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

Understanding the complexities of retractions (Amy Riegelman and Caitlin Bakker | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 19, 2018

Recommended resources

Reasons for retracted publications range from honest errors made by authors or publishers to research misconduct (e.g., falsified data, fraudulent peer review). A retraction represents a status change of a publication in the scholarly literature. Other examples of status changes include correction or erratum. A retraction could be initiated by many parties, including authors, institutions, or journal editors. The U.S. National Library of Medicine annually reports on the number of retracted publications indexed within PubMed. While the overall rate of retractions is still very small, retractions have increased considerably in the last decade from 97 retracted articles in 2006 to 664 in 2016.1

Quite simply an excellent resource that we urge institutions to include in you research integrity resource library and all ECRs to read/keep for ongoing reference.

As librarians help users navigate research platforms and maintain awareness of publication status changes, it is important to understand both the publishing and discovery landscape. Guidelines exist to help publishers and platforms identify retractions, but a recent study found inconsistent representations of retractions across various platforms.2 Another consideration is when scholars export citations or full-text articles out of various discovery platforms to personal libraries (e.g., Mendeley, DropBox).
Philip Davis studied retracted articles residing in personal libraries and nonpublisher websites. Among the findings, Mendeley libraries contained many retracted articles, and Davis concluded that this decentralized access without automated status updates “may come with the cost of promoting incorrect, invalid, or untrustworthy science.”3

RIEGELMAN, Amy; BAKKER, Caitlin. Understanding the complexities of retractions: Recommended resources.College & Research Libraries News, [S.l.], v. 79, n. 1, p. 38. ISSN 2150-6698. Available at: <>. doi:
Publisher (Open Access):

Fallibility in science: Responsible ways to handle mistakes (Papers: Dorothy Bishop | November 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 8, 2018

Slides from a talk by Dorothy Bishop, Professor at University of Oxford at the Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, November 2017

Access the slides

Prof. Bishop’s slides provide excellent examples for use in workshops on research integrity, the responsibilities of researchers and how to approach difficult/thorny situations relating to mistakes in published research outputs.


(COPE) Core practices0

Posted by Admin in on December 18, 2017

“COPE’s role is to assist editors of scholarly journals and publishers/owners – as well as other parties, such as institutions and funders, albeit less directly – in their endeavor to preserve and promote the integrity of the scholarly record through policies and practices that reflect the current best principles of transparency, as well as integrity. COPE’s new recommendations are intended to reflect these aims, in a practical way. COPE have therefore reviewed the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Editors and have consolidated them into one, much shorter, document entitled “Core Practices”. [Available to download as an A4 poster.]

The core practices page includes links to COPE resources.

COPE’s Core Practices should be considered alongside specific national and international codes of conduct for research and is not intended to replace them.

Background to why the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors has been replaced with the Core Practices...”

Allegations of misconduct
Authorship and contributorship
Complaints and appeals
Conflicts of interest/Competing interests
Data and reproducibility
Ethical oversight
Intellectual property
Journal management
Peer review processes
Post-publication discussions and corrections

Access the full statement of the COPE core practices 

NSPCC Research Ethics Committee: Guidance for applicants0

Posted by Admin in on October 3, 2017

Guidance and standards document produced by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

The aim of the NSPCC ethical review process is to provide a thorough, impartial examination of the ethical issues in a collaborative, pragmatic and proportionate way. In formal terms, the NSPCC research ethics committee (NSPCC REC) is an advisory body with an external chair and a majority of external members, which makes recommendations to the organisation, with the ultimate decision and responsibly resting with Director of Strategy, Policy and Evidence, as the representative of the senior management team and of the trustees. In practice, applicants are expected to follow the NSPCC REC’s recommendations and to work with the NSPCC REC to adapt proposals so that they satisfy the committee that they are in accordance with the principles set out in the GSRU and ESRC frameworks. In extremis, where an applicant and the NSPCC REC cannot agree, a decision about whether the research can proceed and on what basis will be taken by the Director of Strategy, Policy and Evidence. However, before this can happen, the Director must be satisfied that all possible ways of finding an agreed way forward have been exhausted. Applicants should also remember that ultimate responsibility for studies being conducted in an ethical way rests solely with individual researchers and their managers.”

Access the NSPCC guidance document