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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Diversity in the Open Access – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | January 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on April 7, 2017
 

This past October, I was invited to give a talk at a university as part of its library’s Open Access Week programming. During the course of my presentation, I mentioned the fact that within the community of people who consider themselves supporters and advocates of OA, there is significant disagreement about the definition of OA — and also about what the ultimate goals of the movement should be, however OA itself may be defined. After my presentation there was a panel discussion, which opened with one of the panelists taking strong exception to a number of things I had said, but particularly to my assertion that there is a meaningful diversity of goals and definitions in the OA movement. “Look,” he said, “everyone in the OA movement wants all scholarship to be freely available. We all agree on that.”

The problem, of course, is that this simply isn’t true. Not only is there wide disagreement as to what “freely available” really means, but not everyone in the OA movement even agrees that all scholarship must be freely available, or how quickly it should be made freely available, or what mechanisms are appropriate for making it that way. Since the fact of this ideological diversity doesn’t seem to be self-evident, I thought it might be helpful to lay out some of the evidence for it here, and then briefly raise some of the important questions and issues it suggests.

(By the way, attentive readers may be getting the nagging sense that this particular issue has been discussed earlier here in the Kitchen. It was, by me, just over two years ago. At that time I suggested that there was a “hardening consensus” in the OA movement regarding the definition of “true” OA. In 2014 I believed that. Today I’m not so sure, for the reasons I’ll now lay out.)

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Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Health Research (Books: WHO | 2009)0

Posted by Admin in on April 4, 2017
 

This publication is the outcome of a project of the Secretariat of the Research Ethics Review Committee of the World Health Organization in partnership with the University of Geneva, and with the support of the Réseau universitaire international de Genève/Geneva International Academic Network (RUIG/GIAN).

This casebook collects 64 case studies, each of which raises an important and difficult ethical issue connected with planning, reviewing, or conducting health-related research. The book’s purpose is to contribute to thoughtful analysis of these issues by researchers and members of research ethics committees (RECs, known in some places as ethical review committees or institutional review boards), particularly those involved with studies that are conducted or sponsored internationally.

This collection is envisioned principally as a tool to aid educational programmes, from short workshops on research ethics to in-service learning for scientists and REC members, to formal degree or certificate courses. In such settings, instructors will typically select a number of case studies that will be distributed to the participants to provoke and focus discussion. (To assist those using these case studies in their classrooms and workshops, a teaching guide has been included.) Individuals who want to stimulate their own thinking about research ethics or to become more familiar with a range of real-world dilemmas in international health research, especially in developing countries, may also benefit from perusing this book, either on topics of special interest to them or as a whole

WHO (2009). Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Research.
Free download: http://www.who.int/rpc/publications/ethics_casebook/en/

The false academy: predatory publishing in science and bioethics (Papers: Stefan Eriksson & Gert Helgesson | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on April 4, 2017
 

Abstract
This paper describes and discusses the phenomenon ‘predatory publishing’, in relation to both academic journals and books, and suggests a list of characteristics by which to identify predatory journals. It also raises the question whether traditional publishing houses have accompanied rogue publishers upon this path. It is noted that bioethics as a discipline does not stand unaffected by this trend. Towards the end of the paper it is discussed what can and should be done to eliminate or reduce the effects of this development. The paper concludes that predatory publishing is a growing phenomenon that has the potential to greatly affect both bioethics and science at large. Publishing papers and books for profit, without any genuine concern for content, but with the pretence of applying authentic academic procedures of critical scrutiny, brings about a worrying erosion of trust in scientific publishing.

Keywords
Predatory publishing, Publication ethics, Peer review, Bioethics

Eriksson S & Helgesson G. (2016) The false academy: predatory publishing in science and bioethics. Medicine Health Care and Philosophy. doi:10.1007/s11019-016-9740-3
Publisher (Open access): http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11019-016-9740-3

Transparent Reporting of Demographic Characteristics of Study Participants – JAMA Network (June K. Robinson, et al | March 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on April 2, 2017
 

By 2060, the US Census Bureau projections indicate that the United States will no longer have a single majority population; rather, the nation will be composed of a “plurality” of races and ethnic groups.1 In the early 1990s, congressional legislation set forth guidelines to include women and encourage the inclusion of members of racial and ethnic minority groups in federally sponsored human participant research.2,3 While substantial gains have been made regarding the participation of women in clinical research, the number of minorities appears to be lagging. Compliance with congressional mandates as well as valid analysis of differences between sexes or races/ethnicities requires an accurate system of inclusion data tracking.

Investigators trying to comply with these requirements have found that collecting data on racial/ethnic characteristics was confounded by variations in language, definitions of race/ethnicity, and ever-changing reporting requirements. The result has been multiple variations in acceptable standards for collection of race/ethnicity data since implementation of the requirements, which initially divided the population into only 4 categories: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, black, and white.4 The current revision by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality is based on a 2-question survey that begins by asking about Hispanic/Latino ethnicity and then about race, which is now divided into 6 categories (Table).5 Clearly, race/ethnicity standards are continuously evolving as deficiencies in our data collection methods are documented and new groups are recognized, for example those who identify as multiracial

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