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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky – January 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on January 19, 2019

Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale.

One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government, and has led to clinical trials, although more on that later — was retracted from Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The “corresponding author published the paper without the full consent or acknowledgement of all the researchers and would like to apologize for this error,” according to that notice.

Three more papers, all from the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), were retracted the following July, saying only that “This article has been withdrawn by the authors,” as was typical for the JBC for many years.

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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).

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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.

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(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.

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