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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) NIH set to strengthen its sexual-harassment policies – Nature (Sara Reardon | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 8, 2018

Agency plans to create central reporting system and launch training and education campaigns.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is remaking how it handles allegations of harassment by its employees. The agency will soon introduce a centralized system for reporting harassment by NIH scientists, director Francis Collins said on 17 September.

While this is a single agency in the US (albeit an important one) this an important move worth congratulating an emulating by local bodies.

“NIH recognizes that we need to increase our transparency on this issue,” Collins wrote in a statement to announce the launch of an anti-sexual-harassment website.

The agency is also planning to update its harassment policy and launch training and education campaigns to prevent harassment, he said. This winter, the NIH will survey its staff and contractors about the workplace climate at the agency and harassment issues. These policies will be published in the US government’s Federal Register “in a few days”, Collins said.

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Chinese military warns against forged data and plagiarism in science and technology research – South China Morning Post (Minnie Chan | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 1, 2018

Academics have been put on notice to maintain ‘integrity of scientific research’ as rampant misconduct puts lives at risk

China’s military top brass have released research integrity guidelines urging leaders in charge of the country’s defence-related science and technology research to avoid forgery, plagiarism and other wrongdoing.

While it is great to see the Chinese military take this stance, the reported problems in State-funded research are sobering.

The guidelines published on Friday are the first indication that China’s defence industry faces a forgery problem similar to that found in the academic community – including feigning scientific data, plagiarising subordinates’ study results, exaggerating study achievements and other misconduct.

The guidelines have been proposed by the Science and Technology Commission, a functional department directly under the powerful Central Military Commission headed by President Xi Jinping, which is in charge of China’s military defence technology research and development.

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Why do medical journals keep taking authors at their word? – STAT (Ivan Oransky | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 29, 2018

The recent revelation that a leading official at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center failed for years to disclose lucrative financial conflicts of interest might have been surprising in its scale. But it’s old news that many researchers aren’t fully transparent when it comes to their financial relationships with industry.

So why should we keep up the charade? And why, given the clarity of the problem, do medical journals continue to take authors at their word — only to wind up looking like dupes?

According to an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times, Dr. José Baselga — who was chief medical officer of the venerable cancer clinic until resigning Thursday — has what can charitably be described as an inconsistent personal policy on revealing companies that have given him cash or other potentially lucrative fillips. Baselga also has stayed mum about his conflicts of interest — which also involve research funding and seats on advisory boards — in many of his publications, including those in high-rent titles like the New England Journal of Medicine, and despite policies from the journals demanding that authors reveal such relationships.

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What if we could scan for image duplication the way we check for plagiarism? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 28, 2018

Paul Brookes is a biologist with a passion for sleuthing out fraud. Although he studies mitochondria at the University of Rochester, he also secretly ran a, a site for people to post their concerns about papers. Following legal threats, he revealed he was the author and shut the site in 2013 — but didn’t stop the fight. Recently, he’s co-authored a paper that’s slightly outside his day job: Partnering with computer scientist Daniel Acunaat Syracuse University and computational biologist Konrad Kording at the University of Pennsylvania, they developed a software to help detect duplicated images. If it works, it would provide a much needed service to the research community, which has been clamoring for some version of this for years. So how did this paper — also described by Nature News — come about?

Image manipulation is one of the more common reasons for forced retractions/research misconduct so such a tool would be welcome for institutions/publishers/peer reviewers.

Retraction Watch: Dr. Brookes, you study mitochondria. What brought you to co-author a paper about software to detect duplications?

Paul Brookes: I had authored a paper on the relationship between levels of internet publicity (blogs etc.) and actions taken against problematic papers in the biosciences – retractions, corrections, etc.  As such, I was sitting on a large database (500+ papers) with documented image problems. Konrad and Daniel approached me by email, to request this set of examples, to act as a training set for their machine learning algorithm.

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