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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Fraud In A Leading UK Scientist’s Lab – BuzzFeed News (Peter Aldhous | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 14, 2019
 

David Latchman was never punished for leading a University College London lab that published more than a dozen fraudulent studies, according to newly released investigation documents.

David Latchman, a leading geneticist and one of the highest-paid university leaders in the UK, was last year found responsible for failing to properly supervise a lab in which widespread scientific fraud occurred over many years.

Two investigation reports found data falsification in a total of nine scientific papers published by members of a lab Latchman ran at University College London, according to documents released to BuzzFeed News under a Freedom of Information request.

Latchman did not have direct involvement in the manipulation and reuse of images to falsify scientific results, investigators found.

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Meet the woman who’s tracking down systematic research fraud – Elsevier (Jennifer A. Byrne and Christopher Tancock | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 6, 2019
 

The topic of research fraud is a serious – and growing issue. In this article, we interview Professor Jennifer A. Byrne about her work in identifying systematic fraud, the software she’s helped develop and the pioneering work she’s been doing to promote a better appreciation and regard for the importance of a “clean” body of research literature.

Great Elsevier interview of Jennifer A. Byrne (who recently wrote the great guest post in the Research Ethics Monthly, The F-word, or how to fight fires in the research literature) about her personal drive to take on systematic research fraud.  Well done Jenny!

Tell us a little about your background and research interests.
I’m a molecular biologist and a cancer researcher. My research interests include studying the functions of specific genes in cancer, investigating the genetic basis of childhood cancer predisposition, and studying the operations of cancer biobanks.
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How did you begin your work on (systematic) fraud?
This started by accident, when I read five papers about a gene that my team had identified years before. These papers were very similar, even sharing particular nucleotide (or gene) sequence reagents. I could also see that the same reagent was being used in different ways, which couldn’t be right. Further analyses revealed that some reagents were wrongly identified, meaning that some reported results were impossible. When I realised that many other papers had these same types of errors, I fell into a strange new scientific reality, where I’ve been ever since.
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Credit data generators for data reuse – Nature (Heather H. Pierce, et al | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 14, 2019
 

To promote effective sharing, we must create an enduring link between the people who generate data and its future uses, urge Heather H. Pierce and colleagues.

Much effort has gone towards crafting mandates and standards for researchers to share their data1–3. Considerably less time has been spent measuring just how valuable data sharing is, or recognizing the scientific contributions of the people responsible for those data sets. The impact of research continues to be measured by primary publications, rather than by subsequent uses of the data.

To incentivize the sharing of useful data, the scientific enterprise needs a well-defined system that links individuals with reuse of data sets they generate4. To further this goal, the Association of American Medical Colleges (where H.H.P. and A.D. work) and the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (where E.S. and B.E.B. work), along with The New England Journal of Medicine, convened a 2018 workshop of representatives from 50 organizations to discuss and validate such a system. The workshop included major journals, funders, data-citation groups and academic centres (see Supplementary Information, Participant list) and was preceded by numerous meetings.

Here we propose a system for leveraging existing initiatives and infrastructure to track the use, reuse and impact of scientific data through the consistent adoption of unique identifiers. Our system begins when researchers deposit a data set that they have generated. It then links every use and published analysis of that data set back to the original researchers (see ‘Virtuous cycle’).

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Rein in the four horsemen of irreproducibility – Nature ( Dorothy Bishop | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 1, 2019
 

Dorothy Bishop describes how threats to reproducibility, recognized but unaddressed for decades, might finally be brought under control.

More than four decades into my scientific career, I find myself an outlier among academics of similar age and seniority: I strongly identify with the movement to make the practice of science more robust. It’s not that my contemporaries are unconcerned about doing science well; it’s just that many of them don’t seem to recognize that there are serious problems with current practices. By contrast, I think that, in two decades, we will look back on the past 60 years — particularly in biomedical science — and marvel at how much time and money has been wasted on flawed research.

How can that be? We know how to formulate and test hypotheses in controlled experiments. We can account for unwanted variation with statistical techniques. We appreciate the need to replicate observations.

Yet many researchers persist in working in a way almost guaranteed not to deliver meaningful results. They ride with what I refer to as the four horsemen of the reproducibility apocalypse: publication bias, low statistical power, P-value hacking and HARKing (hypothesizing after results are known). My generation and the one before us have done little to rein these in.

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