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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(Australia and Canada) ‘How I got fooled’: The story behind the retraction of a study of gamers – Retraction Watch (Leto Sapunar | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 29, 2020

In April of this year, Corneel Vandelanotte realized something had gone wrong with a paper he had recently published.

CQU researcher seeking to help Canadian-based researcher ‘sucked in’ to co-authorship of a paper that was subsequently retracted because of flawed analysis, but may also have added false authors and involved data fabrication.  We have included links to 20 related items.

First, there was a post about his paper by Nick Brown, a scientific sleuth, questioning the results, ethics, and authors behind the work. That was followed by a comment on PubPeer by Elisabeth Bik, another scientific sleuth.

“People started alerting me,” Vandelanotte, a public health researcher at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, told Retraction Watch. “Hey, have you seen this blog by Nick Brown? And, and then yeah, okay, that was a bad day. Let me put it that way.”

Vandelanotte grew concerned. He asked the lead author on the paper to see the data. When the lead author refused to share them, saying they were inaccessible, Vandelanotte became convinced: He had been deceived.

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The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers: Fostering research integrity (Papers: David Moher, et al | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 27, 2020

For knowledge to benefit research and society, it must be trustworthy. Trustworthy research is robust, rigorous, and transparent at all stages of design, execution, and reporting. Assessment of researchers still rarely includes considerations related to trustworthiness, rigor, and transparency. We have developed the Hong Kong Principles (HKPs) as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity with a specific focus on the need to drive research improvement through ensuring that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded for behaviors that strengthen research integrity. We present five principles: responsible research practices; transparent reporting; open science (open research); valuing a diversity of types of research; and recognizing all contributions to research and scholarly activity. For each principle, we provide a rationale for its inclusion and provide examples where these principles are already being adopted.

Moher, D., Bouter, L., Kleinert, S., Glasziou, P., Sham, M.H., Barbour, V., Foeger, N. & Dirnagl, U. (2020) The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers: Fostering research integrity. PLoS Biol 18(7): e3000737.
Publisher (Open Access):

(Australia) Why did a journal suddenly retract a 45-year-old paper over lack of informed consent? – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 26, 2020

A journal has retracted a 45-year-old case study over concerns that the authors had failed to obtain proper informed consent from the family they’d described.

Part of good governance is recognising when a tough position is just silly. Not too long ago, AHEC took a stance that cell lines, for instance, could still be used even though consent was not a routine part of the process 30+ years ago. There has to be a balance between respect and common sense. In this instance, no one would have noticed if it hadn’t been retracted. Perhaps it should highlight the need to have routine mechanisms in place for consent for case series.

The article, “Stickler syndrome report of a second Australian family,” appeared in Pediatric Radiology, a Springer Nature title, in 1975. The first author was Kazimierz Kozlowski, a prominent radiologist who was born in Poland and worked in the United States and Australia, where he studied skeletal diseases in children.

Stickler syndrome is an inherited disorder marked by defects in the skeleton, eyes and other organ systems. The condition affects roughly one in 7,500 babies in the United States, although the true incidence may be somewhat higher because some cases are mild enough to go undiagnosed.

According to the retraction notice:

The Editors have retracted this article [1] as is it is not clear whether parental consent was provided for publication of the images and case. Given the age of the article we have been unable to verify this, therefore the article is no longer available online in order to protect the privacy of the individual. Both authors agree to this retraction.



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Extending credit – Chemistry World (Emma Pewsey | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 23, 2020

Why more technicians deserve to be on author lists

Imagine how you’d feel if you worked hard on something, and then didn’t get any credit for it. Or worse, someone else gets the credit. Perhaps the lack of recognition only briefly annoys you. But what if it actually causes you to miss out on career opportunities? And when people look back in 50 years’ time, maybe they’ll think people like you didn’t exist – as though all your work occurred without any human intervention. You’ve been erased from history.

Research projects are often only possible because of the involvement of technicians, statisticians, cultural advisers or consumers/community members, but they often are not acknowledged in the research outputs.  But they should be.  We have included links to 11 related items.

In science, getting credit in a research project is often a matter of making it on to the author list of the related publications. This list is supposed to represent all the people who made significant contributions to a study. Yet the history of science is haunted by the ghosts of unacknowledged individuals who helped to produce key scientific breakthroughs.

Arguably, a list of names at the top of an article doesn’t go far enough to recognise individual contributions. While the exact order of names in this list is often delicately negotiated based on perceived importance, it tells the reader little or nothing about what each person actually did.

Fortunately, more journals now allow (or require) author contribution statements to accompany the list of names. Many publications recommend using the contributor roles taxonomy, or Credit: a list of 14 roles that covers pretty much every kind of useful work you can do on a research project, including conceptualisation, providing resources, analysis and data curation.

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