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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

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.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

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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The subscribers’ area – a subscription of USD15/month provides access to the growing library of professional development and other resources. It is also a great way to support events and services like this.

If you have any questions or comments about any of the above send an email to ConstructiveVoices@ahrecs.com.

 

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 23, 2018
 

The Australian Code is the Australian national reference for research integrity. The document was issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Universities Australia.

The Australian Code discusses eight core principles, 13 institutional responsibilities and 16 research responsibilities. At launch it was complemented by the Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Code, 2018 (the Investigation Guide). Two more guides are expected by the end   of 2018, with the remaining guides expected early 2019.

The eight-page 2018 version is a significant change from the 2007 version (which was 39 pages). It represents a movement away from detailed strict standards on research integrity matters to general principles that must inform institutional policies, processes and resources.

(UK) House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–190

Posted by Admin in on July 16, 2018
 

Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

Summary
Research is fundamental to the process of pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding. Research helps cure diseases, tackle climate change, and understand the world around us. The UK has an enviable reputation for high-quality research, and researchers are among the most trusted groups of people in the eyes of the public. It is recognised that the vast majority of research undertaken in the UK is of high quality and high integrity.

This House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report nods approvingly towards the Canadian and Australian systems. Not light reading, but it provides a useful international reference point for institutional arrangements.

Nevertheless, error, questionable practices, and outright fraud are possible in any human endeavour, and research integrity must be taken seriously and tackled head-on. The 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity provided a set of high-level commitments in this vein, but, six years on, while all the most research intensive-universities are complying with key recommendations of the Concordat, around a quarter of universities overall are not fulfilling the basic Concordat recommendation of producing an annual report on research integrity.
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Compliance with the Concordat has technically been a prerequisite for receiving funding from UK research councils and higher education funding councils since 2013, but non-compliance has not led to any hard consequences. This reflects the fact that the Concordat has only high-level commitments and recommendations, meaning that ‘compliance’ is difficult to assess in practice. More broadly, there has been a lack of co-ordinated leadership to drive the implementation of its recommendations in universities, such as transparency in declaring the number of misconduct investigations carried out each year. The Concordat should be tightened so that compliance can be more easily assessed, with a timetabled route-map to securing 100% compliance. We welcome Universities UK’s plans to convene a meeting of the Concordat signatories to discuss the issues raised in our report and look forward to seeing further action in this area
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Access the full report.

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House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–19
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/350/350.pdf