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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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Journals retract more than a dozen studies from China that may have used executed prisoners’ organs – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on August 15, 2019
 

In the past month, PLOS ONE and Transplantation have retracted fifteen studies by authors in China because of suspicions that the authors may have used organs from executed prisoners.

All of the original studies — seven in Transplantation, and eight in PLOS ONE — were published between 2008 and 2014. Two involved kidney transplants, and the rest involved liver transplants. Two other journals, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Kidney International, have recently issued expressions of concern for the same reason.

In an editorial explaining the seven retractions from its journal, the editors of Transplantation write:

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Fudged research results erode people’s trust in experts – The Conversation (Gavin Moodie | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 11, 2019
 

Reports of research misconduct have been prominent recently and probably reflect wider problems of relying on dated integrity protections.

The recent reports are from Retraction Watch, which is a blog that reports on the withdrawal of articles by academic journals. The site’s database reports that journals have withdrawn a total of 247 papers with an Australian author going back to the 1980s.

This compares with 324 papers withdrawn with Canadian authors, 582 from the UK and 24 from New Zealand. Australian retractions are 1.2% of all retractions reported on the site, a fraction of Australia’s 4% share of all research publications.

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