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French scientist fined for failure to disclose industry ties – Nature (Barbara Casassus | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on August 6, 2017

Pulmonologist Michel Aubier has been found guilty of misleading France’s Senate during an inquiry on air pollution.

This international news story is another ‘good’ example of the perils and community reaction when a researcher fails to disclose a conflict of interest.

In an unprecedented court case in Paris, an eminent French lung specialist has been fined €50,000 (US$57,000) and given a six-month suspended prison sentence because he did not disclose his ties to the oil industry during a Senate air-pollution inquiry.
The case is the first time that the French Senate has pressed criminal charges over false testimony. “It is an extremely important decision,” the Senate’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, told reporters. “It underlines the importance of the Senate’s commissions of inquiry and the risk of false declarations.” French researchers say that it also serves as a sharp reminder of the importance of disclosing all possible conflicts of interest when presenting evidence.

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Some scientists hate NIH’s new definition of a clinical trial. Here’s why – Nature (Jocelyn Kaiser | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on August 3, 2017

Nancy Kanwisher, a cognitive neuroscientist, has spent her career pinning down how the human brain responds to visual inputs such as faces. As part of that work, Kanwisher asks volunteers—usually college students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, where she works—to lie in an MRI machine that records their brain activity while they do a task, such as viewing a photo. Although such studies reveal information that can be relevant to diseases, and disorders such as autism, they do not test treatments.

But a few weeks ago, Kanwisher and colleagues in related behavioral research fields—from cognitive psychology to vision science—were dismayed to learn that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, could soon deem their studies to be clinical trials. That designation would impose a raft of new requirements on studies that have already passed ethics review, such as following different standards for funding applications, and reporting results on, a public database.

NIH officials say they simply want to ensure that all clinical trials—including those testing drugs, medical devices, and behavioral interventions—meet recently bolstered standards for rigor and transparency. But Kanwisher and others say that the agency’s widening definition of clinical trials could sweep up a broad array of basic science studies, resulting in wasted resources and public confusion. “The massive amount of dysfunction and paperwork that will result from this decision boggles the mind” and will hobble basic research, Kanwisher says. To prevent that outcome, she and dozens of other researchers, along with several scientific societies, have flooded NIH with letters and emails expressing concern about the policy, which the agency announced last September but is only now implementing.

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Work by group at Australian university faces scrutiny – Retraction Watch (Victoria Stern | July 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 24, 2017

A journal is investigating research by a group in Australia, after receiving “serious allegations” regarding a 2017 paper about treating eye burns.

The journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology, has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the 2017 paper while it investigates. The notice does not specify the nature of the allegations. Meanwhile, several other papers by the three researchers, based at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, have also come under scrutiny. Late last month, Frontiers in Pharmacology retracted a 2015 paper by Kislay Roy, Rupinder Kanwar, and Jagat R Kanwar, citing image duplication. A 2015 paper in Biomaterials received a correction in May 2017, again flagging image duplication.

Roy, the first author on the papers, is a postdoctoral research fellow; Rupinder Kanwar, a middle author, is a senior lecturer; and Jagat R Kanwar, the corresponding author on all three, is head of the Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research.

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Research integrity—have we made progress? – The Lancet (May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 22, 2017

This month (May 2017) there will be two important anniversaries related to research integrity. The first is the 20 year anniversary of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), celebrated at COPE’s European annual meeting in London, UK, on May 25. The second marks 10 years since the first World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2007—to be held at the fifth WCRI in Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 28–31. More than 600 delegates will gather and present research on research integrity and debate current policies and initiatives, progress, and difficulties. The conference theme is transparency and accountability. So what have these initiatives and organisations achieved and what is the current state of research integrity?

Even though the editorial itself doesn’t share anything significant we thought the embedded links made it worth including in the Resource Library.

Compared with 20 years ago there is undoubtedly more discussion and awareness of research misconduct. There is more research into research integrity and inappropriate research practice. And there is more guidance and support for those researchers, funders, institutions, and journals that want to have good policies, practices, and processes in place. However, there are depressingly familiar examples that show we still have a long way to go to strengthen research integrity and publication ethics. Every day, dubious new journals and conference organisers solicit papers and presentations for a fee. The rise of such predatory journals and conferences is a disappointingly unsavoury by-product of the open access business model.
On April 20, the publisher Springer retracted a record 107 papers from one journal (Tumor Biology) because they had been accepted after fake peer review. These papers were discovered after additional screening as a consequence of an earlier round of retractions, but clearly stronger editorial practices could have detected these fatal flaws before publication. And last week, the investigators of the Treatment of Preserved Cardiac Function Heart Failure with an Aldosterone Antagonist (TOPCAT) trial, originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014, concluded in a correspondence letter in the journal that after further experiments the findings “arouse concerns regarding study conduct in Russia, and by implication, Georgia”—an example of a multicountry collaboration gone wrong.

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