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)

What Does Transparent Peer Review Mean and Why is it Important? – Scholarly Kitchen (Alice Meadows | August 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 6, 2017

The theme of this year’s Peer Review Week is transparency in peer review. Many peer review experts will be gathering in Chicago in September for the Peer Review Congress (PRC), an international event that is held every four years. So we will be kicking off this year’s Peer Review Week celebrations with a panel session immediately after the Congress closes, at 5.30pm on September 12. Under the Microscope: Transparency in Peer Review, which I’m delighted to be chairing, will be open for all PRC attendees to join in person, as well as being live-streamed and recorded so others can also participate (register here for free).

To whet your appetites and encourage you to join us there or follow the proceedings online, we invited the four speakers to share their initial thoughts on what transparent peer review means to them and why it’s important. Irene Hames (independent peer review and publication ethics expert), Elizabeth Moylan (BioMed Central), Andrew Preston (Publons), and Carly Strasser (Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation) bring an interesting range of perspectives to the discussion, as you can see from their answers to this question. While they all agree on the importance of peer review, there’s divergence around what we mean by transparency in peer review and, critically, how to achieve it. For example, is there an agreed definition of what peer review actually is? Is it really the case that peer review has to be open in order for researchers to get credit for it? And how open should reviews for rejected papers be?

As moderator, I’m remaining neutral on the topic (at least for now!) but I look forward to your comments on this post and warmly invite you to submit additional questions for the panel either here in the comments or on Twitter, using the hashtag #AskPRW – and, of course, to join the discussion on September 12.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

The Future of Peer Review – Scholarly Kitchen (Alice Meadows | May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 4, 2017

Timed perfectly to coincide with today’s official launch of this year’s Peer Review Week (hold the date: September 11-17, 2017), BioMedCentral and Digital Science yesterday published a report on “What might peer review look like in 2030?”

Based on last November’s SpotOn London conference (which, sadly, I couldn’t attend myself), the report makes seven recommendations for the research community in the coming years:

  1. Find new ways of matching expertise and reviews by better identifying, verifying and inviting peer reviewers (including using AI)

Read the rest of this discussion piece


How Much Citation Manipulation Is Acceptable? – Scholarly Kitchen (Phil Davis | May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 3, 2017

In a few weeks, Clarivate Analytics will release their 2016 Journal Citation Report (JCR), which will disclose the Impact Factors of over ten-thousand academic journals.

With each release, the JCR also suspends titles for citation practices that distort their Impact Factor score and rank. Last year, 18 titles were suspended from the JCR, 16 for high levels of self-citation, the other two for “citation stacking,” a behavior that is more informally referred to as a citation cartel. In prior years, the JCR suspended many more titles. In 2012, a total of 65 titles were suspended. In 2011, it was 50 titles.

The Impact Factor is a lagging performance indicator — a measure of last year’s citation count to papers published in the preceding two years. If you’ve identified that citation distortion has already taken place in your journals, as a publisher, there is little you can do but wait for your day of reckoning and hope that your journal escapes suspension.

Read the rest of this discussion piece


Revoking a Doctorate – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | September 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on September 1, 2017

U of Arizona professor’s Ph.D. is withdrawn after her findings on violent video games are questioned. Some wonder why her mentor and co-author, a senior scholar, has not shared the blame.

Two matters for institutions and HDR candidates to note from this US case: a professor had a PhD revoked because of a problem with a paper she coauthored with a supervisor while a candidate at a different institution (creating uncertainty about her current appointment); and would your institution’s arrangements have taken commensurate action against the supervisor (who was the senior collaborator and coauthor of the retracted paper)?

Ohio State University took the extraordinary step of revoking a graduate’s doctorate last week. Now her future at the University of Arizona, where she is an assistant professor of communication, is unclear.
Jodi Whitaker’s problems started in 2015, after scholars in two countries noticed irregularities in the data in her 2012 paper on video games. The study in Communication Research, called “‘Boom, Headshot!’ Effect of Video Game Play and Controller Type on Firing Aim and Accuracy,” found that playing a violent video game improved real-life shooting skills. Initially, it was something of a boon for both Whitaker, then still a graduate student at Ohio State, and her co-author and dissertation committee chair, Brad J. Bushman, the Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication there. That’s because Bushman served on President Obama’s committee on gun violence and his research challenges what he calls myths about violence, including that violent media have a trivial effect on aggression.

Read the rest of this news story