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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

New guidance from UKRIO: authorship in academic publications0

Posted by Admin in on June 16, 2017

In our experience authorship matters are the most common source of disputes between researchers and the reason for research integrity complaints. This resource from the UK provides cues to avoid such difficulties. A great inclusion in any institution’s research integrity Resource Library and for your graduate research school.

UKRIO has published a guidance note on good practice in the authorship of research publications. The publication is available for download on our website: Good practice in research: Authorship
Written by Dr Elizabeth Wager, former Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), this guidance note focuses on good practice in the authorship of research publications and covers issues relevant to all disciplines of research. Aimed at both researchers and research organisations, it highlights particular challenges relating to authorship and aims to foster discussion on what might constitute good practice in this fundamentally important part of the research process.

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Coca-Cola responds to claims of ‘tobacco-style deception’ tactics – The NewDaily (Alana Mitchelson | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 14, 2017

A scathing report has compared Coca-Cola’s undisclosed funding of health-related research and conferences to the deceptive tactics used by the tobacco industry between the 1950s and 1990s.

This story could serve as a case study in professional development for researchers on conflicts of interest and research funding. It raises questions for institutional policies, and suggest the need for better disclosures in conference papers to attendees and disclosures in research outputs.

The investigation, published in the British Medical Journal, has revealed that Coca-Cola covertly funded a series of obesity conferences in the United States aimed at pushing its own corporate agenda – “favourable press coverage of sugar sweetened drinks”.
In one example, a CNN reporter who attended the conference later produced a story proposing that lack of exercise was the cause of obesity, rather than consumption of sugary soft drinks.

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What Constitutes Peer Review of Data? A Survey of Peer Review Guidelines – Scholarly Kitchen (Todd A Carpenter | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 13, 2017

The sharing of research data has exploded in the past decade, and a variety of publications and organizations are putting policies in place that require data publication in some form. Over the past decade, the number of journals that accept data has increased, as have the number and scope of repositories collecting and sharing research data. Prior to 2010, data sharing was quite limited in scholarly publishing. A 2011 study of 500 papers that were published in 2009 from 50 top-ranked research journals showed that only 47 papers (9%) of those reviewed had deposited full primary raw data online. During the intervening years, the pace of data publishing increased rapidly. As another study notes, the number of datasets being shared annually has increased by more than 400% from 2011 to 2015, and this pace will likely continue. A culture of data sharing is developing, and researchers are responding to data sharing requirements, the efficacy of data sharing, and its growing acceptance as a scientific norm in many fields.

With the increased publication of datasets (partly in response to the policies of research funding bodies, and partly in response to the policies of journal publishers), what constitutes peer review of those datasets? This Scholarly Kitchen discussion piece from April 2017 examines the policies of the key publishers.

The process is driven in part by both funding and publication policies, which have been encouraging data sharing. The number of titles that explicitly require such sharing in some form is also increasing rapidly. In the past few years, PLOS, AGU, SpringerNature, and the American Economic Association, to highlight just a few, have each put forward policies about data sharing. In addition, data access has been the focus of other efforts, such as the COPDESS Statement of Commitment, which has 43 signatories. A variety of funding agencies, such as the Wellcome Trust, the Gates Foundation, and the Arnold Foundation now include data sharing as part of their funding policies, and a variety of government agencies are covered by the 2013 OSTP memo on increasing access to federally funded research.
A core element of what distinguishes scholarly publishing from trade publishing is the peer review process. As the availability of research data is increasing, it is important to ask how much of this data is peer reviewed. In a 2014 Study of 4,000 researchers by David Nicholas et al, “[i]t was generally agreed that data should be peer reviewed.” But what constitutes peer review of research data? What are existing practices related to peer review of research datasets? Since a number of journals specifically focus on the review and publication of datasets, reviewing their policies seems an appropriate place to start in assessing what existing practice looks like in the “real world” of reviewing and publishing data.


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All take and no give? Many scientists resist shift to open data – Times Higher Education (John Elmes | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 12, 2017

Open data offers a lot of promise, including reducing the burden on over-researched populations, but working through such matters as consent and identification requires time and effort most researchers don’t have available. But then is there perhaps a more significant resistance to someone else benefiting from your labours with little tangible return to you. This Times Higher Education story explores what really is going on.

Significant numbers of scientists do not publish their research data, a survey has found, despite a vast majority believing that having access to other scholars’ raw material would benefit them.
While 73 per cent of respondents to a global survey of academics conducted by information and analytics company Elsevier and Leiden University agreed that having access to other researchers’ data would be beneficial, 34 per cent admitted that they did not publish their own figures.
The survey, which attracted 1,162 responses from all scientific fields, found that one in 10 researchers (11 per cent) would never be willing to allow other researchers to access their data. Sixty-four per cent said that they would, while 25 per cent were undecided.

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