ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesResearch integrity

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Springer Nature Syndicates Content to ResearchGate – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 7, 2019

Ever since Springer Nature and ResearchGate announced their cooperative agreement this past April, many have wondered what exactly the “sharing of articles on the scholarly collaboration platform in a way that protects the rights of authors and publishers” might look like.

Today, we get our first glimpse. Springer Nature and ResearchGate have announced that “full-text articles published in select Nature journals since November 2017 will be rolled out to researchers’ ResearchGate profiles starting now and completed by March 7, making it easier to read or download research on or off campus from that moment on.” I had a chance to speak yesterday with Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature, and Ijad Madisch, CEO of ResearchGate, about this project.

Though small in scope, the importance of this project should not be overlooked. This pilot project represents the first significant experiment with the syndication of publisher content to a content supercontinent. My fellow Scholarly Kitchen contributor, Roger Schonfeld, has been tracking this emerging strategy and exploring it in recent months.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

Research Misconduct in East Asia’s Research Environments (Papers: Hee-Je Bak | June 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on April 6, 2019

High-profile cases of scientific misconduct, such as the Hwang scandal in South Korea, the Obokata scandal in Japan, and the growing number of retracted papers written by Chinese scientists have led to a new interest in research misconduct in East Asia. Since research misconduct is by no means rare in the history of science, some observers may view them merely as indicative of increased research activity in this region. From this perspective, research misconduct tends to result in blaming and punishing individual scientists. However, if we subscribe to the precept of STS that scientists’ behavior is embedded in their social and cultural contexts, we may use research misconduct to apprehend the distinctive social and cultural contexts of scientific practices. In other words, the investigation of research misconduct in East Asia is a valuable opportunity for the STS community to discuss the social and cultural environment that shapes research practices in this region. Drawing on three cases of research misconduct in Japan, South Korea, and China, this special issue highlights the social and cultural environments surrounding each case rather than the scientific misconduct itself.

Local biologicals are a promising way of capturing the influence of social and cultural environments of a specific location on scientific practices. Sarah Franklin has explained stem cell science as a global biological enterprise interwoven with local biologicals. She described a local biological as practices in stem cell science that reflect “specific national and economic priorities, moral and civic values, and technoscientific institutional cultures” (Franklin 2005, 61).

Using the concept of local and global biologicals, Koichi Mikami’s article in this issue highlights the importance of social and institutional culture to understand a case of research misconduct. She addresses the stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cell scandal, often called the Obokata scandal, in Japan where Haruko Obokata and her colleagues at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) published two papers in Nature on a new method to reprogram differentiated somatic cells to be pluripotent, or capable of becoming any type of cell in the body, but soon these papers were retracted. Mikami focuses on how Japan’s socioinstitutional culture influences the reactions of society to Obokata’s claim of the existence of STAP cells, instead of her individual misbehavior. She notes the influence of Shinya Yamanaka’s success on stem cell science in Japan. Obokata’s work attracted media attention in Japan partly because it claimed to extend Yamanaka’s work on iPS cells. As a Nobel Prize winner, Yamanaka was a young hero in Japan and brought high expectations for stem cell research not only in the stem cell research community but also in the Japanese government and the public. According to Mikami, the initial enthusiasm for Obokata and her colleagues’ successful experiment on STAP cells reflected the high expectation for stem cell research in Japan since Yamanaka’s success in 2007, which constitutes a local biological.

Bak, HJ. (2018) Research Misconduct in East Asia’s Research Environments. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 12 (2): 117-122.
Publisher (Open Access):

Publish and Perish: The Dangers of Being Young and in a Hurry (Papers: James S. Huntley | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 5, 2019


Publications in peer-reviewed journals are a key and official requirement for progression to a consultant surgeon post. Paradoxically, a stipulation that should enhance the importance of surgical research may, in fact, contribute to a pressure that is one of the causes of research misconduct. Consultant trainers can go some way to mitigating against this danger with appropriate teaching and an emphasis on the core values surrounding research ethics.

Huntley J S (February 19, 2019) Publish and Perish: The Dangers of Being Young and in a Hurry. Cureus 11(2): e4098. doi:10.7759/cureus.4098
Publisher (Editorial):

This paper about early career researchers in the surgical field make points that hold true across most (sub)disciplines. It points to the importance of having collegiate Research Integrity Advisers, mentors and resources that support practice (rather than just state the rules).  AHRECS would be delighted to assist your institution with that –  We’ve included links to 19 great tips for early career researchers and institutions.

The impact on authors and editors of introducing Data Availability Statements at Nature journals ( Papers: Rebecca Grant & Iain Hrynaszkiewicz | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on April 4, 2019


This article describes the adoption of a standard policy for the inclusion of data availability statements in all research articles published at the Nature family of journals, and the subsequent research which assessed the impacts that these policies had on authors, editors, and the availability of datasets. The key findings of this research project include the determination of average and median times required to add a data availability statement to an article; and a correlation between the way researchers make their data available, and the time required to add a data availability statement.

Grant, R. & Hrynaszkiewicz, I. (2018)  The impact on authors and editors of introducing Data Availability Statements at Nature journals. International Journal of Digital Curation. 13(1) DOI: