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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Should researchers guilty of misconduct go to “rehab”? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook June 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 13, 2016

A report on the first few years of “researcher rehab” suggests that three days of intensive training have a lasting impact on participants.

Specifically, among participants – all of whom had been found guilty of at least one type of misconduct – the authors report that:

“A year later, follow-up surveys indicate that the vast majority have changed how they work.”

The authors claim this shows the program is worth the time and investment – a $500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, and a cost of $3,000 per participant for the three-day course. Do you agree? Tell us what you think in our poll at the end of the story…

Read the full discussion piece and have your say

Science academies blast US government’s planned research-ethics reforms – Nature (Sara Reardon June)0

Posted by Admin in on July 9, 2016

The US government’s proposed overhaul of regulations that govern research with human subjects is flawed and should be withdrawn, an independent advisory panel said today.

The regulations, which are known collectively as the ‘Common Rule’, address ethical issues such as informed consent and storage of study participants’ biological specimens. In its report on 29 June1, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said that the government’s proposed changes are “marred by omissions and a lack of clarity”, and would slow research while doing little to improve protections for patients enrolled in studies. Instead, the panel recommends that the government appoint an independent commission to craft new rules for such research.

The Common Rule, which was introduced in 1991, is based on the Belmont Report, a 1978 document that lays out principles for ethical research with humans, such as minimizing patient harm and maximizing the benefit of such research to society. Over time, achieving such goals has become more complex because of technological advances — such as the rise of DNA identification and shared databases, which can make it harder to maintain patient privacy…

Read the full story

Have 1 in 5 UK academics fabricated data? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook July 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on July 2, 2016

A small survey of UK academics suggests misconduct such as faking data and plagiarism is occurring surprisingly often.

The survey — of 215 UK academics — estimated that 1 in 7 had plagiarized from someone else’s work, and nearly 1 in 5 had fabricated data. Here’s how Joanna Williams and David Roberts at the University of Kent summarize the results in their full report, published by the Society for Research into Higher Education:

“-Using references to support predetermined arguments rather than illuminate debate was undertaken by 38.1% (± 5.1%) respondents. This was the most frequently reported incidence of malpractice.

-36.0% (± 7.6%) of respondents reported self-plagiarising. This is more than one in three researchers.

-17.9% (± 6.1%) of academics surveyed reported having fabricated (entirely invented) research data. This is almost 1 in 5 researchers.

-13.6% (± 7.5%) of respondents reported having engaged in plagiarism.”

Read the full story

Publishing needs more science, fewer stories: Q&A with founders of ScienceMatters – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook June 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on June 28, 2016

Retraction Watch interview: Ever wish you could just publish an exciting result, without having to wait for the entire string of data that follows in order to tell an entire story, which then gets held up for months by peer review at traditional journals? So do a lot of other researchers, who are working on ways to sidestep those barriers. One new project: ScienceMatters, a publishing platform where scientists can submit single, robust results for relatively quick peer review. We spoke with co-founders Lawrence Rajendran and Mirko Bischofberger about how this new next-generation journal platform works, and why it’s important.

Read the interview here…