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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(Australia) ‘Bad science’: Australian studies found to be unreliable, compromised – Sydney Morning Herald (Liam Mannix | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 28, 2019
 

Hundreds of scientific research papers published by Australian scientists have been found to be unreliable or compromised, fuelling calls for a national science watchdog.

For the first time, a team of science writers behind Retraction Watch has put together a database of compromised scientific research in Australia.

Over the past two decades, 247 scientific research papers – some associated with the country’s most reputable universities – have been found to be compromised.

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Knowledge and motivations of researchers publishing in presumed predatory journals: a survey (Papers: Kelly D Cobey, et al | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 27, 2019
 

Abstract
Objectives
To develop effective interventions to prevent publishing in presumed predatory journals (ie, journals that display deceptive characteristics, markers or data that cannot be verified), it is helpful to understand the motivations and experiences of those who have published in these journals.

Design
An online survey delivered to two sets of corresponding authors containing demographic information, and questions about researchers’ perceptions of publishing in the presumed predatory journal, type of article processing fees paid and the quality of peer review received. The survey also asked six open-ended items about researchers’ motivations and experiences.

Participants
Using Beall’s lists, we identified two groups of individuals who had published empirical articles in biomedical journals that were presumed to be predatory.

Results
Eighty-two authors partially responded (~14% response rate (11.4%[44/386] from the initial sample, 19.3%[38/197] from second sample) to our survey. The top three countries represented were India (n=21, 25.9%), USA (n=17, 21.0%) and Ethiopia (n=5, 6.2%). Three participants (3.9%) thought the journal they published in was predatory at the time of article submission. The majority of participants first encountered the journal via an email invitation to submit an article (n=32, 41.0%), or through an online search to find a journal with relevant scope (n=22, 28.2%). Most participants indicated their study received peer review (n=65, 83.3%) and that this was helpful and substantive (n=51, 79.7%). More than a third (n=32, 45.1%) indicated they did not pay fees to publish.

Conclusions
This work provides some evidence to inform policy to prevent future research from being published in predatory journals. Our research suggests that common views about predatory journals (eg, no peer review) may not always be true, and that a grey zone between legitimate and presumed predatory journals exists. These results are based on self-reports and may be biased thus limiting their interpretation.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial

Cobey KD, Grudniewicz A, Lalu MM, et al Knowledge and motivations of researchers publishing in presumed predatory journals: a survey. BMJ Open 2019;9:e026516. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026516
Publisher (Open Access): https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/3/e026516

The Rise of Junk Science – The Walrus (Alex Gillis | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 23, 2019
 

Fake publications are corrupting the world of research—and influencing real news

In early 2017, Eduardo Franco, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, sent an email to his colleagues, warning them of a global “epidemic” of scams by academic journals that was corrupting research and, in effect, endangering the public. As head of the oncology department, where he oversees approximately 230 people, Franco promised to comb through every CV and annual evaluation in the department to flag any colleagues’ resumés that listed journals and conferences that weren’t reputable or, in some cases, even real. He didn’t spell out the consequences, but the implication was clear: the faculty members would be held accountable.

The AHRECS team have started to observe this worrying trend in our other roles.  It is essential research institutions direct researchers (via policy, guidance material and professional development strategies) away from junk science.  Funding bodies also need to play a key role in this regard.

A scholar for forty years, Franco has followed the rise of junk publishers for about a decade. He has seen them go from anomalous blights on academics’ credentials to widespread additions on scholarly resumés, nearly indistinguishable from legitimate work. Now, he says, “there’s never been a worse time to be a scientist.” Typically, when a scholar completes work they want to see published, they submit a paper to a reputable journal. If the paper is accepted, it undergoes a rigorous editing process—including peer review, in which experts in the field evaluate the work and provide feedback. Once the paper is published, it can be cited by others and inspire further research or media attention. The process can take years. Traditionally, five publishers have dominated this $25 billion industry: Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, Taylor & Francis, RELX Group (formerly Reed Elsevier), and Sage. But, before the turn of the century, a new model of online publishing, “open access,” began opening doors for countless academics—and for thousands of scams in the process.
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The new online model created an opportunity for profits: the more papers publishers accepted, the more money they generated from authors who paid to be included—$150 to $2,000 per paper, if not more, and often with the support of government grants. Researchers also saw substantial benefits: the more studies they posted, the more positions, promotions, job security, and grant money they received from universities and agencies. Junk publishers—companies that masquerade as real publishers but accept almost every submission and skip quality editing—elbowed their way in.
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Journal Publishes Concern About Study Using Forced Organ Donation – Medscape (Diana Swift | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 21, 2019
 

The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) recently issued an “Expression of Concern” regarding a 2008 article on renal allograft recipients written by Chinese researchers.

The Expression of Concern stems from an Australian report published online in February in BMJ Open, which urged the repudiation by English-language journals of more than 445 studies involving 85,477 organ transplants done in China. The reason? Many of the organs used were likely forcibly harvested from Chinese prisoners of conscience, such as practitioners of Falun Gong, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and underground Christians.

“We reached out for clarification of the organ source to the senior authors, but one was deceased and the other had left the institution where the research was done,” said CJASN Editor-in-Chief Rajnish Mehrotra, MD, MBBS, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles.

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