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

EDITORIAL: Organised crime against the academic peer review system (Papers: Adam Cohen et al 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on May 25, 2016

Great but disturbing read about how a journal was persuaded to publish a poor meta-analysis as a result of fraud in the peer review system. We applaud the decision of the editors to lay bare their decision-making so that others may learn from the failure to identify the fraud prior to publication.

“Editorials are generally about what we did right in our journal and we do not often publish about our failures. Yet, in this Editorial we feel we have to convey the full story of how we went entirely off track with the publication of a paper.
In 2015, we published a paper in our journal [2] that we retracted last month. The peer review process of this paper was compromised, but, in addition, our careful editorial process did not function. In this Editorial, we would like to describe this whole case, with the aim of learning from this and of drawing attention to a serious breach of the trust between scientists,which is the basis of our peer review system (see box 1).”

Cohen A, Pattanaik S, Kumar P, Bies RR, de Boer A, Ferr A, Gilchrist A, Isbister GK, Ross S and Webb A (2016) Organised crime against the academic peer review system. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 81(6), pps 1012–1017
Publisher (Open Access):

Read The Watchdogs Retraction Watch reports about this retraction.

National Centre for Indigenous Genomics0

Posted by Admin in on May 24, 2016

We were blown away by this resource and this fantastic video. It is a wonderful example of how to explain the essence of complex research. The depth and skill of cultural communication is worthy of praise, recognition and is worth emulating.

“The National Centre for Indigenous Genomics (NCIG) aims to create a repository of Indigenous biospecimens, genomic data and documents for research and other uses that benefit Indigenous donors, their communities and descendants, the broader Indigenous community and the general Australian community.
“About NCIG: an introduction for donor communities – This is the first of several animations NCIG is developing to assist consultation and engagement between the Centre and donor communities. This introductory film explains the origins of the NCIG collection, and its potential in the context of modern scientific and medical research.
“This animation was collaboratively developed by representatives of NCIG’s Research Advisory Committee, with valuable input from the team at the Machado Joseph Disease Foundation and Browndog Productions. It was funded by The Canberra Medical Society.”

Access the web site

In major shift, medical journal to publish protocols along with clinical trials – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook May 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on May 17, 2016

A major medical journal has updated its instructions to authors, now requiring that they publish protocols of clinical trials, along with any changes made along the way.

We learned of this change via the COMPare project, which has been tracking trial protocol changes in major medical journals — and been critical of the Annals of Internal Medicine‘s response to those changes. However, Darren Taichman, the executive deputy editor of the journal, told us the journal’s decision to publish trial protocols was a long time coming:

This change was something we planned prior to COMPARE and were intending to implement with an update of our online journal that is in process. However, the barrier COMPARE encountered in obtaining a protocol for one of the studies in their audit prompted us to implement it earlier.

Read the full news story

Scientists’ perspectives on consent in the context of biobanking research (Zubin Master, et al 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on May 12, 2016

Abstract: Most bioethics studies have focused on capturing the views of patients and the general public on research ethics issues related to informed consent for biobanking and only a handful of studies have examined the perceptions of scientists. Capturing the opinions of scientists is important because they are intimately involved with biobanks as collectors and users of samples and health information. In this study, we performed interviews with scientists followed by qualitative analysis to capture the diversity of perspectives on informed consent. We found that the majority of scientists in our study reported their preference for a general consent approach although they do not believe there to be a consensus on consent type. Despite their overall desire for a general consent model, many reported several concerns including donors needing some form of assurance that nothing unethical will be done with their samples and information. Finally, scientists reported mixed opinions about incorporating exclusion clauses in informed consent as a means of limiting some types of contentious research as a mechanism to assure donors that their samples and information are being handled appropriately. This study is one of the first to capture the views of scientists on informed consent in biobanking. Future studies should attempt to generalize findings on the perspectives of different scientists on informed consent for biobanking.

Master Z, Campo-Engelstein L, Caulfield T (2015) Scientists’ perspectives on consent in the context of biobanking research. European Journal of Human Genetics. 23(5): 569-574. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2014.143
NCBI (Free access):
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