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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Pay-to-Participate Trials and Vulnerabilities in Research Ethics Oversight – JAMA Network (Holly Fernandez Lynch, et al | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on October 2, 2019
 

Faced with the prospect of death or debilitating disease, patients and their families may be willing to try almost any treatment. A number of systems exist to help prevent this understandable desperation from resulting in serious harm, including standards of medical professionalism, requirements for product approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and oversight of research by institutional review boards (IRBs). There are gaps in this safety net, however, that become particularly evident in the context of clinical trials that require patients to pay to participate. Although these trials may sometimes satisfy the standards of ethical research, the research oversight system in the United States is not sufficiently robust to ensure that this will always be the case.

Pay-to-Participate Trials
Clinical research is typically funded by governments, charitable foundations, and private companies. Built into this traditional funding system are review mechanisms intended to select for high-priority, high-quality studies. These mechanisms can often prevent the initiation of low-value studies, but they may also limit innovation by prioritizing incremental progress over bold ideas or deprioritizing research with little commercial promise. Inevitably, limited resources may force funders to forgo important studies.

One response is to seek out alternative funding sources, including study participants. Short of fraud protections, there is no legal prohibition against asking patients to pay to participate in research. The FDA explicitly permits charging for investigational products under certain circumstances, while regulations governing research consent simply call for disclosure of any “additional costs” that may result from participation.

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The Publishing Trap (A game by UK Copyright Literacy | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 22, 2019
 

Introduction
The Publishing Trap is a board game from the UK Copyright Literacy team that allows participants to explore the impact of scholarly communications choices and discuss the role of open access in research by following the lives of four researchers – from doctoral research to their academic legacies. It is a full functioning, prototype game first developed in 2016 when it won a runner’s up prize at the LILAC Lagadothon. However, the game has evolved considerably since then.

A great research outputs/academic career game, produced by UK Copyright Literacy that is an engaging and informative alternative to ‘chalk and talk’ workshops.

Aim of the Game
The Publishing Trap is a game about research dissemination and scholarly communication in Higher Education. The game follows the academic career of four characters who at each stage in their career, from PhD submission, through to Professorship, are presented with a series of scenarios about which they have to make choices. The characters make decisions about how to disseminate their research at conferences, in academic journals and in monographs or textbooks. Ultimately the game helps researchers to understand how money, intellectual property rights, and both open and closed publishing models affect the dissemination and impact of their research. Through playing the game in teams, players get to discuss the impact of each character’s choices. The game ends at the end of the character’s life, when players sees the consequences of the choices they have made in terms of money, knowledge and impact.
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The Audience
The Publishing Trap is aimed at early career researchers and academics, as well as anyone who has a vested interested in understanding how access to information works and how the whole scholarly communication system in higher education operates. Although it is not intended to promote any particular ideological position, it should be valuable to staff who are advocating for a greater acceptance of open access publishing models and trying to encourage academic staff to make informed choices when they sign publishing contracts and submit their work to the institutional repository.
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Access the game’s web site

Australia ‘There is a problem’: Australia’s top scientist Alan Finkel pushes to eradicate bad science – The Conversation (Alan Finkel | September 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 22, 2019
 

Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel outlines some excellent ideas to replace some of the perverse incentives that undermine academic research, with strategies that will promote within an institution a successful research culture.  AHRECS would be delighted to assist your institution with the design and delivery of responsible research professional development activities for your research staff. Send an email to enquiry@ahrecs.com to discuss.

In the main, Australia produces high-quality research that is rigorous and reproducible, and makes a significant contribution towards scientific progress. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it better.
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In the case of the research sector here and abroad, we need to acknowledge that as good as the research system is, there is a problem.
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There are a significant number of papers that are of poor quality, and should never have made it through to publication. In considering why this might be the case, I have found myself reflecting on the role of incentives in the research system.
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Because incentives matter, as we have seen through the findings of the Royal Commission into the banking sector led by Kenneth Hayne.
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The commission shone a light on how the sector incentivises its employees. And there are some incentives in the research community that, in my view, need to be looked at.
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We may be inadvertently encouraging poor behaviour. And to ensure research remains high-quality and trustworthy, we need to get the incentives right.
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Study pulls back curtain on contracts between Coca-Cola and the researchers it funds – STAT (Andrew Josep | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 6, 2019
 

When it funds scientific research, Coca-Cola includes a provision in its contracts with academic institutions that allows the beverage giant to pull its funding for a study at any point, according to a group of researchers who obtained several such agreements.

The policies could pressure recipients of the funding to pursue research that dovetails with Coca-Cola’s goals out of fear of having their project canceled, the researchers said in a paper published Tuesday, though they added that they found no example of that occurring.

The paper, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, comes amid increasing scrutiny of the food and beverage industry’s funding of and influence over academic research. The industry has taken a number of steps to improve transparency and safeguard the independence of studies it sponsors. Notably, Coca-Cola in 2015 started listing on its website the institutions and researchers it funded and the following year outlined principles that would guide its support for scientific research.

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