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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Conceptualizing Fraudulent Studies as Viruses: New Models for Handling Retractions (Papers: Kathleen Montgomery & Amalya L. Oliver | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on January 9, 2017


This paper addresses the growing problem of retractions in the scientific literature of publications that contain bad data (i.e., fabricated, falsified, or containing error), also called “false science.” While the problem is particularly acute in the biomedical literature because of the life-threatening implications when treatment recommendations and decisions are based on false science, it is relevant for any knowledge domain, including the social sciences, law, and education. Yet current practices for handling retractions are seen as inadequate. We use the metaphor of a virus to illustrate how such studies can spread and contaminate the knowledge system, when they continue to be treated as valid. We suggest drawing from public health models designed to prevent the spread of biological viruses and compare the strengths and weaknesses of the current governance model of professional self-regulation with a proposed public health governance model. The paper concludes by considering the value of adding a triple-helix model that brings industry into the university-state governance mechanisms and incorporates bibliometric capabilities needed for a holistic treatment of the retraction process.

Knowledge management, Governance, False science, Bad data, Infection, Contact reporting, Retraction, Triple helix

Montgomery K & Oliver AL (2016) Conceptualizing Fraudulent Studies as Viruses: New Models for Handling Retractions. Minerva. doi:10.1007/s11024-016-9311-z

Springer, BMC retracting nearly 60 papers for fake reviews and other issues – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | November 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on January 6, 2017

In a massive cleanup, Springer and BioMed Central announced today they are retracting 58 papers for several reasons, including manipulation of the peer-review process and inappropriately allocating authorship.

The papers appeared in seven journals, and more are under investigation.

In a release issued today, the publishers note:

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Generic Risks of Exporting Non-Ethical Practices0

Posted by Admin in on January 5, 2017

Executive Summary
The potential to be exploited is part of the human condition. Even superheroes usually have an Achilles’ heel, or vulnerability. Take for instance, Superman, whose vulnerability is kryptonite.

Exploiters take advantage of others’ vulnerabilities to promote their own interests. Whilst there is a morally neutral sense of exploitation (the exploitation of natural talents to create art, for example), the term is generally used to describe a moral failing.

Exploiting others is morally wrong.

This report is about the risks for exploitation for defined entities, in other words, ‘Achilles’ heels’ in research. What makes exploitation more likely to occur due to vulnerabilities that can be exploited, either knowingly or unknowingly?

After careful analysis of the relevant literature and case studies, as well as consultation withleading ethics committee chairs and representatives of vulnerable populations from low and middle income countries (LMICs), an exploitation risk table was produced. Risks were categorized according to the points at which vulnerability occurred, and were grouped according to four values which have to be present to avoid exploitation in North-South collaborations: fairness, respect, care and honesty. Trustworthiness is achieved when all four values are realized.

Kate Chatfield, Doris Schroeder, Klaus Leisinger, Jaci van Niekerk, Ngayo Munuo, Rachel Wynberg and Paul Woodgate (2016) Generic Risks of Exporting Non-Ethical Practices, a report for TRUST

Publishing and sharing data papers can increase impact and benefits researchers, publishers, funders and libraries – LSE Impact Blog (Fiona Murphy | October 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on December 30, 2016

The process of compiling and submitting data papers to journals has long been a frustrating one to the minority of researchers that have tried. Fiona Murphy, part of a project team working to automate this process, outlines why publishing data papers is important and how open data can be of benefit to all stakeholders across scholarly communications and higher education.

Giving Researchers Credit for their Data – or ‘Data2Paper’ as we’re now more snappily calling it – is a cloud-based app which uses existing DataCite and ORCID-derived metadata to automate the process of compiling and submitting a data paper to a journal without the researcher having to leave the research space or wrestle directly with the journal’s submission system (an occasional source of frustration):

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