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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) NIH apologizes for its failure to address sexual harassment in science – STAT (Lev Facher | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 29, 2019

Recognising you have made a mistake and apologising for it are obviously essential steps, but that isn’t all that is required when you’re talking about systemic sexual harassment. And in Australia we have…

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health on Thursday apologized for its past failures to recognize and address the culture of sexual harassment that has impacted scientists for generations.

“To all those who have endured these experiences, we are sorry that it has taken so long to acknowledge and address the climate and culture that has caused such harm,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement.

Sexual harassment in science, Collins said, is “morally indefensible, it’s unacceptable, and it presents a major obstacle that is keeping women from achieving their rightful place in science.”

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Sexual harassment rife in Australian science, suggests first workplace survey – Science (February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 26, 2019

One in two female respondents to a national poll has been sexually harassed at work.

Nearly half the female scientists who responded to an Australian survey on sexual misconduct at work have experienced sexual harassment. In a report released today, 10% of male scientists also said they had been sexually harassed at work.

As we have observed before (see the list of related stories/papers) this situation is sickening and unacceptable. Many Australia research institutions have separate HR processes for harassment and bullying – which is acceptable if they are supportive of the concern raised with them. But harassment and bullying needs also to be defined as research misconduct. The accomplishments of researchers shouldn’t be lauded if they are harassers or bullies.

The poll represents the first investigation into the prevalence of sexual harassment among Australian scientists and technologists working in industry, the public sector or non-profit organizations, as well as academia. Almost 300 science professionals answered the questions in an online poll conducted by Science & Technology Australia (STA), an organization based in Canberra that lobbies for the interests of scientists.

Previous surveys of students in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have found widespread harassment at universities. The latest results show that harassment is rife across all types of scientific workplace.

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(Australia Queensland case) Universal Medicine research conducted by devotees won’t be pulled by Queensland uni – ABC (Josh Robertson | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2019

A top Australian university has stood by studies into the health benefits of a group that a jury found was a “dangerous cult” making false healing claims, despite its own medical researchers failing to disclose they were devotees.

The investigation finding, as reported by the ABC, isn’t the most bewildering/troubling element of this case – but it’s pretty close.

A 10-month investigation by the University of Queensland (UQ) has cleared the researchers of academic misconduct despite finding they did not fully detail their involvement with Universal Medicine (UM).

The studies were published in overseas journals and explored the benefits of UM treatments including “esoteric breast massage” and proposed clinical studies in Vietnamese hospitals that would be forbidden in Australia.

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A decade of empirical research on research integrity: what have we (not) looked at? (Papers: Noémie Aubert Bonn & Wim Pinxten | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on March 20, 2019

In the past decades, increasing visibility of research misconduct scandals created momentum for discourses on research integrity to such an extent that the topic became a field of research itself. Yet, a comprehensive overview of research in the field is still missing. Here we describe methods, trends, publishing patterns, and impact of a decade of research on research integrity.

To give a comprehensive overview of research on research integrity, we first systematically searched SCOPUS, Web of Science, and PubMed for relevant articles published in English between 2005 and 2015. We then classified each relevant article according to its topic, several methodological characteristics, its general focus and findings, and its citation impact.

We included 986 articles in our analysis. We found that the body of literature on research integrity is growing in importance, and that the field is still largely dominated by non-empirical publications. Within the bulk of empirical records (N=342), researchers and students are most often studied, but other actors and the social context in which they interact, seem to be overlooked. The few empirical articles that examined determinants of misconduct found that problems from the research system (e.g., pressure, competition) were most likely to cause inadequate research practices. Paradoxically, the majority of empirical articles proposing approaches to foster integrity focused on techniques to build researchers’ awareness and compliance rather than techniques to change the research system.

Our review highlights the areas, methods, and actors favoured in research on research integrity, and reveals a few blindspots. Involving non-researchers and reconnecting what is known to the approaches investigated may be the first step to generate executable knowledge that will allow us to increase the success of future approaches.

Bonn, N.A. & Pinxten, W. (2019) A decade of empirical research on research integrity: what have we (not) looked at? bioRxiv. 567263; doi:
Publisher (Open Access):