conception or design of the experiment, the data analysis and interpretation, and the writing. These roles were already spoken for. So, the next day, I was back in my adviser’s lab, conducting experiments and writing them up — doing what I had to do to get my name on papers. Twenty years on, to my chagrin, I resemble that professor from sherry hour. I’m too busy to do everything myself, so I’m looking for someone who can program.

The shortage of researchers with specialized skills, such as programming, should ease if more journal publishers adopt a better way to document who does what in research: a function provided by the machine-readable classification system CRediT (the Contributor Roles Taxonomy). Launched in 2014, CRediT allows contributors to report the specific tasks (such as data collection or statistics) they performed in a paper’s production. We need to make this routine across most of the sciences.

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Ethical Considerations for Disseminating Research Findings on Gender-Based Violence, Armed Conflict, and Mental Health: A Case Study from Rural Uganda (Papers: Jennifer J. Mootz, et al | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 8, 2019
 

Abstract

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a major public health problem that is exacerbated in armed conflict settings. While specialized guidelines exist for conducting research with GBV, guidance on disseminating findings from GBV research is scant. This paper describes ethical considerations of designing and disseminating research findings on GBV, armed conflict, and mental health (including alcohol misuse) in conflict-affected settings in Northeastern Uganda. Following completion of two research studies, we conducted a half-day dissemination meeting with local community professionals (n=21) aged 24 to 60. Attendees were divided into small groups and given a quiz-style questionnaire on research findings to prompt discussion. Two primary ethical tensions arose. One ethical consideration was how to disseminate research findings equitably at the participant level after having taken care to collect data using safe and unharmful methods. Another ethical issue concerned how to transparently share findings of widespread problems in a hopeful and contextualized way in order to facilitate community response. We recommend planning for dissemination a priori, engaging with partners at local levels, and grounding dissemination for action in evidence-based practices.

Mootz, J. J., Taylor, L., Milton L. Khoshnood, W. & Khoshnood, K. (2019) Ethical Considerations for Disseminating Research Findings on Gender-Based Violence, Armed Conflict, and Mental Health: A Case Study from Rural Uganda. Health and Human Rights Journal.
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.hhrjournal.org/2019/06/ethical-considerations-for-disseminating-research-findings-on-gender-based-violence-armed-conflict-and-mental-health-a-case-study-from-rural-uganda/

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