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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) Highly cited researcher banned from journal board for citation abuse – Nature (Richard Van Noorden | February 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on April 19, 2020

Investigation finds that biophysicist Kuo-Chen Chou repeatedly suggested dozens of citations be added to papers

A US-based biophysicist who is one of the world’s most highly cited researchers has been removed from the editorial board of one journal and barred as a reviewer for another, after repeatedly manipulating the peer-review process to amass citations to his own work.

On 29 January, three editors at the Journal of Theoretical Biology (JTB) announced in an editorial that the journal had investigated and barred an unnamed editor from the board for “scientific misconduct of the highest order”.

The journal’s publisher, Elsevier, confirmed to Nature that the barred editor is Kuo-Chen Chou, who founded and runs an organization that he calls the Gordon Life Science Institute, in Boston, Massachusetts. According to the editorial, Chou asked authors of dozens of papers he was editing to cite a long list of his publications — sometimes more than 50 — and suggested that they change the titles of their papers to mention an algorithm he had developed.

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(Australia) Mums and dads ‘bigger problem’ than essay mills – Times Higher Education (John Ross | November 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 18, 2020

Prominence of gratis services causes ‘uneasiness’ among researchers, as Australia eyes law against contract cheating

After Australia’s higher education regulator declared it would not pursue innocent parents over contract cheating allegations, a conference heard that parents were the biggest problem.

Academic integrity expert Cath Ellis said friends and family comprised the largest category of academic cheating service provision. They were followed by custom writing sites; “legitimate learning sites” such as  le-sharing websites; “legitimate non-learning sites” such as eBay, Facebook and odd jobs market Airtasker; and paid exam takers.

“That’s the size order of the problem, based on my own research,” Dr Ellis told the conference of Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, adding that unpaid cheating services had just as serious consequences as commercial ones. “Payment isn’t an issue when we’re talking about contract cheating.”

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(US) Female scientists allege discrimination, neglect of research on women at NIH’s child health institute – Science (Meredith Wadman | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on April 17, 2020

In November 2014, nine senior female scientists at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) requested a meeting with their director. Their concern: that the careers of women at the institute’s Division of Intramural Research (DIR) were being stymied by its powerful scientific director, Constantine Stratakis. They complained that the number of tenured and tenure-track female scientists in the then–$177 million division was at a historic low, and they said women were starkly lacking among its leaders. They wanted more women recruited and better retention of female talent.

After the meeting, then-NICHD Director Alan Guttmacher wrote in an email forwarded to the women: “There is wide agreement that we have a serious problem.” He added that he looked forward to “action … which actually makes a difference.”

But today, fewer female scientists run labs in DIR than in 2014, when one in four lab leaders was a woman. In 2011, the year Stratakis became permanent scientific director, 27% of DIR labs were run by women, compared with 23% today. At leading children’s research hospitals canvassed by Science, comparable percentages range from 30% to 47% (see table).

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(UK) Funding warning in new UK research integrity concordat – Times Higher Education (Jack Grove | October 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 17, 2020

Tough sanctions on institutions that ignore research integrity rules in new concordat backed by Universities UK and research funders

UK universities risk being barred from accessing public research funding if they do not have structures in place to guard against research misconduct.

Under a revised concordat ( to support research integrity, published on 25 October and signed by UK Research and Innovation – which distributes more than £7 billion annually, mainly through its seven research councils and Research England – funders of research have agreed to “only provide funding to organisations that can demonstrate that appropriate structures are in place to ensure research integrity in their research activities”.

The concordat, which replaces a 2012 agreement ( on research integrity, has also been signed by the Wellcome Trust, which spends almost £1 billion a year on research, the National Institute for Health Research and other regional research funding bodies, as well as Universities UK.

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