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(US) Texas A&M chancellor fires back at Harvard over criticism of controversial beef study – The Texas Tribune (Sami Sparber | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 29, 2020

John Sharp sent Harvard’s president an open letter calling for an investigation into Harvard scientists whose actions he said “are false and harmful to Texas A&M University and its faculty.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that a Texas A&M researcher received funding from a beef industry-backed program for research separate from the study on the risks of eating red meat.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp called out Harvard on Wednesday after some Harvard faculty alleged that Texas A&M food scientists are beholden to the beef industry.

Sharp fired back with an open letter urging Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow to investigate faculty who he says “mischaracterized scientific research and falsely accused Texas A&M scientists of selling out to industry interests.”

The accusations against scientists at A&M — the leading agriculture school in the nation’s largest beef-producing state — coincide with an emerging scientific dispute over the health benefits of curtailing meat consumption. And A&M is pushing back hard in defense of its researchers.

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Taiwanese Researchers’ Perceptions of Questionable Authorship Practices: An Exploratory Study (Papers: Sophia Jui-An Pan & Chien Chou | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 28, 2020

In 2014, SAGE Publications retracted 60 articles authored by Taiwanese researchers due to suspected peer-review fraud. This scandal led to the resignation of the Minister of Education at the time since he coauthored several retracted works. Issues regarding the lack of transparent decision-making processes regarding authorship were further disclosed. Motivated by the scandal, we believe that this is one of the first empirical studies of questionable authorship practices (QAPs) in East Asian academia; we investigate Taiwanese researchers’ perceptions of QAPs. To meet this purpose, a self-reported survey was developed. Four hundred and three local researchers, including research faculty (e.g., professors), postdoctoral researchers, and Ph.D. students, participated in the survey. Four major findings resulted. First, the underlying causes of Taiwanese doctoral students’ engagement in QAPs were attributable to their desire to achieve particular academic-related successes and their feeling of reciprocal obligation to support other researchers. Second, the underlying motives for Taiwanese research associates’ (i.e., research faculty and postdoctoral fellows) engagement in QAPs were attributable to their attempts to achieve particular career successes and of the desire to consolidate their professional networks. Third, the participants generally agreed that QAPs had a long history among local academics but were rarely reported. Fourth, participants’ backgrounds (i.e., research discipline, academic rank, and type of affiliations) had significant effects on their responses regarding particular authorship issues; however, their gender did not have a significant effect. QAPs are a critical issue in Taiwanese academia; therefore, we discussed the implications of the current findings including subsequent instruction and future research.

Pan, S.J. & Chou, C. (2020) Taiwanese Researchers’ Perceptions of Questionable Authorship Practices: An Exploratory Study. Science and Engineering Ethics.

Oops!… I Did It Again. When to correct or retract? – Science Integrity Digest (Elisabeth Bik | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 27, 2020

How many image duplications in a paper would be acceptable? If the paper has two identical photos that represent different experiments, and the authors’ reply is: ‘Oops, we uploaded the wrong photo’, that would be acceptable. Mistakes happen, and the authors can correct the error by sending in an erratum with the correct photo(s). But should editors be equally forgiving in the case of two cases of “Oops, we made a mistake”, or other, more complicated scenarios?

An interesting piece about image manipulation, ‘errors’, corrections, retractions and misconduct proceedings

Let’s take a look at different types and numbers of duplications. As I explained in two previous blog posts (here and here), there are three categories of image duplications.

  • Category I duplications: simple, identical duplications.
  • Category II duplications: duplications involving shift, rotation, or a flip.
  • Category III duplications: parts within the same panel are duplicated or parts from other panels are duplicated into another panel.

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CRediT Check – Should we welcome tools to differentiate the contributions made to academic papers? – LSE Blog (Elizabeth Gadd | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on February 26, 2020

Elsevier is the latest in a lengthening list of publishers to announce their adoption for 1,200 journals of the CASRAI Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT). Authors of papers in these journals will be required to define their contributions in relation to a predefined taxonomy of 14 roles. In this post, Elizabeth Gadd weighs the pros and cons of defining contributorship in a more prescriptive fashion and asks whether there is a risk of incentivising new kinds of competitive behaviour and forms of evaluation that doesn’t benefit researchers.

Getting named on a journal article is the ultimate prize for an aspiring academic. Not only do they get the paper on their CV (which can literally be money in the bank), but once named, all the subsequent citations accrue to each co-author equally, no matter what their contribution.

Also see CRediT

We have included links to 15 useful items.

Original tweet by Ali Chamkha, retweeted with comment by Damien Debecker. 3 January 2020

However, as this tweet demonstrates, getting named on a journal article is not the same as having a) done the lion’s share of the research and/or b) actually writing the journal article. And there is a lot of frustration about false credit claims. Gift authorshipghost authorshippurchased authorship, and wrangles about author order abound. To address these problems there is some helpful guidance from organisations like the International Council of Medical Journal Editors, the British Sociological Association and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) about what constitutes an author. Perhaps most significantly, in 2014 we saw the launch of CASRAI’s Contributor Role Taxonomy, CRediT.

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