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Research integrity is much more than misconduct – Nature (C. K. Gunsalus | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 20, 2019
 

All researchers should strive to improve the quality, relevance and reliability of their work.

Start a conversation about research integrity and many researchers will assume you’re talking about misconduct. Too often, they are wrong.

Research misconduct encompasses fraud, fabrication and plagiarism. It is essential to deal with such dishonesty thoroughly and fairly, but it’s patching up a tear after the damage is done. Research integrity includes such investigations, but it is much more. It is about creating systems that boost the quality, relevance and reliability of all research.

The distinction is clear at the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity, being held this week in Hong Kong. Yes, there are sessions on misconduct — but there are many more on improving science overall. The biggest impact on research integrity is achieved through sustained improvements in day-to-day research practices — better record-keeping, vetting experimental designs, techniques to reduce bias, rewards for rigorous work, and incentives for sharing data, code and protocols — rather than narrow efforts to find and punish a few bad actors. (Both are important, of course, and sometimes the same policies can address both problems.)

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Research Ethics Governance – An African Perspective (Chapter: Marelize I. Schoeman | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on June 2, 2019
 

Abstract
Governance structures in research are generally a retrospective response to unethical research practices. Similar to the international research landscape Africa has not been immune to human research abuses inclusive of unethical experimentation and clinical trials. An increase in research was noted in Africa this past decade in response to serious psychosocial and health-related challenges the continent faced. This increase in research has not necessarily brought about improvements in the governance and oversight of human research practices. In contrast, it increased the risk of exploitative research funded by resource-rich countries who conducted studies in Africa that would be difficult to conduct in countries with more established and strict research regulatory frameworks.

Even though the impact colonialism and the internationalisation of research had on ethics governance is recognised, African scholars is of the opinion that the debate about research ethics governance largely represents the opinions of scholars from Euro-western countries, with little contribution being made by African scholars. Against this background, the chapter presents an Afrocentric viewpoint of research ethics governance. In addition, Westernised and African research ethics practices and oversight structures were compared to identify challenges and guidelines. The research ethics governance landscape is to a large extent still an uncharted landscape creating the opportunity to develop a research ethics governance framework that acknowledges the unique humanistic morality and normative set of social rules and principles that guide the conduct of people in African societies. The chapter aims to make a significant contribution by stimulate critical discourse about the relevance of ethical principles and governance structures currently used in Africa.

Keywords
Research ethics governance, Research ethics committees, Biomedical research, Social science research 

Schoeman M.I. (2019) Research Ethics Governance – An African Perspective. In: Nortjé N., Visagie R., Wessels J. (eds) Social Science Research Ethics in Africa. Research Ethics Forum, vol 7. Springer, Cham
Publisher: https://www.springer.com/978-3-030-15401-1?wt_mc=ThirdParty.SpringerLink.3.EPR653.About_eBook

Recognizing Contributions and Giving Credit – EOS Editors’ Vox (Brooks Hanson and Susan Webb | August 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 6, 2018
 

AGU is working with other leading publishers to implement common standards for authorship and recognize and value specific contributions across cultures.

Problematic practices

Authorship standards in scholarly publishing can vary across disciplines. For example, in many biology papers, the last author is traditionally assumed to be the one that has organized and led the research project. In contrast, in the physical sciences, including the Earth and space sciences, the last author is considered to have contributed the least, unless the list is alphabetical. Readers are simply expected to know these distinctions.

Authorship practices are also evolving as research papers become more complex, bringing together multiple techniques and data sets, interdisciplinary approaches, international teams, and ever-longer lists of co-authors. Authors are expected to navigate the conventions and expectations of different disciplines.

Authorship issues are also at the core of many of the ethical and other difficult issues that publishers see. One problem is including honorary authors (Zen, 1988, p. 202). Another is ghost authors, who are often from industry partners or services and were involved in framing interpretations but are not recognized. This hides relevant information about influence or conflict of interest from readers. Finally, legitimate authors may be omitted because of perceived mores around funding and collaboration, or for other reasons.

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Hanson, B., and S. Webb (2018), Recognizing contributions and giving credit, Eos, 99, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EO104827. Published on 27 August 2018.

Constructive Voices: Panel discussion about institutional implementation of the Australian Code (2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 13, 2018
 

On 8th November, AHRECS hosted its first Constructive Voices panel. These panels aim to create an opportunity for open discussion about human research ethics and research integrity among researchers, policymakers, research managers, research ethics reviewers and other stakeholders.

The first panel featured:

  • Jillian Barr, Director of Ethics and Governance at NHMRC
  • Kandy White, Director, Research Ethics and Integrity, Macquarie Uni
  • Gary Allen, Senior Consultant, AHRECS

We had close to 40 participants at peak and would like to believe that the session nudged the debate and activity forward across a range of institutions. The PowerPoints, recording and links to relevant documents will be freely available on the AHRECS website for 90 days at https://ahrecs.com/post-panel-room

Below is a recording of the panel discussion. It will here for 90 and afterwards, the materials will be archived on the Patreon site for AHRECS subscribers.

OTHER MATERIAL MENTIONED

Register for the National Statement Constructive Voices discussion panel event on 22 November
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If you have any questions or comments about any of the above send an email to ConstructiveVoices@ahrecs.com.

 

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