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Censorship in a China Studies Journal – Inside Higher Ed (Elizabeth Redden | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 4, 2019
 

Scholars say they thought a journal was run on Western standards of free expression, but they found Chinese government control instead.

Yet another account of censorship involving a China studies journal has come to light. And the scholars involved say this case involves an insidious “blurring of boundaries” where they were misled into thinking Western publishing standards would apply when in fact the journal in question was subject to Chinese government censorship.

Lorraine Wong and Jacob Edmond, both professors at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, have written an account of the censorship they encountered when they edited a planned special issue of the journal Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. The journal is published by the Netherlands-based publishing company Brill in association with the China-based Higher Education Press, an entity that describes itself on its website (in Chinese) as affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education. The journal’s editorial board lists scholars from major American and international universities — including Cornell University, Duke University, Harvard University, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Washington — and its editor in chief is based at New York University. The journal’s editorial office is located in Beijing.

Wong and Edmond wrote that the association with Brill, along with the involvement of leading scholars in the field on the editorial board, led them to mistakenly assume the publication standards would be akin to those of other journals in the field published in the U.S. What they found, however, was that the affiliation with the Higher Education Press and the location of the editorial office in Beijing means “the journal is subject to the full range of Chinese government censorship.”

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To move research from quantity to quality, go beyond good intentions – Nature ( Alan Finkel | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 3, 2019
 

Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel calls for formal action to bake in better research practices.

In 1969, I skipped school to watch the Moon landing from home. Fifty years later, I struggle to think of an event that would justify truancy today. It’s not for lack of stunning breakthroughs in research, but rather their frequency: if children neglected their work every time the television reported another scientific milestone that my generation scarcely dared to contemplate, they’d end up with no education at all.

Yet there is a growing rumble of concern about the rigour and reproducibility of published research. Problems of over-hyped analysis and puffed-up CVs are well recognized. Financial and career incentives keep researchers on a treadmill, churning out papers.

We cannot know how many of the 1.6 million or so papers now added every year to the Web of Science database are flawed as a consequence, but we can agree that our focus has to shift from quantity to quality if we are to safeguard against shoddy work.

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Fraud Ain’t The Game0

Posted by Admin in on May 1, 2019
 

Forget about morality. Wrong is wrong.

In a parallel universe, not unlike our own, a graduate student is working late. She is putting the finishing touches on a paper she hopes will be the cornerstone of her PhD, which — as much as it’s often reasonably soul-destroying — is progressively becoming more exciting. She works late to preserve this excitement. It gives her hope that maybe one day this rotten, unforgiving business will work out, that she will have a life of curiosity and progress. People doubt her. She does not doubt herself. Or, at least, not too often.

Even though at first glance this item might appear to be just a provocation, the commentary is actually insightful.

In another parallel universe, a tenured professor who is a complete bastard has finished kicking his neighbour’s garbage bins and yelling at the television for the evening, and slopes off to his study. It is working late nights like this, he grouses in a moment of self-pity, that caused his third wife to leave him (it actually wasn’t this, it’s because he’s a miserable wretch who would try the patience of St. Anthony and wipe the smile off the face of a golden retriever). He is a shiny brittle little man. He is a sneer in a cardigan, a tumble-dried faculty Grinch without the fetching skin tone. He is a martinet, a hypocrite, a bastard, and a ruiner.

Her latest study is a model of good scientific practice and prudence. She has tried to be careful, open, honest, forthright. The studies are correctly powered. The interventions are reasonable. The notes are careful. The data is freshly scrubbed and annotated, should anyone request it. She’s a model citizen. It’s important to her to BE a model citizen.

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Guidance for Researchers on the Implications of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 (Guidance: UCL | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on April 30, 2019
 

Introduction
This guidance note has been compiled to provide an overview of data protection key points for researchers, in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the new UK Data Protection Act 2018. When referring to both, this guidance note will use the term ‘new data protection legislation’.

This document was last updated on 24 May 2018. It may be updated further as relevant guidance on the issues raised is published by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

A. Scope
This guidance applies to researchers who are processing personal data, i.e. information relating to an identified or identifiable living person. Note that ‘processing’ means any operation – collecting, storing, using, transferring, disclosing or destroying – performed on personal data.

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