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Embedding responsible conduct in learning and research into an Australian undergraduate curriculum (Papers: Lynette B Fernandes 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 25, 2016

Abstract: Responsible conduct in learning and research (RCLR) was progressively introduced into the pharmacology curriculum for undergraduate science students at The University of Western Australia. In the second year of this undergraduate curriculum, a lecture introduces students to issues such as the use of animals in teaching and responsible conduct of research. Third year student groups deliver presentations on topics including scientific integrity and the use of human subjects in research. Academic and research staff attending these presentations provide feedback and participate in discussions. Students enrolled in an optional capstone Honours year complete an online course on the responsible conduct of research and participate in an interactive movie. Once RCLR became established in the curriculum, a survey of Likert-scaled and open-ended questions examined student and staff perceptions. Data were expressed as Approval (% of responses represented by Strongly Agree and Agree). RCLR was found to be relevant to the study of pharmacology (69-100% Approval), important for one’s future career (62-100% Approval), and stimulated further interest in this area (32-75% Approval). Free entry comments demonstrated the value of RCLR and constructive suggestions for improvement have now been incorporated. RCLR modules were found to be a valuable addition to the pharmacology undergraduate curriculum. This approach may be used to incorporate ethics into any science undergraduate curriculum, with the use of discipline-specific topics. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2016.

KEYWORDS: ethics education; ethics in science and scientific research; integration of research into undergraduate teaching; pharmacology; responsible conduct

Fernandes LB (2016) Embedding responsible conduct in learning and research into an Australian undergraduate curriculum. Biochemistry Molecular Biology Education. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20990

“We should err on the side of protecting people’s reputation:” Management journal changes policy to avoid fraud – Retraction Watch (Dalmeet Singh Chawla July 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 17, 2016

How can academic journals ensure the integrity of the data they publish? For one journal, the key is looking deeply at statistics, which revealed crucial problems in the research of recent high-profile fraudsters such as Anil Potti. Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Management, Patrick Wright from the University of South Carolina, recently authored an editorial about how he’s taken those lessons to heart — and why he believes retractions don’t always hurt a journal’s reputation.

RW: Can you take us through the changes in the editorial policy of your journal?

PW: In large part it is two-fold. One is to allow reviewers to self identify when they do not feel fully capable of doing a strong critique of statistical analyses. They always could do that in their comments to the editor (and often did), but we wanted to be sure that Action Editors could identify situations where a paper was being evaluated by reviewers who were not skilled in the statistical techniques used. When that happens, Action Editors can bring in a third reviewer to focus on those analyses.

Read the full interview

Vast majority of Americans want to criminalize data fraud, says new study – Retraction Watch (Paolo Macchiarini July 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 15, 2016

As Retraction Watch readers know, criminal sanctions for research fraud are extremely rare. There have been just a handful of cases — Dong-Pyou Han, Eric Poehlman, and Scott Reuben, to name several — that have led to prison sentences.

According to a new study, however, the rarity of such cases is out of sync with with the wishes of the U.S. population:

“[T]he public overwhelming judges both data fraud and selective reporting as morally wrong, and supports a range of serious sanctions for these behaviors. Most notably, the vast majority of Americans support criminalizing data fraud, and many also believe the offense deserves a sentence of incarceration…

Read the full news story
Read the paper the story refers to

Should researchers guilty of misconduct go to “rehab”? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook June 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 13, 2016

A report on the first few years of “researcher rehab” suggests that three days of intensive training have a lasting impact on participants.

Specifically, among participants – all of whom had been found guilty of at least one type of misconduct – the authors report that:

“A year later, follow-up surveys indicate that the vast majority have changed how they work.”

The authors claim this shows the program is worth the time and investment – a $500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, and a cost of $3,000 per participant for the three-day course. Do you agree? Tell us what you think in our poll at the end of the story…

Read the full discussion piece and have your say