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

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us


Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

When it comes to retracting papers by the world’s most prolific scientific fraudsters, journals have room for improvement – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 18, 2018

Journals have retracted all but 19 of the 313 tainted papers linked to three of the most notorious fraudsters in science, with only stragglers left in the literature. But editors and publishers have been less diligent when it comes to delivering optimal retraction notices for the affected articles.

This Retraction Watch piece outlines why delays in retracting a compromised research output is a concern.

That’s the verdict of a new analysis in the journal Anaesthesia, which found that 15% of retraction notices for the affected papers fail fully to meet standards from the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE). Many lacked appropriate language and requisite watermarks stating that the articles had been removed, and some have vanished from the literature.

The article was written by U. M. McHugh, of University Hospital in Galway, Ireland, and Steven Yentis, a consultant anaesthetist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London. Yentis was editor of Anaesthesia during the three scandals and had a first-hand view of two of the investigations. He also is the editor who unleashed anesthetist and self-trained statistician John Carlisle on the Fujii papers to see how likely the Japanese researcher’s data were to be valid (answer: not very likely).

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Universities warn against defence plans to increase control over research – The Guardian (Christopher Knaus | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 4, 2018

Labor and academics say freedoms will be stifled by proposed powers which officials claim are necessary because of potential overseas infiltration

Labor, Australia’s leading universities, and the tertiary education union have warned a proposal to dramatically expand defence’s control over university research would stifle academic freedom and damage the sector’s competitiveness.

This item in The Guardian is critical of attempts by Defence in Australia to extend control over university-based research, partly as a result of concerns about links to China.

Defence has called for a sweeping overhaul of laws that currently give it strict control over the sharing or export of sensitive Australian research and technology, citing a “changed national security environment”.

It wants the ability to control technology and research beyond that currently on a defined list, known as the defence and strategic goods list, which compiles military and some commercial goods and technologies. Defence has also asked for an escalation of warrantless search and seizure powers on university campuses and research agencies.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(Australia) Outrage over minister cancelling research grants – University World News (Geoff Maslen | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 30, 2018

Revelations that a former federal education minister interfered in a competitive research grants process and cancelled 11 humanities and social sciences projects, costed at more than AU$4 million (US$2.8 million), has generated outrage across Australia’s higher education sector.

The decision by former education minister Simon Birmingham last year and early this year to override recommendations from the Australian Research Council (ARC) was belatedly revealed in federal parliament on Thursday night.

ARC officials were being questioned during a Senate hearing and explained how Birmingham had stepped in to reject the council’s decision that 11 of the research projects be funded.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

(US) NIH delays controversial clinical trials policy for some studies – Science (Jocelyn Kaiser | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 30, 2018

Basic brain and behavioral researchers will get more than a year to comply with a new U.S. policy that will treat many of their studies as clinical trials. The announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) appears to defuse, for now, a yearlong controversy over whether basic research on humans should follow the same rules as studies testing drugs.

Update on an unpopular US plan to radically expand the definition of a clinical trial. While limited to the States at the moment, the change might ripple out to the rest of us.

Although research groups had hoped NIH would drop its plans to tag basic studies with humans as trials, they say they’re relieved they get more time to prepare and give the agency input. “It’s a positive step forward,” says Paula Skedsvold, executive director of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences in Washington, D.C.
At issue is a recently revised definition of a clinical trial along with a set of rules in effect since January that are meant to increase the rigor and transparency of NIH-funded clinical trials. About a year ago, basic scientists who study human cognition—for example, using brain imaging with healthy volunteers—were alarmed to realize many of these studies fit the new clinical trial definition.

Read the rest of this discussion piece