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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Why detailed retraction notices are important (according to economists) – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 4, 2018
 

When journals retract a paper but don’t explain why, what should readers think? Was the problem as simple as an administrative error by the publisher, or more concerning, like fraud? In a recent paper in Research Policy, economists led by Adam Cox at the University of Portsmouth, UK, analyzed 55 retractions from hundreds of economics journals, mostly issued between 2001 and 2016. (Does that number sound low? It should — a 2012 analysis of retractions in business and economics found they are a relatively rare occurrence.) In the new paper, Cox and his colleagues analyzed how many notices failed to provide detailed information, the potential costs of these information gaps, and what journals should do about it.

Retraction Watch: You used “rational crime theory” to analyze retraction notices and their consequence to offenders in economics. Could you explain briefly how rational crime theory works in this context?

Adam Cox: Rational crime theory is a framework for explaining why an individual may commit a crime. This involves an (implicit) cost-benefit analysis by (prospective) perpetrators of crime, or in our case, (prospective) perpetrators of research impropriety. If the benefits exceed the costs then a rational individual may be tempted to participate in the crime.

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India creates unique tiered system to punish plagiarism – Science (Pallava Bagla | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 2, 2018
 

NEW DELHI—The Indian government has adopted its first regulations on academic plagiarism—rules that some researchers say are too lenient and others fear go too far and will be difficult to implement.

We primarily included this item as much for the debate the proposal has engendered as anything else. We have included links to some other items on plagiarism.

The rules take a unique approach to a problem that Indian authorities say has become widespread. They declare that a small amount of plagiarism—10% of a thesis, article, book, research paper, or other document—is acceptable, but that more extensive copying will result in increasingly severe punishments. The rules were accepted last month by the University Grants Commission of India (UGC India), which oversees higher education, and are binding for all universities.
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The new policy creates four tiers for addressing plagiarism, which is defined by UGC India as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or idea and passing them as one’s own.” The first tier, for what it calls “similarities up to 10%,” would carry no penalty. The second tier, in which 10% to 40% of a document is plagiarized, would require students to submit a revised manuscript and force faculty members to withdraw the plagiarized paper. In cases where 40% to 60% of the document is plagiarized, a student would be suspended for a year and the faculty member would forfeit an annual pay raise and be prohibited from supervising students for 2 years. Students who plagiarize more than 60% of their thesis would be kicked out of the program, while the penalties for faculty members would be extended to a loss of 2 years of pay increases and a 3-year ban on supervising students.
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New tool looks for signs of image doctoring – Retraction Watch interview (Alison McCook | March 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 1, 2018
 

One of the most common reasons for retractions is image manipulation. When searching for evidence of it, researchers often rely on what their eyes tell them. But what if screening tools could help? Last week, researchers described a new automated tool to screen images for duplication (reported by Nature News); with help from publishing giant Elsevier, another group at Harvard Medical School is developing a different approach. We spoke with creators Mary Walsh, Chief Scientific Investigator in the Office for Professional Standards and Integrity, and Daniel Wainstock, Associate Director of Research Integrity, about how the tool works, and why — unlike the other recently described automated tool — they want to make theirs freely available.

Retraction Watch: What prompted you to develop this tool?

Mary Walsh and Daniel Wainstock: When reviewing concerns that two published images, representing the results of different experiments, might actually be the same, we typically assess whether the images are too similar to derive from different samples. The answer is often obvious to the naked eye, but not always, and we wanted to determine if it was possible to quantify the similarities.

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(Australia Queensland case) ‘Cult’ Universal medicine practices promoted by researchers, UQ launches investigation – ABC News (Josh Robertson | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 29, 2018
 

Researchers who promoted an alleged cult and showcased its bizarre healing claims in published studies have embroiled one of Australia’s top universities in an academic misconduct probe.

Looking for a recent conflict of interest case from Australia? It’s pretty hard to ignore this. We’ve included links to a few other items about conflicts of interest in research.

The University of Queensland (UQ) and two international medical journals are investigating alleged ethical violations in research around Universal Medicine (UM), an organisation based in Lismore in New South Wales, which touts the healing power of “esoteric breast massage” and other unproven treatments.
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Founded by Serge Benhayon — a former bankrupt tennis coach with no medical qualifications who claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci — UM is a multi-million-dollar enterprise with 700 mostly female followers in 15 countries.
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