ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
Search
Generic filters
Exact text matches only
Search into
Filter by Categories
Research integrity
Filter by Categories
Human Research Ethics

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesNews

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Are scientists’ reactions to ‘CRISPR babies’ about ethics or self-governance? – STAT (Nina Frahm and Tess Doezema | January 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on February 12, 2019
 

It’s been two months since Chinese scientist He Jiankui shocked the world with the announcement that his lab had created the first genetically edited babies. Since then, much of the public furor surrounding the news has died down, even as He has been fired by the Southern University of Science and Technology. There is one important takeaway from the controversy that seems to have gone overlooked in the CRISPR ethics discussion: defining the ethics of editing human life should not be left to scientists alone.

The research community widely agreed that He and his colleagues crossed an ethical line with the first inheritable genetic modification of human beings. Gene-editing experts as well as bioethicists described the transgression as being conducted by a “rogue” individual. But when leading voices such as NIH Director Francis Collins assert that He’s work “represents a deeply disturbing willingness by Dr. He and his team to flout international ethical norms,” what are they actually expressing concern about? Who determines what are the ethics of altering human life?

We believe that the alarm being sounded by the scientific community isn’t really about ethics. It’s about protecting a particular form of scientific self-governance, which the “ethics” discourse supports. What are currently treated as matters of research ethics are in fact political and social questions of fundamental human importance.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Legal threats, opacity, and deceptive research practices: A look at more than 100 retractions in business and management – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 11, 2019
 

What can studying retractions in business and management journals tell us? Earlier this year, Dennis Tourish, of the University of Sussex, and Russell Craig, of the University of Portsmouth, both in the UK, published a paper in the Journal of Management Inquiry that analyzed 131 such retractions. The duo — who were also two of three authors of a recent paper on retractions in economics— also interviewed three journal editors involved in retractions, two co-authors of retracted papers who were not responsible for the fraud, and one researcher found to have committed fraud. We asked Tourish, the author of an upcoming book on “fraud, deception and meaningless research” in management studies, some questions about the study by email.
.

A useful paper and Retraction Watch interview about retractions in business and management journals.

Retraction Watch (RW): You found a “large proportion of retractions in high-quality journals.” Would you say that is consistent with findings in other fields?

.
Dennis Tourish (DT): Yes, it is consistent with some research we have done into retractions in economics and psychology. We know that similar patterns have been reported in studies of retractions in the life sciences. There are two main possible explanations for this. Higher ranked journals may have more editorial resources and may be more diligent at identifying papers with problems. It is also possible that their high status makes them an attractive outlet for those who engage in fraud and poor practices generally. Academics are under more pressure than ever to publish in such journals. It would not be surprising that many academics are tempted to take unethical shortcuts.
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

AI peer reviewers unleashed to ease publishing grind – Science (Douglas Heaven | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 4, 2019
 

A suite of automated tools is now available to assist with peer review but humans are still in the driver’s seat.

Most researchers have good reason to grumble about peer review: it is time-consuming and error-prone, and the workload is unevenly spread, with just 20% of scientists taking on most reviews.

Now peer review by artificial intelligence (AI) is promising to improve the process, boost the quality of published papers — and save reviewers time.

A handful of academic publishers are piloting AI tools to do anything from selecting reviewers to checking statistics and summarizing a paper’s findings.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Doctor who participated in fake chocolate study fined for violating code of conduct – Retraction Watch (Hinnerk Feldwisch-Drentrup | September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on January 30, 2019
 

A German district attorney has fined a doctor who participated in a bogus study showing chocolate helps weight loss, designed to illustrate how shady science can make the news, arguing it was unethical to ask people to participate unknowingly in such a scam.

This item generated considerable discussion on the Retraction Watch website, including the doctor disputing some of the observations.

As soon as the study was published, critics raised questions over whether it was appropriate to include volunteers in a bogus clinical trial, which included giving blood. Recently, a German district attorney for professional conduct of physicians ruled that it was not.
.
In an anonymized version of a decision from the district attorney – who investigates on possible violations of the physicians’ professional law – he fined the doctor who participated in a bogus study about the health benefits of chocolate 500 Euros for not obtaining proper consent from the people who volunteered to participate, and for not involving an ethics committee.
.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

0