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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Friday afternoon’s funny – What do they really mean?0

Posted by Admin in on July 24, 2020

Cartoon by Don Mayne
Full-size image for printing (right mouse click and save file)

If you’re sniggering while remembering a real project you aren’t alone.

Extending credit – Chemistry World (Emma Pewsey | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 23, 2020

Why more technicians deserve to be on author lists

Imagine how you’d feel if you worked hard on something, and then didn’t get any credit for it. Or worse, someone else gets the credit. Perhaps the lack of recognition only briefly annoys you. But what if it actually causes you to miss out on career opportunities? And when people look back in 50 years’ time, maybe they’ll think people like you didn’t exist – as though all your work occurred without any human intervention. You’ve been erased from history.

Research projects are often only possible because of the involvement of technicians, statisticians, cultural advisers or consumers/community members, but they often are not acknowledged in the research outputs.  But they should be.  We have included links to 11 related items.

In science, getting credit in a research project is often a matter of making it on to the author list of the related publications. This list is supposed to represent all the people who made significant contributions to a study. Yet the history of science is haunted by the ghosts of unacknowledged individuals who helped to produce key scientific breakthroughs.

Arguably, a list of names at the top of an article doesn’t go far enough to recognise individual contributions. While the exact order of names in this list is often delicately negotiated based on perceived importance, it tells the reader little or nothing about what each person actually did.

Fortunately, more journals now allow (or require) author contribution statements to accompany the list of names. Many publications recommend using the contributor roles taxonomy, or Credit: a list of 14 roles that covers pretty much every kind of useful work you can do on a research project, including conceptualisation, providing resources, analysis and data curation.

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Exploring Critical Issues in the Ethical Involvement of Children with Disabilities in Evidence Generation and Use – UNICEF Office of Research (Stephen Thompson, et al | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 22, 2020

This research brief details the main ethical challenges and corresponding mitigation strategies identified in the literature with regard to the ethical involvement of children with disabilities in evidence generation activities. Evidence generation activities are defined as per the UNICEF Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis (2015), as research, evaluation, data collection and analysis.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 12) states that children have the right to form and express views freely in all matters affecting them and that the views of the child must be given due weight in accordance with her/his age and maturity. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (art. 7) states that children with disabilities must enjoy human rights and freedoms on an equal basis with other children, and that they have a right to express their views freely and should be provided with assistance where necessary to realize that right. The two conventions in general, and these two articles specifically, frame this research brief, which aims to encourage practitioners to explicitly consider ethical ways to involve children with disabilities in evidence generation.

The findings detailed in this summary brief are based on a rapid review of 57 relevant papers identified through an online search using a systematic approach and consultation with experts. There was a paucity of evidence focusing specifically on the ethical challenges of involving children with disabilities in evidence generation activities. The evidence that did exist in this area was found to focus disproportionately on high-income countries, with low- and middle-income countries markedly under-represented.

Thompson, S., Cannon, M., & Wickenden, M. (2020) Exploring Critical Issues in the Ethical Involvement of Children with Disabilities in Evidence Generation and Use. Innocenti Research Briefs no. 2020-15, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence

Guest article: Self-plagiarism in philosophy – COPE (M. V. Dougherty | July 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on July 20, 2020

A quip heard in the hallways of some philosophy departments goes like this: when someone publishes a new book, a colleague says, “Congratulations! So, what are you calling it this time around?” With every witticism, there is some level of truth; my professional discipline of philosophy has been somewhat sluggish in addressing the problem of self-plagiarism.

A thoughtful reflection on self-plagiarism/text recycling in philosophy.  We have included links to 14 related items.

The term self-plagiarism is a contested one, but it generally refers to cases where an author publishes an article a second time without disclosing the first (redundant or duplicate publication) or to cases where there is an excessive undisclosed re-use of some portion of one’s previously-published work (text recycling). Despite differing outlooks about what constitutes inappropriate textual reuse across fields, there is general agreement that in its more extreme forms, self-plagiarism generates three major problems. Each of these problems creates inefficiencies in both the production of knowledge and its transmission.”

First, self-plagiarism generates an illusion of research productivity, creating unfair advantages for self-plagiarists during competitive evaluations for grants, promotions, job offers, raises, and other perks, such as invited lectureships and conference plenary addresses. When publications are the coin of the realm, counterfeiters can profit at the expense of authentic researchers.

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