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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Research Integrity in China: Problems and Prospects (Papers: David Resnik and Weiqin Zeng | 20100

Posted by Admin in on February 25, 2017

In little more than 30 years, China has recovered from the intellectual stagnation brought about by the Cultural Revolution to become a global leader in science and technology. Like other leading countries in science and technology, China has encountered some ethical problems related to the conduct of research. China’s leaders have taken some steps to respond to these problems, such as developing ethics policies and establishing oversight committees. To keep moving forward, China needs to continue to take effective action to promote research integrity. Some of the challenges China faces include additional policy development, promoting education in responsible conduct of research, protecting whistle-blowers, and cultivating an ethical research environment.

Keywords: Research integrity, China, ethics, misconduct, fraud, plagiarism, policies, education

Resnik  D and Zeng W (2010) Research Integrity in China: Problems and Prospects. Developing World Bioethics. Dec; 10(3): 164–171. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-8847.2009.00263.x
Publisher (open access):

Identifying Predatory or Pseudo-Journals – WAME (Christine Laine & Margaret A. Winker | February 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 22, 2017

This WAME document aims to provide guidance to help editors, researchers, funders, academic institutions and other stakeholders distinguish predatory journals from legitimate journals.

Over the past decade a group of scholarly journals have proliferated that have become known as “predatory journals” produced by “predatory publishers.” “Predatory” refers to the fact that these entities prey on academicians for financial profit via article processing charges for open access articles, without meeting scholarly publishing standards (1). Although predatory journals may claim to conduct peer review and mimic the structure of legitimate journals, they publish all or most submitted material without external peer review and do not follow standard policies advocated by organizations such as the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Council of Science Editors (CSE) regarding issues such as archiving of journal content, management of potential conflicts of interest, handling of errata, and transparency of journal processes and policies including fees. A common practice among predatory publishers is sending frequent e-mails to large numbers of individuals soliciting manuscript submission and promising rapid publication for author fees that may be lower than those of legitimate author-pays journals. In the most egregious cases, they collect publication fees but the promised published articles never appear on the journal website. In some cases, authors publishing in such journals are aware that the journals do not adhere to accepted standards but choose to publish in them anyway (2,3), hence they are not “prey.” Therefore, “pseudo-journals” may be a more accurate name.

Regardless of the name applied to them, such journals do not provide the peer review that is the hallmark of traditional scholarly publishing. As such, they fall short of being the type of publication that serves as evidence of academic performance that is necessary to gain future research funding and academic advancement. Identifying such journals is important for authors, researchers, peer reviewers, and editors, because scientific work that is not properly vetted should not contribute to the scientific record. “Pseudo-journals” include journals that despite being published by legitimate publishers exist solely for marketing purposes (4); do not provide peer review sufficient to identify “fake” papers (5, 6); and other questionable practices (7). Predatory journals are the most prevalent type of pseudo-journals and have increased quickly. A longitudinal study of article volumes and publishing market characteristics estimated 8000 active predatory journals, with total articles increasing from 53,000 in 2010 to 420,000 in 2014 (an estimated three-quarters of authors were from Asia and Africa) (8). Therefore, this statement focuses on predatory journals.

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Christine Laine and Margaret A. Winker (2017) Identifying Predatory or Pseudo-Journals. World Association of Medical Editors. Posted February 18, 2017.

Artificial Intelligence Could Dig Up Cures Buried Online – Wired (Bahar Gholipour | November 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on February 21, 2017

THIS SUMMER, RIVA-MELISSA Tez was searching online for research that might help her father. He’d gone into a coma after suffering a stroke, and she wondered what the latest recommendations said—whether playing music to him in his native language could keep him connected to this world, or if giving him Prozac could boost his chances of recovery as it had done for mice in a study last year. Doctors are so busy saving lives, she thought, that they couldn’t possibly keep up with all the papers published every day.

Her concern is shared by doctors, who wonder what they could be missing in the 2.5 million scientific papers published every year. Popular sites like MedCalc and UptoDate are useful tools for doctors to consult diagnostic criteria and double check on treatment guidelines. But there’s plenty of room for improvement, and some believe artificial intelligence could be a solution to science overload: machine learning assistants to read incoming papers, distill their information, and highlight relevant findings.

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UKRIO responds to Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology report on research integrity – UK RIO (January 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 17, 2017

While this story is UK-centric it expresses a useful viewpoint on an approach that has been suggested for Australia: The creation of a regulatory authority for research integrity (such as the US ORI).

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has published a note exploring current approaches to promoting integrity in research. This POSTnote:

“…considers current approaches to fostering an environment conducive to good research in the UK, and detecting and preventing practices that fall short of expected standards. It also examines the current mechanisms for supporting integrity in the UK, whether these are sufficient, or if another form of oversight, such as regulation, might be preferable.”

We welcome this valuable report, highlighting as it does the current challenges to integrity in research and also the considerable work being carried out to support and enhance a culture of good research practice. This is essential to maintain high standards in research and enhance the UK’s international reputation.

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