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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Disgraced surgeon is still publishing on stem cell therapies – Science (Matt Warren | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2018
 

Paolo Macchiarini, an Italian surgeon, has been fired from two institutions and faces the retraction of many of his papers after findings of scientific misconduct and ethical lapses in his research—yet this hasn’t prevented him from publishing again in a peer-reviewed journal. Despite his circumstances, Macchiarini appears as senior author on a paper published last month investigating the viability of artificial esophagi “seeded” with stem cells, work that appears strikingly similar to the plastic trachea transplants that ultimately left most of his patients dead. The journal’s editor says he was unaware of Macchiarini’s history before publishing the study.

“I’m really surprised,” says cardiothoracic surgeon Karl-Henrik Grinnemo, one of the whistle-blowers who exposed Macchiarini’s misconduct at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm. “I can’t understand how a serious editorial board can accept manuscripts from this guy.”

Macchiarini was once heralded as a pioneer of regenerative medicine because of his experimental transplants of artificial tracheas that supposedly developed into functional organs when seeded with a patient’s stem cells. But his career came crashing down after the Swedish documentary Experimenten showed the poor outcomes of his patients, all but one of whom have now died. (The lone survivor was able to have his implant removed.) Macchiarini was subsequently fired from KI, both the university and a national ethics board found him guilty of scientific misconduct in several papers, and Swedish authorities are now considering whether to reopen a criminal case against him.

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Publishers cannot afford to be coy about ethical breaches – THE (Adam Cox, et al | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 18, 2018
 

Reluctance to shame those who breach editorial ethics has dented confidence in research integrity, argue Adam Cox, Russell Craig and Dennis Tourish

There are rising concerns about the reliability of academic research, yet even when papers are retracted, the reasons are often left unexplained.

See the full paper here
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We have also included a list of ten other resource items about trust and confidence in research outputs.

We recently studied 734 peer-reviewed journals in economics and identified 55 papers retracted for reasons other than “accidental duplication” or “administrative error”. Of those, 28 gave no clear indication of whether any questionable research practice was involved. It appears likely that it was: the reasons given for retraction in the other 27 papers include fake peer review, plagiarism, flawed reasoning and multiple submission.
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For 23 of the 28 “no reason” retractions, it is not even clear who instigated them: the editor alone, the author alone, or both in concert.
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What factors do scientists perceive as promoting or hindering scientific data reuse? – LSE Impact Blog (Renata Gonçalves Curty, et al | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 17, 2018
 

Increased calls for data sharing have formed part of many governments’ agendas to boost innovation and scientific development. Data openness for reuse also resonates with the recognised need for more transparent, reproducible science. But what are scientists’ perceptions about data reuse? Renata Gonçalves Curty, Kevin Crowston, Alison Specht, Bruce W. Grant and Elizabeth D. Dalton make use of existing survey data to analyse the attitudes and norms affecting scientists’ data reuse. Perceived efficiency, efficacy, and trustworthiness are key; as is whether scientists believe data reuse is beneficial for scientific development, or perceive certain pressures contrary to the reuse of data. Looking ahead, synthesis centres can be important for supporting data-driven interdisciplinary collaborations, and leveraging new scientific discoveries based on pre-existing data.

There can be real societal benefits from data sharing, which is among the reasons why many research funding bodies require (or at least encourage) funded researchers to share their data. But it is not without its research ethics and research integrity challenges. The idea of sharing can be a source of disquiet for some researchers. Understanding why, and supporting practice in this area would increase the amount of data that is shared. We have gathered here a list of resource items about data sharing.

“If I have seen further, it was by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” This quote, attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, expresses the cumulative and synergistic nature of the growth of science. Intellectual progress and major scientific achievements are built upon the contributions of previous thinkers and discoveries. Thus the scientific enterprise thrives upon openness and collaboration.
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The unrestricted sharing of research outputs is increasingly seen as critical for scientific progress. The calls for data sharing in particular, aligned with investment in infrastructures for housing research data, have been part of many governments’ agendas to boost innovation and scientific development, while optimising resources. The ability of researchers to access and build upon previous knowledge has thus evolved from elementary access to final published manuscripts and research reports, to the capability of accessing different outputs produced throughout the research lifecycle, including digital data files.
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There have been a number of promising developments in funding bodies’ policies promoting and requesting compliance with data sharing requirements to ensure preservation and access to scientific data for further reuse. In the US, the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE), supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is committed to broadening education on data-related issues (e.g. data documentation, data citation), as well as to provide standards/guidelines and sustainable cyberinfrastructure to secure openness, persistence, robustness, findability, and accessibility to environmental science data

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Science isn’t broken, but we can do better: here’s how – The Conversation (Alan Finkel | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 16, 2018
 

Every time a scandal breaks in one of the thousands of places where research is conducted across the world, we see headlines to the effect that “science is broken”.

But if it’s “broken” today, then when do we suggest it was better?

Point me to the period in human history where we had more brilliant people or better technologies for doing science than we do today. Explain to me how something “broken” so spectacularly delivers the goods. Convince me I ought to downplay the stunning achievement of – say – the detection of gravitational waves.

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