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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Does your work need IRB approval? Better check, says author of retracted paper – Retraction Watch (Shannon Palus: September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 4, 2016

This unfortunate case is the latest ‘good’ example of the interface between human research ethics and research integrity; where a failure to obtain ethical clearance can result in the forcible retraction of a paper (and quite possibly research misconduct proceedings). As noted previously such a forced retraction can have serious and very long-lasting impacts on the careers of ALL members of a research team.

Does an article that discusses anonymized student projects about how to catalog data count as research on human subjects?
One of the students included in the paper thought so, and complained to the journal after learning that it had published the case study of the program without the approval required for studying people. The authors admitted they didn’t get consent from participants, because they didn’t realize the work required it. The mix-up has prompted both them and the journal to reconsider their policies regarding ethics approval of studies.
In the meantime, “A Project-Based Case Study of Data Science Education” has been retracted, with this notice:
“It has come to the attention of the Data Science Journal Editors that the authors of the paper “A Project-Based Case Study of Data Science Education” (Turek, Suen and Clark, 2016) did not seek the necessary approval for research involving human subjects prior to conducting their study. In addition, they failed to obtain consent from research participants before publication. The article has therefore been retracted. In the interests of protecting the identity of the research participants, we have also withdrawn the contents of the article from the published record.
Data Science Journal requires that all research involving human subjects is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (or equivalent framework) and, if appropriate, has been approved by the local institutional research ethics committee.

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Review finds misconduct in events surrounding WHO fetal growth study – Science (Kai Kupferschmidt | October 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 30, 2016

For the first time in its 68-year history, the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that researchers are guilty of research misconduct. An independent review commissioned by WHO has found that “research ethics misconduct occurred” in a multimillion-dollar global study on fetal growth led by researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. WHO has referred the finding, which it did not explain in detail, to the U.K. General Medical Council (GMC), it announced Thursday.

It is unclear whether GMC has opened an investigation. The body is legally obliged to look at any concerns that are referred to it, a spokesperson told ScienceInsider, but she could not comment on the specific case.

The allegations—first reported by Science last month—date back to late 2006. Then, researchers at WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research in Geneva, Switzerland, were working on developing a study to determine global standards to assess whether a fetus is on a healthy growth trajectory. Oxford researchers José Villar and Stephen Kennedy participated as external experts. In 2007, Kennedy signed a contract for Villar to develop a key protocol for the study. But in March 2008, the two Oxford researchers secured a $29 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a similar study. Members of the WHO group say that the Oxford duo used ideas developed in the WHO project in their competing grant proposal; some accuse them of deliberately delaying their WHO work while they were courting the Gates Foundation.

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(Australian QLD case) Parkinson’s researcher avoids jail following fraud conviction – Retraction Watch (Dalmeet Singh Chawla October 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on October 26, 2016

Parkinson’s researcher Caroline Barwood was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence today after being found guilty of fraud yesterday by a jury in Brisbane, Australia.

A jury had found Barwood guilty of five out of the seven charges against her.

Earlier this year, Bruce Murdoch, a former colleague of Barwood’s at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, pleaded guilty to 17-fraud-related charges, and earned himself the same sentence. In Barwood’s week-long trial, the court heard that she was previously in an intimate relationship with Murdoch. Both left the UQ in 2013.

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[Australian QLD case] Australian court finds Parkinson’s researcher guilty of fraud0

Posted by Admin in on October 24, 2016

A court in Brisbane, Australia, has found Parkinson’s researcher Caroline Barwood guilty of two charges of fraud and three counts of attempted fraud.

Barwood, 31, was formerly based at the University of Queensland (UQ). Released on bail in 2014, Barwood had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges. Yesterday, according to 9News, a jury found her guilty on the five counts, but not on two others.

She will be sentenced tomorrow.

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