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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Ask Retraction Watch: Is it OK to cite a retracted paper? (Ivan Oransky | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on March 7, 2018

This handy guidance item also includes a recommended APA style for recording that the item has been retracted.

“I’m writing regarding a recent query from an author about citation of a retracted article. The author is currently writing up a paper where the initial investigations were at least partially inspired by a paper that has recently been retracted. The author wants to recognise the influence of that work on the new study, but also recognises that – since the paper has been retracted – it would not be appropriate simply to cite it as though it were still a published paper. This isn’t a situation we’ve come across before, and I’m not sure how best to advise the author. Is it acceptable to discuss the findings of that paper provided the text clearly mentions that the paper has since been retracted? And how should this be cited in the reference list – citation to the original paper, to the retraction notice, or not at all? As experts in this area, any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.”

Retraction Watch readers may be familiar with our leaderboard of most-cited retracted papers, several of which have been cited hundreds of times since they were retracted. The problem is when such citations of retracted papers don’t indicate that the studies are retracted — which remains a problem.

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The Ethics of Predatory Journals (Papers: Alexander McLeod | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on March 2, 2018


Predatory journals operate as vanity presses, typically charging large submission or publication fees and requiring little peer review. The consequences of such journals are wide reaching, affecting the integrity of the legitimate journals they attempt to imitate, the reputations of the departments, colleges, and universities of their contributors, the actions of accreditation bodies, the reputations of their authors, and perhaps even the generosity of academic benefactors. Using a stakeholder analysis, our study of predatory journals suggests that most stakeholders gain little in the short run from such publishing and only the editors or owners of these journals benefit in the long run. We also discuss counter-measures that academic and administrative faculty can employ to thwart predatory publishing.

McLeod A, Savage A & Simkin MG (2016) The Ethics of Predatory Journals. Journal of Business Ethics.

The concept of ‘vulnerability’ in research ethics: an in-depth analysis of policies and guidelines (Dearbhail Bracken-Roche, et al | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 27, 2018


The concept of vulnerability has held a central place in research ethics guidance since its introduction in the United States Belmont Report in 1979. It signals mindfulness for researchers and research ethics boards to the possibility that some participants may be at higher risk of harm or wrong. Despite its important intended purpose and widespread use, there is considerable disagreement in the scholarly literature about the meaning and delineation of vulnerability, stemming from a perceived lack of guidance within research ethics standards. The aim of this study was to assess the concept of vulnerability as it is employed in major national and international research ethics policies and guidelines.

We conducted an in-depth analysis of 11 (five national and six international) research ethics policies and guidelines, exploring their discussions of the definition, application, normative justification and implications of vulnerability.

Few policies and guidelines explicitly defined vulnerability, instead relying on implicit assumptions and the delineation of vulnerable groups and sources of vulnerability. On the whole, we found considerable richness in the content on vulnerability across policies, but note that this relies heavily on the structure imposed on the data through our analysis.

Our results underscore a need for policymakers to revisit the guidance on vulnerability in research ethics, and we propose that a process of stakeholder engagement would well-support this effort.

Keywords: Research ethics, Vulnerable populations, Vulnerability, Research policy, Ethics policy, Research oversight

Bracken-Roche, D., Bell, E., Macdonald, M. E., & Racine, E. (2017). The concept of “vulnerability” in research ethics: an in-depth analysis of policies and guidelines. Health Research Policy and Systems15, 8.
Publisher (Open Access):


Officials probing CUNY staffers’ shady publishing deals – New York Post (By Carl Campanile and Bruce Golding | December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 27, 2018

State officials are investigating whether CUNY professors improperly scored tenure and promotions by publishing research papers with the help of shady, pay-to-play companies, The Post has learned.

Not only is this story another example of a formal investigation of illegitimate publishers it’s a sign that claiming such a publication for promotional/research activity incentives could be considered fraud with that having serious consequences

About a dozen educators at Queensborough Community College — including two department heads — are subjects of the probe by state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott, sources familiar with the matter said.
The investigation is also focused on “open-access” publishers, including the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, sources said.
WASET hosts scores of events around the world each year, and is planning one in March in Miami, where it is charging academics close to $600 to present papers for publication in a “Proceedings Volume.”
Participants can present additional papers for a fee of about $120.

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