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(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.

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Japanese university revokes PhD following a retraction – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 22, 2018

Tokyo Women’s Medical University has stripped a researcher of her PhD, following the retraction of a paper — for data duplication — that was based on her thesis.

This September 2018 case from Japan is another ‘good’ example of what HDR candidates are risking when they cheat in their work. We included links to a few other similar items.

The August 30th announcement notes that a degree was revoked on July 20. The announcement does not name the researcher, but refers to degree number 2881, which corresponds to Rika Nakayama’s PhD. The university describes carelessness and errors, but not misconduct.
Here’s a rough Google translation of the announcement:

The thesis which became the application paper is based on the case which was handled at the off-campus facility to which the person belongs. Duplication of case data occurred due to carelessness of the person during the preparation of the paper. Those who created the paper with data duplication applied for a degree, and a degree was approved. Duplication of case data was discovered when this paper was investigated by random monitoring of the facility. That person did not take the form of correction but undertook the withdrawal procedure of the paper from the journal. In recognition of the fact that the dissertation application paper was withdrawn, we decided to cancel the degree award.

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The ethics of computer science: this researcher has a controversial proposal – Nature (Elizabeth Gibney | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 3, 2018

Nature talks to Brent Hecht, who says peer reviewers must ensure that researchers consider negative societal consequences of their work.

In the midst of growing public concern over artificial intelligence (AI), privacy and the use of data, Brent Hecht has a controversial proposal: the computer-science community should change its peer-review process to ensure that researchers disclose any possible negative societal consequences of their work in papers, or risk rejection.

Hecht, a computer scientist, chairs the Future of Computing Academy (FCA), a group of young leaders in the field that pitched the policy in March. Without such measures, he says, computer scientists will blindly develop products without considering their impacts, and the field risks joining oil and tobacco as industries whose researchers history judges unfavourably.

The FCA is part of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in New York City, the world’s largest computing society. It, too, is making changes to encourage researchers to consider societal impacts: on 17 July, it published an updated version of its ethics code, last redrafted in 1992. The guidelines call on researchers to be alert to how their work can influence society, take steps to protect privacy and continually reassess technologies whose impact will change over time, such as those based in machine learning.

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(EU) Dutch publishing giant cuts off researchers in Germany and Sweden – Nature (Holly Else | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 3, 2018

Negotiations with Elsevier have stalled over open-access deals.

Elsevier last week stopped thousands of scientists in Germany from reading its recent journal articles, as a row escalates over the cost of a nationwide open-access agreement.

The move comes just two weeks after researchers in Sweden lost access to the most recent Elsevier research papers, when negotiations on its contract broke down over the same issue.

Negotiators on both sides in Germany now seem to be waiting for the other to blink, says Joseph Esposito, a publishing consultant in New York City. The highly public nature of the stand-off means that “any deal Elsevier does with them becomes the de facto deal for the entire world,” he adds.

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