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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Study pulls back curtain on contracts between Coca-Cola and the researchers it funds – STAT (Andrew Josep | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 6, 2019
 

When it funds scientific research, Coca-Cola includes a provision in its contracts with academic institutions that allows the beverage giant to pull its funding for a study at any point, according to a group of researchers who obtained several such agreements.

The policies could pressure recipients of the funding to pursue research that dovetails with Coca-Cola’s goals out of fear of having their project canceled, the researchers said in a paper published Tuesday, though they added that they found no example of that occurring.

The paper, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, comes amid increasing scrutiny of the food and beverage industry’s funding of and influence over academic research. The industry has taken a number of steps to improve transparency and safeguard the independence of studies it sponsors. Notably, Coca-Cola in 2015 started listing on its website the institutions and researchers it funded and the following year outlined principles that would guide its support for scientific research.

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What universities can learn from one of science’s biggest frauds – Nature (Holly Else – June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on September 3, 2019
 

Detailed analysis of misconduct investigations into huge research fraud suggests institutional probes aren’t rigorous enough.

By day, Andrew Grey studies bone health. But over the past few years, he’s developed another speciality: the case of one of science’s most prolific fraudsters.

From 1996 to 2013, Yoshihiro Sato, a Japanese bone-health researcher plagiarized work, fabricated data and forged authorships — prompting retractions of more than 60 studies in the scholarly literature so far. Grey and colleagues at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the University of Aberdeen, UK, are among the researchers who have raised concerns about Sato’s work over the past decade or so, and they have studied the case in detail — in particular, how universities involved in the research investigated concerns about his work and allegations of misconduct.

At the World Conference on Research Integrity in Hong Kong from 2 to 5 June, Grey’s team described its years-long efforts to clean up Sato’s literature, and presented its analysis of the inquiries conducted by four universities in Japan and the United States ensnared in the scandal (the team published its analysis of three investigations in a paper in February1). Grey says their findings provide evidence to support a growing view in the academic community: that university investigations into research misconduct are often inadequate, opaque and poorly conducted. They challenge the idea that institutions can police themselves on research integrity and propose that there should be independent organizations to evaluate allegations of research fraud should.

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‘Search for inspiration’ lands too close to plagiarism, forcing retraction of grief paper – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 30, 2019
 

A pair of grief scholars in Denmark have lost a 2018 paper on ghostly apparitions after one of the researchers copied text from another article.

This is another unfortunate example of an author copying text (with the intention of replacing it later), forgetting to rewrite it and suffering a forced retraction.  A prompt to be careful of this is a useful inclusion in professional development activities.

The study, “How many bereaved people hallucinate about their loved one? A systematic review and meta-analysis of bereavement hallucinations,” appeared in the Journal of Affective Disorders, an Elsevier publication. Authors Karina Stengaard Kamp and Helena Due — yes, a second author named Due — are with The Aarhus Bereavement Research Unit at Aarhus University.
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As the retraction notice explains:
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This article has been retracted at the request of the authors.
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After publication it came to their attention that parts of the wording especially in the last part of the discussion section (i.e., Methodological challenges and recommendation for future research, Strengths and limitations, and Conclusion) are too close to the cited manuscript (Lundorff et al., 2017). This mistake has sprung from the first author’s inexperience, and…

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The gold rush: Why open access will boost publisher profits – LSE Impact Blog (Shaun Khoo | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on August 29, 2019
 

An important justification for transitioning from a subscription based journal publishing system to an open access journal publishing system, has been that whereas printing and distributing physical copies of journals is an expensive process, the cost of digital publication and dissemination are marginal. In this post Shaun Khoo argues that whilst a shift to gold (pay to publish) open access would deliver wider access to research, the lack of price sensitivity amongst academics presents a risk that they will be locked into a new escalating  pay to publish system that could potentially be more costly to researchers than the previous subscription model.

For decades, the cost of subscription journals has been rising faster than inflation. Struggling with this serials crisis, librarians have encouraged the development of open access journals. Under open access, anyone can access research articles, reducing the need for libraries to subscribe to journals. This might benefit libraries, but by opening up research budgets as a revenue source it also promises to boost publisher profits.

The dominant form of immediate open access involves the payment of an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher by the authors or their institutions. In theory, competition between publishers should apply downward pressure on APCs, as academics should at least consider price when selecting a journal.

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