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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Pay to play? Three new ways companies are subverting academic publishing – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 22, 2017
 

A research ethics company threatened to investigate all of an author’s papers if he or she didn’t donate thousands to support the company’s efforts!

Some recent communications from companies involved in academic publishing have some journal representatives worried. In one instance, a manuscript editing company offered to pay an editor to help its papers get published in his journal; in another, a research ethics company threatened to investigate all of an author’s papers if he or she didn’t donate thousands to support the company’s efforts. Bottom line: Research authors (and editors) should beware companies offering unethical manuscript editing and other publishing services. Below are examples (which we’ve verified) compiled by Chris Graf, Co-Vice Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and Society Partnership Director at Wiley; Richard Holt, editor-in-chief of Diabetic Medicine and researcher at the University of Southampton; Tamara Welschot, the Director of Research Integrity and Publishing Services at Springer Nature; and Matt Hodgkinson, Head of Research Integrity, Hindawi Limited.
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We share for the benefit of researchers (and journal editors and publishers) three new warnings cut from the same cloth as other recent peer review “scams.” These warnings appear to indicate that third parties continue to attempt to inappropriately influence peer review and journal publishing.
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Here are the details
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Everything You Need to Know About Conflicts of Interest (Part II) – Psychology Today (Sara Gorman and Jack M. Gorman | February 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 20, 2017
 

It’s not just about the money.

As we discussed in Part I of this three-part series on conflicts of interest, it’s not exactly a surprise that money can be a powerful influence on scientists’ and physicians’ behavior. Scientists and physicians who take money from drug companies are prone to design studies in ways that favor the company’s products[1], to minimize adverse side effects the company’s medications cause, and to prescribe the company’s medications to their patients.[2] Organizations that formulate guidelines for the treatment of various illnesses often have financial relationships with companies that make products recommended in the guidelines.[3]

These facts have led to many policies that attempt to make financial relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and the biomedical world more transparent. Journals require disclosure statements by authors of potential conflicts of interest and laws like the federal Physicians Payment Sunshine Act of 2010 mandate that payments by medical product manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and made public on a website.

Other forms of financial incentives to scientists also frequently make the news. Recently, for example, the media revealed that scientists who concluded that fat rather than sugar is the most harmful part of our diet received money to support their research from the sugar industry. Similar alarms have been raised about the relationships between agricultural scientists who study the effects of pesticides and the safety of GMOs and the companies that make those products.

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Go to Part I of this series
This is Part II of this series
Go to Part III of this series*

* Part III doesn’t really discuss Conflicts of interest in research of any CoI so though we link to it here we’ve not included Part III in the Resource Library

Everything You Need to Know About Conflicts of Interest (Part I) – Psychology Today (Sara Gorman & Jack M. Gorman | January 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 18, 2017
 

Is transparency the only solution?

In September of 2016, a shocking expose in The New York Times revealed that everything we thought we knew about sugar, fat, and heart disease was wrong. And not only was it wrong, but the information we had been using to guide our decisions about what to eat and what to feed our kids had been manipulated in what can only be described as a conspiracy between scientists and the sugar industry.

Needless to say, people were outraged. As one reader of The New York Times article commented, “This was a conspiracy of scientific FRAUD. The sugar companies that did this should be sued for $BILLIONS for the health harm that they caused.” It wasn’t long before comparisons to the tobacco industry started: “Sugar is the new tobacco and has been for a while. The article is just the tip of the iceberg,” commented another NYT reader.

And then, in the midst of election season, came the conspiracy theories: “FYI.. Hillary very well funded by Big Sugar so you can bet nothing will happen as a result of these findings. With Hillary in the White House, we’ll all be eating cake anyway- It’s a win win for everyone!”

Read the rest of this discussion piece
This is Part I of this series
Go to Part II of this series
Go to Part III of this series*

* Part III doesn’t really discuss Conflicts of interest in research of any CoI so though we link to it here we’ve not included Part III in the Resource Library

2017 UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology POSTNOTE 544 January 2017 Integrity in Research0

Posted by Admin in on March 17, 2017
 

A  POSTnote that considers current approaches to promoting integrity in research.

Integrity in research refers to the behaviours and values that result in high quality, ethical and valuable research. This POSTnote considers current approaches to fostering an environment conducive to good research in the UK, and detecting and preventing practices that fall short of expected standards. It also examines the current mechanisms for supporting integrity in the UK, whether these are sufficient, or if another form of oversight, such as regulation, might be preferable.

Poor practice ranges from minor errors to serious misconduct. While deliberate fraud does occur, it is thought to be extremely rare. Questionable research practices are a more widespread concern, as they are thought to be more prevalent and have a greater impact on the research record.

There are concerns about how to maintain integrity in research, because of fears that the ‘publish or perish’ culture leads to poor or questionable research practices. While many mechanisms do exist for reducing poor practice, and these are thought to have a positive effect on reducing such behaviour, there remain concerns that the system is disjointed, lacks openness and transparency, and that the incentive structure is such that good practice is not recognised or rewarded. Strategies for tackling this therefore focused on reducing institutional pressures on researchers, through enhancing openness and transparency, improving oversight and training, and re-aligning incentives for researchers so that they are rewarded for engaging in rigorous and accurate research.

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