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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

‘Ethics, what even are they?’: Academics respond to ‘unethical’ University of Sydney research methods – HONI SOIT (Maani Truu | June 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on July 1, 2017

A study titled study ‘An Open Door? Experimental Measurement of Potential Bias in Informal Pathways to Academia’ has been suspended following a number of complaints.

 Screenshot of deceptive email..
University of Sydney Associate Professors Ben Goldsmith and Megan Mackenzie have come under fire for using deceptive methods to gain subjects for a research project.

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Also reported here

How to critically evaluate a manuscript: 12 questions you should always ask yourself – Publons (Tom Culley | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 30, 2017

It’s finally happened: you have received your first invitation to peer review. You accept, pick up your red pen, and shuffle gleefully in your chair. This is your much anticipated contribution to the scientific community. But then the panic sets in: what does peer review really mean, and what should you look out for while reading the manuscript?

Your review can be challenging for new academics. Your role is to help maintain the quality and integrity of published research and, in turn, protect the public from flawed and misleading findings. This may feel like a daunting task given the admissions of fraudulent research practices, surge in retractions and the reproducibility crisis facing science today – but fighting against these problems is not only vital for scholarly communication, it will also improve your own skills as a researcher.

Your peer review contributions will help you understand what editors are looking for, and you’ll become a better writer and a more successful published author in the process. You’ll keep abreast of research in your field, learn new and best-practice methods, and start examining your own research from that critical vantage point.

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Black lists, white lists and the evidence: exploring the features of ‘predatory’ journals – BioMed Central Blog (David Moher & Larissa Shamseer | March 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 28, 2017

The discussed criteria for evaluating open access publishers are useful suggestions for all researchers, especially higher degree research candidates and other early career researchers. The need for such evaluation has become more obvious post the closing of the Beall’s list, but arguably was good practice even when that list was operating.

New research published today in BMC Medicine looks to identify the features of potentially ‘predatory’ journals: online journals that charge publications fees without providing editorial services or robust peer review. Here to tell us about their work and how it can help authors, are David Moher and Larissa Shamseer, two authors of the research.
Crime stories are typically portrayed as a fight between good and bad. Publishing biomedical research is similar. A few years ago the (now defunct) Scholarly Open Access website listed journals and publishers presumed to be bad, a ‘black list’.
To get on the black list, its curator, Jeffrey Beall, used a number of criteria, such as comprehensive instructions for authors that are easily identified on the journal’s website, from the Committee on Publication Ethics and the Open Access Scholarly Publisher’s Association. If he felt the journal and/or publisher did not meet these criteria he added it to his list. He coined the term ‘predatory’ journals and publishers to describe these entities.

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China publishes more science research with fabricated peer-review than everyone else put together – Quartz (Echo Huang | May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on June 24, 2017

China frequently makes news for being at the forefront of peer-review scandals like this one and this one. And data appears to bear that out, showing China contributed well over half of the papers retracted for compromised peer review from 2012 to 2016, according to data obtained by Quartz.

This discussion piece highlights why China is cracking down on fraud in research. The graphic ‘Retracted papers for fake peer review by country from 2012 to 2016’ provides an interesting international comparison of the number of papers forcibly retracted due to fake peer review.

Peer review by scientists in the same field as someone trying to publish research is supposed to help journals and their readers make sense of how credible and important the work is. Problems with peer review taint that process, and can extend the gamut from reviews that are carried out by someone affiliated with the researcher to entirely made-up reviews.
Over the past five years, a total of 498 papers have been retracted over peer-review issues, according to the US blog Retraction Watch (papers can also be retracted for other reasons, but those papers aren’t included here). The blog used the nationalities of corresponding authors to reach its tally, since they are responsible for paper submissions. The breakdown by country below totals 502, reflecting papers counted twice because of corresponding authors with affiliations in multiple countries.

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Also see ‘China cracks down on fake data in drug trials