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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(Egypt) Debate over misconduct stalls Egyptian clinical trials law – Sci Dev Net (Hazem Badr | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 11, 2018

[Cairo] Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has declined to sign the country’s clinical trials law into action, after objecting to parts that, he said, might violate the human body.

Despite the delays with the Egyptian new clinical trials law, with its legal penalties for failure to meet human research ethics and research integrity standards there are indications and commentary that suggest the delay reflects a political engagement many of us would like to see in our own countries.

According to researchers following the law’s creation, Sisi returned seven amendments to the law, which could delay its creation. For example, articles 28, 29 and 32 of the law have been amended to reduce the severity of proposed prison terms for misconduct, such as using human samples without informed consent.

But the scientists following the law’s creation are positive about the president’s response, saying that his amendments show he is engaging with the matter and keen to see the law signed into life. “The president’s comments address the complex equation of respecting the sacredness of the human body and, at the same time, endorsing scientific research,” said Mahmoud Sakr, the director of Egypt’s Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.

“The text [as it stands] contradicts our goal of motivating universities to pursue joint research and hinders the exploration of samples using advanced equipment that might not be available locally,”
……Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s president

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Predatory publishers: the journals that churn out fake science -The Guardian (Alex Hern and Pamela Duncan | August 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 10, 2018

A Guardian investigation, in collaboration with German broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, reveals the open-access publishers who accept any article submitted for a fee

A vast ecosystem of predatory publishers is churning out “fake science” for profit, an investigation by the Guardian in collaboration with German publishers NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin has found.

While we think the term questionable publishers is more accurate than predatory publishers, and this The Guardian piece doesn’t tell us anything new, it is a useful sumation of the situation and how we got here. It also aludes to the complexity that is often missed when we quickly classify a publisher. A challenge that could be put to all publishers is whether it’s reputable for them to profit from the labours of authors and peer reviewers without the publisher paying them for their work.

More than 175,000 scientific articles have been produced by five of the largest “predatory open-access publishers”, including India-based Omics publishing group and the Turkish World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, or Waset.

But the vast majority of those articles skip almost all of the traditional checks and balances of scientific publishing, from peer review to an editorial board. Instead, most journals run by those companies will publish anything submitted to them – provided the required fee is paid.

To demonstrate the lack of peer review, Svea Eckert, a researcher who worked with NDR on the investigation, successfully submitted an article created by the joke site SCIgen, which automatically generates gibberish computer science papers. The paper was accepted for discussion at a Waset conference, which Eckert attended and filmed for NDR.

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(Japan) When researchers from a particular country dominate retraction statistics, what does it mean? – Retraction Watch (Iekuni Ichikawa | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 8, 2018

The Retraction Watch Leaderboard of authors with the most retractions is a frequent source of comment and speculation. Why do only men appear on it? And what fields and countries are represented? Here, Iekuni Ichikawa, Project Professor at Shinshu University and Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, as well as a co-founder of the Association for the Promotion of Research Integrity (APRIN) in Japan, takes a look at a recent story that referenced our leaderboard — and what those figures really mean.

High retraction rates might not mean what we might assume and low etraction rates might not mean what we despately hope.  Thought provoking reflections from Jsapan.

The authors of Retraction Watch often take pains to point out that the relative rarity of retractions — despite dramatic increases in their rates — make studying them a challenge. But it is often difficult to resist seeking out truth in retraction numbers.

As a case in point, in August Science published an article by Kai Kupferschmidt about research misconduct in Japan that quoted data from the Retraction Watch Leaderboard, pointing that out that although “half of the top 10 are Japanese researchers…only about 5% of published research comes from Japan.”

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From punish to empower: A blame-free approach to research misconduct – Nature Index (Lex Bouter | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 31, 2018

Research institutions have a duty to foster integrity, and that includes monitoring.

The Netherlands has a new code of conduct, which outlines institutions’ duty of care to foster research integrity — a rare emphasis in such documents.

In many regions, including the United States and Scandinavia, codes of conduct have a legal basis. Serious breaches in research integrity are investigated by governmental committees, with an emphasis on sanctioning misconduct.

In contrast, the Netherlands’ position is that research institutions should empower scientists to maintain the principles and standards of responsible research practice. Researchers and their institutions are expected to learn from their mistakes, and improve the quality of science. Rather than policing scientists, the Dutch focus is on blame-free reporting and inviting researchers to discuss the dilemmas they experience.

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