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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(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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Nine pitfalls of research misconduct – Science (Aaron D. Robinson | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 28, 2018
 

Academic leaders must audit departments for flaws and strengths, then tailor practices to build good behaviour, say C. K. Gunsalus and Aaron D. Robinson.

One of us (C.K.G.) teaches leadership skills and works with troubled departments. At almost every session, someone will sidle up, curious about a case study: they want to know how what happened at their university came to be known externally. Of course, it didn’t.

A recommended read for research centre directors and anyone who facilitates research integrity professional development activities. The point being, there are small missteps that can lead to awful outcomes.

From what we’ve observed as a former university administrator and consultant (C.K.G.) and as a graduate student and working professional (A.D.R.), toxic research environments share a handful of operational flaws and cognitive biases. Researchers and institutional leaders must learn how these infiltrate their teams, and tailor solutions to keep them in check.
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People who enter research generally share several values. Honesty, openness and accountability come up again and again when C.K.G. asks researchers to list what makes a good scientist. The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that these values give rise to responsibilities that “make the system cohere and make scientific knowledge reliable”1. Yet every aspect of science, from the framing of a research question through to publication of the manuscript, is susceptible to influences that can counter good intentions.
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Disgraced surgeon is still publishing on stem cell therapies – Science (Matt Warren | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 19, 2018
 

Paolo Macchiarini, an Italian surgeon, has been fired from two institutions and faces the retraction of many of his papers after findings of scientific misconduct and ethical lapses in his research—yet this hasn’t prevented him from publishing again in a peer-reviewed journal. Despite his circumstances, Macchiarini appears as senior author on a paper published last month investigating the viability of artificial esophagi “seeded” with stem cells, work that appears strikingly similar to the plastic trachea transplants that ultimately left most of his patients dead. The journal’s editor says he was unaware of Macchiarini’s history before publishing the study.

“I’m really surprised,” says cardiothoracic surgeon Karl-Henrik Grinnemo, one of the whistle-blowers who exposed Macchiarini’s misconduct at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm. “I can’t understand how a serious editorial board can accept manuscripts from this guy.”

Macchiarini was once heralded as a pioneer of regenerative medicine because of his experimental transplants of artificial tracheas that supposedly developed into functional organs when seeded with a patient’s stem cells. But his career came crashing down after the Swedish documentary Experimenten showed the poor outcomes of his patients, all but one of whom have now died. (The lone survivor was able to have his implant removed.) Macchiarini was subsequently fired from KI, both the university and a national ethics board found him guilty of scientific misconduct in several papers, and Swedish authorities are now considering whether to reopen a criminal case against him.

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Publishers cannot afford to be coy about ethical breaches – THE (Adam Cox, et al | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on May 18, 2018
 

Reluctance to shame those who breach editorial ethics has dented confidence in research integrity, argue Adam Cox, Russell Craig and Dennis Tourish

There are rising concerns about the reliability of academic research, yet even when papers are retracted, the reasons are often left unexplained.

See the full paper here
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We have also included a list of ten other resource items about trust and confidence in research outputs.

We recently studied 734 peer-reviewed journals in economics and identified 55 papers retracted for reasons other than “accidental duplication” or “administrative error”. Of those, 28 gave no clear indication of whether any questionable research practice was involved. It appears likely that it was: the reasons given for retraction in the other 27 papers include fake peer review, plagiarism, flawed reasoning and multiple submission.
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For 23 of the 28 “no reason” retractions, it is not even clear who instigated them: the editor alone, the author alone, or both in concert.
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