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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Legal threats, opacity, and deceptive research practices: A look at more than 100 retractions in business and management – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 11, 2019
 

What can studying retractions in business and management journals tell us? Earlier this year, Dennis Tourish, of the University of Sussex, and Russell Craig, of the University of Portsmouth, both in the UK, published a paper in the Journal of Management Inquiry that analyzed 131 such retractions. The duo — who were also two of three authors of a recent paper on retractions in economics— also interviewed three journal editors involved in retractions, two co-authors of retracted papers who were not responsible for the fraud, and one researcher found to have committed fraud. We asked Tourish, the author of an upcoming book on “fraud, deception and meaningless research” in management studies, some questions about the study by email.
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A useful paper and Retraction Watch interview about retractions in business and management journals.

Retraction Watch (RW): You found a “large proportion of retractions in high-quality journals.” Would you say that is consistent with findings in other fields?

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Dennis Tourish (DT): Yes, it is consistent with some research we have done into retractions in economics and psychology. We know that similar patterns have been reported in studies of retractions in the life sciences. There are two main possible explanations for this. Higher ranked journals may have more editorial resources and may be more diligent at identifying papers with problems. It is also possible that their high status makes them an attractive outlet for those who engage in fraud and poor practices generally. Academics are under more pressure than ever to publish in such journals. It would not be surprising that many academics are tempted to take unethical shortcuts.
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It’s time to end the code of silence at universities – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 8, 2019
 

While the events and parties in the described case are based in the US, the described attitudes are not only a problem in the States.

Yesterday, Cornell University told a group of researchers who had petitioned them to release a report of their investigation into alleged misconduct by Brian Wansink, a food marketing researcher who recently resigned his post there, that they would not release that report. As BuzzFeed reports, the university is now conducting a “Phase II” investigation into Wansink’s work. (It’s unclear what a “Phase II” investigation refers to; we’ve asked the university to clarify.)
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Unfortunately, Cornell’s lack of transparency about the case puts them in the majority. Here’s a piece by our two co-founders, Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, about why this veil of secrecy needs to be lifted.
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For more than a decade, Cornell University’s Brian Wansink was a king in the world of nutrition. He published his findings — on everything from why small plates make us eat less to the behavior of obese people at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets — in top-tier journals and garnered media coverage in prestigious newspapers. His work even formed the basis of U.S. dietary guidelines.
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A colleague included plagiarized material in your grant proposal. Are you liable? – Retraction Watch (Richard Goldstein | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 29, 2019
 

Last month, a judge recommended that a former University of Kansas Medical Center professor be banned from Federal U.S. funding for two years. The ban came after an investigation showed that the researcher, Rakesh Srivastava, had submitted a grant application that was heavily plagiarized from someone else’s. But there’s far more to the case, as Richard Goldstein –who represented the scientist in Bois v. HHS, the first case to overturn a funding ban by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and who has written about another case for us — argues in this guest post. 

Picture this scenario: You submit an NIH grant proposal.  Unbeknownst to you, it contains material plagiarized from another scientist.  Are you liable for research misconduct?

“The answer is clearly yes.”  That’s according to a recent decision by Administrative Law Judge Keith Sickendick, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a case involving a former University of Kansas Medical Center professor.

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Single-molecule magnet controversy highlights transparency problems with U.K. research integrity system – C&EN (Mark Peplow | November 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 26, 2019
 

Universities’ reluctance to reveal details of such cases could undermine public trust in research, experts say

For Conrad A. P. Goodwin, June 6, 2017, was a pretty harrowing day. The organometallic chemist, then at the University of Manchester, had just finished his Ph.D. on a high. Earlier that year he had synthesized an organometallic complex called dysprosocenium that could be switched from one stable magnetic state to another. Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) like this might eventually be used in extremely-high-density memory devices, but researchers had previously been able to make SMMs that only operated at ultracold temperatures. Crucially, Goodwin’s molecule could retain its designated magnetic state at up to 60 K—the highest temperature yet for any SMM. By the end of May, Nature had accepted a paper about the work from Goodwin and his colleagues, subject to revisions.

Then, on that fateful June day—months before Goodwin’s report actually published—a paper appeared in Angewandte Chemie describing exactly the same molecule, made in exactly the same way. Goodwin and his colleagues had been scooped. To make matters worse, the team behind the Angewandte paper was led by Richard A. Layfield, a professor whose office was just down the hall from Goodwin’s supervisor, David P. Mills.

“We’d put so much work into it,” recalls Goodwin, who now works at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “The synthetic methodology was brand new, so we thought we were on to something cool. Then, suddenly, the novelty was gone.”

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