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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

2017 UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology POSTNOTE 544 January 2017 Integrity in Research0

Posted by Admin in on March 17, 2017
 

A  POSTnote that considers current approaches to promoting integrity in research.

Integrity in research refers to the behaviours and values that result in high quality, ethical and valuable research. This POSTnote considers current approaches to fostering an environment conducive to good research in the UK, and detecting and preventing practices that fall short of expected standards. It also examines the current mechanisms for supporting integrity in the UK, whether these are sufficient, or if another form of oversight, such as regulation, might be preferable.

Poor practice ranges from minor errors to serious misconduct. While deliberate fraud does occur, it is thought to be extremely rare. Questionable research practices are a more widespread concern, as they are thought to be more prevalent and have a greater impact on the research record.

There are concerns about how to maintain integrity in research, because of fears that the ‘publish or perish’ culture leads to poor or questionable research practices. While many mechanisms do exist for reducing poor practice, and these are thought to have a positive effect on reducing such behaviour, there remain concerns that the system is disjointed, lacks openness and transparency, and that the incentive structure is such that good practice is not recognised or rewarded. Strategies for tackling this therefore focused on reducing institutional pressures on researchers, through enhancing openness and transparency, improving oversight and training, and re-aligning incentives for researchers so that they are rewarded for engaging in rigorous and accurate research.

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Encrypted in Urine, Polish Museum Gets Holocaust Letters Detailing Medical Experiments – HAARETZ (February 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 7, 2017
 

The letters appear to be normal communication to family members, but, when heated up, also tell the story of deadly procedures performed on the inmates of the Ravensbrueck camp

Some 27 letters written in urine by Polish women inmates to report on gruesome medical experiments performed on them by Nazi concentration camp doctors have been given to a small museum in Poland to be preserved.

The letters, which informed the world about the deadly experiments made on 74 women at the Ravensbrueck camp in 1943-1944, were apparently normal notes to families but with invisible messages between the lines and in the margins.

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Researchers Failed To Tell Testosterone Trial Patients They Were Anemic – Shots Health News from NPR (Richard Harris | February | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 2, 2017
 

There’s a lesson about one of the testosterone studies released this week that has nothing to do with testosterone: The study on how testosterone affects anemia was designed with an ethical lapse that nobody noticed until the study was complete.

That’s surprising because it was designed and carried out by a couple of dozen of well-regarded scientists. Their protocols were reviewed by 12 university institutional review boards, whose job is to evaluate the ethics of an experiment. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and the trial was overseen by a watchdog data safety and monitoring board.

But all of those safety features fell short this time.

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Study retraction reignites concern over China’s possible use of prisoner organs – Science (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | February 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 28, 2017
 

A journal has decided to retract a 2016 study because of concerns that its data on the safety of liver transplantation involved organs sourced from executed prisoners in China. The action, taken despite a denial by the study’s authors that such organs were used, comes after clinical ethicist Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues authored a letter to the editor of Liver International on 30 January, calling for the paper’s retraction in the “absence of credible evidence of ethical sourcing of organs.”

For years, Chinese officials have come under fire for allegedly allowing the use of organs from executed prisoners for transplants, including for foreigners coming to the country for so-called medical tourism. In January 2015, it explicitly banned the practice and set up a volunteer donation system, but doubts persist that much has changed.

The disputed study—published online in October 2016—analyzed 563 consecutive liver transplantations performed before the ban (from April 2010 to October 2014) at a medical center in China. Suspicious, Rogers organized the protest letter to the journal. “Publication of data from prisoners is ethically inappropriate given that it [is] not possible to ensure that the prisoners freely agreed either to donate their organs, or to be included [in] a research program,” she tells ScienceInsider.

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