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Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector (University Foreign Interference Taskforce November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 28, 2019
 

CONTEXT STATEMENT

A defining factor in the world-class performance and reputation of Australia’s university system is its openness to the world. the globally engaged nature of our universities is indispensable to their success. Indeed, it is the bedrock of their competitiveness.

This global engagement enables Australia to make cutting-edge research breakthroughs as our own world-class academics work in collaboration with others worldwide at the forefront of their field. It enables us to educate many of the world’s best students, who return home after graduation with an enduring knowledge of, and lifelong affection for Australia, a powerful soft power asset for the nation. It enables Australia to recruit outstanding global experts to teach and conduct research in our universities, catapulting our capacity ahead of our competitors. And it ensures the learning and the alumni networks of Australian university students are enriched by classmates from all around the world. International experience and collaboration is integral to the academic career path around the world. A global exchange of ideas is enabled by this exchange of people.

The Australian government supports such international collaborations through its programs and policy settings across a wide range of initiatives and portfolios. these include appropriate visa settings and the new global talent visa; a comprehensive program of Australian trade commission work to promote international education; the new colombo Plan; the eligibility of international academics for several Australian national competitive grant schemes; the provision of targeted research funds such as the Australia-china science and Research Fund and the Australia-India strategic Research Fund; and providing support for Australian students and academic staff to travel internationally…

CONTENTS
Context Statement 4
the threat environment 6
Introduction 7
How to use these guidelines 9
Governance and risk frameworks 10
Due diligence 14
Communication and education 20
Knowledge sharing 22
Cyber security 24
Best practice considerations 25
Appendix 1: University Foreign Interference Taskforce 33
Appendix 2: Government departments and contacts 34
Appendix 3: Case studies 38
Appendix 4: Scenario 40
Appendix 5: Glossary 41
Appendix 6: Acronyms 43
Appendix 7: Resources and guidance materials 44

University Foreign Interference Taskforce (2019). Guidelines to counter foreign interference in the Australian university sector. Retrieved from Analysis and Policy Observatory Website: 29/12/19
https://apo.org.au/node/267726

Gazing into the Abyss of P-Hacking: HARKing vs. Optional Stopping – R-Bloggers (Angelika Stefan | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 26, 2019
 

Almost all researchers have experienced the tingling feeling of suspense that arises right before they take a look at long-awaited data: Will they support their favored hypothesis? Will they yield interesting or even groundbreaking results? In a perfect world (especially one without publication bias), the cause of this suspense should be nothing else but scientific curiosity. However, the world, and specifically the incentive system in science, is not perfect. A lot of pressure rests on researchers to produce statistically significant results. For many researchers, statistical significance is the cornerstone of their academic career, so non-significant results in an important study can not only question their scientific convictions but also crash their hopes of professional promotion. (Although, fortunately things are changing for the better).

Now, what does a researcher do confronted with messy, non-significant results? According to several much-cited studies (for example John et al., 2012; Simmons et al., 2011), a common reaction is to start sampling again (and again, and again, …) in the hope that a somewhat larger sample size can boost significance. Another reaction is to wildly conduct hypothesis tests on the existing sample until at least one of them becomes significant (see for example: Simmons et al., 2011; Kerr, 1998 ). These practices, along with some others, are commonly known as p-hacking, because they are designed to drag the famous p-value right below the mark of .05 which usually indicates statistical significance. Undisputedly, p-hacking works (for a demonstration try out the p-hacker app). The two questions we want to answer in this blog post are: How does it work and why is that bad for science?

As many people may have heard, p-hacking works because it exploits a process called alpha error accumulation which is covered in most introductory statistics classes (but also easily forgotten again). Basically, alpha error accumulation means that as one conducts more and more hypothesis tests, the probability increases that one makes a wrong test decision at least once. Specifically, this wrong test decision is a false positive decision or alpha error, which means that you proclaim the existence of an effect although, in fact, there is none. Speaking in statistical terms, an alpha error occurs when the test yields a significant result although the null hypothesis (“There is no effect”) is true in the population. This means that p-hacking leads to the publication of an increased rate of false positive results, that is, studies that claim to have found an effect although, in fact, their result is just due to the randomness of the data. Such studies will never replicate.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(UK) King’s College London’s enquiry into Hans J Eysenck’s ‘Unsafe’ publications must be properly completed (Papers: David F Marks & Roderick D. Buchanan & Roderick D. Buchanan | December 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 23, 2019
 

Abstract
This journal recently drew attention to an extensive body of highly questionable research published by Hans J. Eysenck in collaboration with Ronald Grossarth-Maticek. The subsequent enquiry by King’s College London concluded that 26 publications were unsafe and warranted retraction. However, the enquiry reviewed only a subset of the 61 questionable publications initially submitted to them, only those Eysenck co-authored with Grossarth-Maticek. The enquiry excluded publications where Eysenck was the sole author. The King’s College London enquiry must be properly completed. They have a pressing responsibility to re-convene and broaden their review to include all Eysenck’s publications based on the same body of research – including an additional 27 publications recently uncovered. The unsatisfactory nature of the KCL review process makes the case for a National Research Integrity Ombudsperson even stronger.

Keywords
enquiry, fraud, H J Eysenck, King’s College London, personality, smoking, unsafe papers

Marks, D. F., & Buchanan, R. D. (2019). King’s College London’s enquiry into Hans J Eysenck’s ‘Unsafe’ publications must be properly completed. Journal of Health Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105319887791
Editorial (Open Access): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1359105319887791

International Policy Frameworks for Consent in Minimal-risk Pragmatic Trials (Papers: Tanya J. Symons, et al | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on December 17, 2019
 

Abstract

There is intense debate around the use of altered and waived consent for pragmatic trials. Those in favor argue that traditional consent compromises the internal and external validity of these trials. Those against, warn that the resultant loss of autonomy compromises respect for persons and could undermine trust in the research enterprise.

This article examines whether international ethical guidelines and the policy frameworks in three countries—the United States, England, and Australia—permit altered and waived consent for minimal-risk pragmatic trials conducted outside the emergency setting. Provisions for both are clearly articulated in U.S. regulations, but many countries do not have equivalent frameworks. Investigators should not assume that all consent models permitted in the United States are legal in their jurisdictions, even if they are deemed ethically defensible.

The authors summarize ethical and regulatory considerations and present a framework for investigators contemplating trials with altered or waived consent.

Symons, T.J., Zeps, N., Myles, P.S., Morris, J.M. & Sessler, D.I. (2019) International Policy Frameworks for Consent in Minimal-risk Pragmatic Trials. Anesthesiology 2020;132(1):44-54. doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003020.
Publisher: https://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/article.aspx?articleid=2756350

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