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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Does labeling bad behavior “scientific misconduct” help or hurt research integrity? A debate rages – Retraction Watch (Mark Zastrow | February 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 1, 2017

Is eliminating the concept of “misconduct” a sign of progress in the fight for research integrity, or a step backward?

That’s the debate playing out in Australia, where a proposal from national research bodies would make it the latest country to embrace a broader definition of ethical lapses in research, doing away with the term “misconduct.” Proponents argue the change will encourage more reporting of all types of bad behavior—not just the most extreme forms such as data fabrication, which are typically associated with the term “misconduct.” But critics argue the move could soften enforcement, as every institution applies its own definitions of misbehavior. (To tell us what you think, take our poll at the bottom of the story.)

The proposal comes in the form of a revised edition of Australia’s national research code of conduct.

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Study retraction reignites concern over China’s possible use of prisoner organs – Science (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | February 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 28, 2017

A journal has decided to retract a 2016 study because of concerns that its data on the safety of liver transplantation involved organs sourced from executed prisoners in China. The action, taken despite a denial by the study’s authors that such organs were used, comes after clinical ethicist Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues authored a letter to the editor of Liver International on 30 January, calling for the paper’s retraction in the “absence of credible evidence of ethical sourcing of organs.”

For years, Chinese officials have come under fire for allegedly allowing the use of organs from executed prisoners for transplants, including for foreigners coming to the country for so-called medical tourism. In January 2015, it explicitly banned the practice and set up a volunteer donation system, but doubts persist that much has changed.

The disputed study—published online in October 2016—analyzed 563 consecutive liver transplantations performed before the ban (from April 2010 to October 2014) at a medical center in China. Suspicious, Rogers organized the protest letter to the journal. “Publication of data from prisoners is ethically inappropriate given that it [is] not possible to ensure that the prisoners freely agreed either to donate their organs, or to be included [in] a research program,” she tells ScienceInsider.

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Scientist: NHL’s demand would harm all ongoing CTE research – TSN (Rick Westhead | February 21017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 26, 2017

Boston University scientists have been studying the brains of deceased National Hockey League players for the past eight years, searching for evidence that those players suffered from the dementia-like brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

The university’s researchers have canvassed former NHL players and their families, conducting confidential interviews with family members about the deteriorating health and eventual deaths of the players.

For the past two years the NHL has been waging a quiet battle with Boston University to obtain all of the notes and summaries of those interviews, as well as any correspondence the school’s scientists have had with NHL players, agents, and families of players.

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Research Integrity in China: Problems and Prospects (Papers: David Resnik and Weiqin Zeng | 20100

Posted by Admin in on February 25, 2017

In little more than 30 years, China has recovered from the intellectual stagnation brought about by the Cultural Revolution to become a global leader in science and technology. Like other leading countries in science and technology, China has encountered some ethical problems related to the conduct of research. China’s leaders have taken some steps to respond to these problems, such as developing ethics policies and establishing oversight committees. To keep moving forward, China needs to continue to take effective action to promote research integrity. Some of the challenges China faces include additional policy development, promoting education in responsible conduct of research, protecting whistle-blowers, and cultivating an ethical research environment.

Keywords: Research integrity, China, ethics, misconduct, fraud, plagiarism, policies, education

Resnik  D and Zeng W (2010) Research Integrity in China: Problems and Prospects. Developing World Bioethics. Dec; 10(3): 164–171. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-8847.2009.00263.x
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