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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Dropping the Hammer – Predatory Publishers Get Pounded by Regulators and the Press – Scholarly Kitchen (July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on August 30, 2018

In an age where journalism is underfunded, underappreciated, and more important than ever, I’m here to applaud the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which deserves acclaim for coordinating coverage of predatory publishing across multiple countries:

. . . a group of more than a dozen media organizations including the New Yorker, Le Monde, the Indian Express and the Korean outlet Newstapa took part in the investigation.

This excellent Scholarly Kitchen piece reflects on the scale and seriousness of illegitimate (predatory) publishing, the commendable journalistic and regulatory response, and why academia might still emerge from it all with a bloody nose, diminished in the public eye.

In the same timeframe the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its motion for summary judgment regarding one of the most prominent predatory publishers, OMICS, an entity I’ve discussed here before(citing an article from nearly a year ago which confirms my assertion that Bloomberg BusinessWeek often breaks stories months before anyone else even laces up their shoes).
There’s a lot to read in the stories produced so far. The German coverage asserts that more than 5,000 German scientists have published in pseudo-scientific (i.e., predatory) journals. The “pay and publish” paradigm is heavily featured in the Indian Express coverage, which has two parts, as well as an interview with the founder and CEO of OMICS, Srinubabu Gedela, where he comes across as one part evasive (eliding simple questions with double-talk), one part ignorant (calling the First Amendment of the US Constitution “the US Freedom of Speech Act”), for a sum total of untrustworthy.

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Denialism on the Rocks: It Just Got a Lot Harder to Pretend that Predatory Publishing Doesn’t Matter – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | August 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on August 23, 2018

If you don’t want *predatory publishing to tarnish the open access (OA) movement, you basically have two choices: an easy but ineffective one, and a difficult but more effective one.

The easy but ineffective strategy is to deny that predatory publishing is a real issue and try to stop people talking about it.

The difficult but (at least potentially) effective strategy is to do something about the problem of predatory publishing.

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Medical ethicist: “I now understand that I should not have been re-using material” – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on August 20, 2018

A researcher in medical ethics has retracted two papers within the last two years after admitting to reusing material from previous publications.

This case can serve as a salutary example when talking in professional development activities about recycling text/self-plagiarism. Given the career impacts of even good-faith-errors, researchers cannot afford to risk a forced retraction being how they learn their responsibilities. We have included links to a few related items.

Ezio Di Nucci, based at the University of Copenhagen, claims he “had misunderstood the relevant practices.”

The first retraction, issued in 2017 by the Journal of Value Inquiry, notes the paper “constituted the third verbatim publication of the same text.” The paper “Strategic Bombing, Causal Beliefs, and Double Effect” has only been cited once since it was published in 2016, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.
After that retraction, Di Nucci told us he requested the retraction of a second 2016 article, published by Minds and Machines. The retraction notice for “Habits, Priming and the Explanation of Mindless Action” — which has not yet been indexed — states that “the author misunderstood the practice of re-using one’s own material and apologizes for any inconvenience caused.”

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Are you liable for misconduct by scientific collaborators? What a recent court decision could mean for scientists – Retraction Watch (Richard Goldstein | August 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on August 19, 2018

Retraction Watch readers may have followed our coverage of the case of Christian Kreipke, a former Wayne State researcher who was recently barred from U.S. Federal funding for five years. That punishment followed years of allegations and court cases, along with half a dozen retractions. The case has been complicated, to say the least, and led to a 126-page decision by a judge last month. Here, Boston-based attorney Richard Goldstein, who represented the scientist in Bois v. HHS, the first case to overturn a funding ban by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), tries to explain what it could all mean.

While this is a US case relating to lab-based research it is a salutary warning for research leaders in Australasia. It is possible to imagine such a case for qualitative researchers out in the field and for other designs and disciplines. When you are in one location and a colleague is elsewhere it is practically impossible to know if they conducted their work responsibly and appropriately. But court actions like this show if you’re the senior colleague you will be held to be accountable, with potentially devastating consequences.

Can you commit research misconduct if you fail to detect false data from another scientist?

The answer is yes and here’s how it can happen.

You work in a well-regarded laboratory that receives government funding. You are frequently a principal investigator (PI) and a lead author. The lab suffered from some disorganization so when you took over, you demanded quality work and hired a new lab administrator.

Things are generally good but life in the laboratory is demanding.  The size of the lab makes it impossible for you to validate every piece of data.  So, you often have to trust that a colleague’s work is reliable and truthful, including from collaborators at other facilities.  Funding, as always, is a problem, which means you can’t buy enough equipment and data security software; tracking who did what is difficult.  Some lab employees (inherited from your predecessor) have professional or ‘personnel’ issues and you suspect some will leave the laboratory. And of course, there is growing pressure to publish, attend conferences, make new findings, and to keep the funding stream going.  There is never enough time.


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