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Research Ethics Policy Note no. 12 – Research Involving Illegal Activities0

Posted by Admin in on February 7, 2019
 

The University of Sheffield Research Ethics Policy Note no. 12
Research Involving Illegal Activities

This is a complex area. There is a long tradition of social science research into illegal activity that has enriched public debate about crime and a range of other public issues. Similarly, researchers in psychology or medicine, for example, might in the course of their research learn about criminal activity. But what is the legal and ethical position of the researcher in such circumstances?

1. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Researchers have the same legal obligations that they would have in any other context, as citizens or legal residents. As a private member of society, there is, however, no general legal obligation in the United Kingdom to report to the relevant authorities all illegal activity that one observes or learns about.

However, there may be moral obligations to report in the following circumstances:

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Single-molecule magnet controversy highlights transparency problems with U.K. research integrity system – C&EN (Mark Peplow | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 26, 2019
 

Universities’ reluctance to reveal details of such cases could undermine public trust in research, experts say

For Conrad A. P. Goodwin, June 6, 2017, was a pretty harrowing day. The organometallic chemist, then at the University of Manchester, had just finished his Ph.D. on a high. Earlier that year he had synthesized an organometallic complex called dysprosocenium that could be switched from one stable magnetic state to another. Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) like this might eventually be used in extremely-high-density memory devices, but researchers had previously been able to make SMMs that only operated at ultracold temperatures. Crucially, Goodwin’s molecule could retain its designated magnetic state at up to 60 K—the highest temperature yet for any SMM. By the end of May, Nature had accepted a paper about the work from Goodwin and his colleagues, subject to revisions.

Then, on that fateful June day—months before Goodwin’s report actually published—a paper appeared in Angewandte Chemie describing exactly the same molecule, made in exactly the same way. Goodwin and his colleagues had been scooped. To make matters worse, the team behind the Angewandte paper was led by Richard A. Layfield, a professor whose office was just down the hall from Goodwin’s supervisor, David P. Mills.

“We’d put so much work into it,” recalls Goodwin, who now works at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “The synthetic methodology was brand new, so we thought we were on to something cool. Then, suddenly, the novelty was gone.”

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From Paywall to Datawall – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 3, 2019
 

Almost every day, my email or Twitter feed brings an alert to a “free” report, article, white paper, etc. No payment or subscription required!

This isn’t a ‘core’ research integrity piece but we thought the privacy and research outputs issues are significant enough to warrant inclusion in the Resource Library

It sounds great. In many ways it is the promise of the Internet fulfilled, a world in which a single click brings you the document you are seeking for immediate review or even a deep read.
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The reader experience, however, is quite often not exactly that. Instead of a paywall, perhaps to be negotiated through a proxy server or some other authentication mechanism, the reader is faced with a demand for their contact information. Or, even more demanding, they face a requirement to create an account. Use of that account will be tracked and the data fed into an analytics system, likely joined up with data collected elsewhere as well.
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The main obstacles to better research data management and sharing are cultural. But change is in our hands – LSE Blog (Marta Teperek and Alastair Dunning | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 7, 2018
 

This blog post is a summary of Marta Teperek’s presentation at today’s Better Science through Better Data 2018 event.

By now, it’s probably difficult to find a researcher who hasn’t heard of journal requirements for sharing research data supporting publications. Or a researcher who hasn’t heard of funder requirements for data management plans. Or of institutional policies for data management and sharing. That’s a lot of requirements! Especially considering data management is just one set of guidelines researchers need to comply with (on top of doing their own competitive research, of course).

All of these requirements are in place for good reasons. Those who are familiar with the research reproducibility crisis and understand that missing data and code is one of the main reasons for it need no convincing of this. Still, complying with the various data policies is not easy; it requires time and effort from researchers. And not all researchers have the knowledge and skills to professionally manage and share their research data. Some might even wonder what exactly their research data is (or how to find it).

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