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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

“Our current approaches are not working:” Time to make misconduct investigation reports public, says integrity expert – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 9, 2019
 

With the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) underway in Hong Kong, C.K. Gunsalus, who has served as a research integrity officer, expert witness in scientific integrity cases, and consultant, argues in Nature this week that universities should “Make reports of research misconduct public.” We asked her a few questions about why she has changed her mind about this issue.

Retraction Watch (RW): We have of course been campaigning for universities to release investigation reports for some time, and have published a number of them following public records requests and reviews of court documents. What led you to this call to make them public?

C.K. Gunsalus (CKG): I argued the opposite position for many years, decades, even. What led me to this call is that our current approaches are not working: not for credibility of investigations, not for reinforcing research integrity, not for protecting the integrity of the research community.

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Reviewer-coerced citation: Case report, update on journal policy, and suggestions for future prevention (Papers: Jonathan D Wren, et al | January 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 8, 2019
 

A case was recently brought to the journal’s attention regarding a reviewer who had requested a large number of citations to their own papers as part of their review. After investigation of their most recent reviews, we found that in every review this reviewer requested an average of 35 citations be added, ∼90% of which were to their own papers and the remainder to papers that both cited them extensively and mentioned them by name in the title. The reviewer’s phrasing strongly suggested that inclusion of these citations would influence their recommendation to the editor to accept or reject the paper. The reviewer was unable to provide a satisfactory justification for these requests and Bioinformatics has therefore banned them as a reviewer. Our investigation also suggests that the reviewer has behaved similarly in reviewing for other journals. This case has alerted us to how the peer-review system is vulnerable to unethical behavior, and prompted us to clarify the journal’s policy on when it is appropriate for reviewers to request citations to their own work, and to suggest how some of the current weak points in the peer-review system can be mitigated, so that this behavior can be detected more quickly and efficiently.

Wren, J.D., Valencia, A. & Kelso, J. Reviewer-coerced citation: case report, update on journal policy and suggestions for future prevention, Bioinformatics, , btz071, https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btz071
Publisher (Open Access): https://academic.oup.com/bioinformatics/advance-article/doi/10.1093/bioinformatics/btz071/5304360

(US) ‘Banished’ blood, stool samples from San Diego veterans used in research article, despite federal probe – ienewsource (Brad Racino & Jill Castellano | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 6, 2019
 

Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published this month in an academic research journal.

The specimens were not supposed to be used, according to the project’s lead researcher, because they were part of a study that unethically collected biological samples from living subjects without their consent, which investigators called “serious noncompliance.”

When people volunteer to be human research subjects, they accept potential health risks in order to contribute to a growing bank of scientific and medical knowledge.

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Chem journal yanks paper because authors had stolen it as peer reviewers – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 5, 2019
 

The UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry has retracted a 2017 paper in one of its journals after learning that the authors stole the article from other researchers during peer review.

The offending article, “Typical and interstratified arrangements in Zn/Al layered double hydroxides: an experimental and theoretical approach,” appeared in CrystalEngComm, and was written by Priyadarshi Roy Chowdhury and Krishna G. Bhattacharyya, of Gauhati University in Jalukbari.

Well, that’s not really true, is it? The retraction notice lays out the transgression in detail:

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