ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Research ethics courses as a vaccination against a toxic research environment or culture (Papers: Nicole Ling Yeo-Teh & Bor Tang | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 25, 2020


We have included 17 links to other items about promoting a positive research culture through HDR professional development and mentoring.

Hofmann and Holm’s (2019) recent survey on issues of research misconduct with PhD graduates culminated with a notable conclusion by the authors: ‘Scientific misconduct seems to be an environmental issue as much as a matter of personal integrity’. Here, we re-emphasise the usefulness of an education-based countermeasure against toxic research environments or cultures that promote unethical practices amongst the younger researchers. We posit that an adequately conducted course in research ethics and integrity, with a good dose of case studies and analyses, can function in a manner that is metaphorically akin to vaccination. The training would cultivate the ability to analyse and build confidence in young researchers in making decisions with sound moral reasoning as well as in speaking up or arguing against pressure and coercions into unacceptable behaviour. A sufficiently large number of young researchers exposed to research ethics trainings would essentially provide a research community some degree of lasting herd immunity at its broadest base. Beyond passive immunity, a crop of research ethics-savvy young researchers could also play active and influential roles as role models for others at their level and perhaps even help correct the wayward attitudes of some senior researchers and initiate prompt action from institutional policy makers in a bottom-up manner.

Authorship, research environment, research ethics, research misconduct, responsible conduct of research courses

Yeo-Teh, N. S. L., & Tang, B. L. (2020). Research ethics courses as a vaccination against a toxic research environment or culture. Research Ethics.
Publisher (Open Access):

Copyright Dough: a game to teach, and bring discussion, about copyright licences and exceptions – UK Copyright Literacy ( | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 15, 2020

Today’s guest blog post is from Hannah Pyman who is an Information Literacy Co-ordinator at the University of Essex. Within this role, she specialises in scholarly communication and research support. Having only been in this newly developed role since September 2019, Hannah is working with her colleagues to better establish how information literacy and scholarly communication work together in practice. Copyright Dough is a clear example of this, illustrating how information literacy techniques can be used to promote a broader understanding of a complex area of scholarly communication. Hannah also graduated from the University of Sheffield in January 2020 with an MA in Library and Information Services Management.

They had us at playdough. This is a fun way to get workshop participants hand-on with copyright and applying their knowledge in a delightfully kinaesthetic activity.

While we all see copyright as a topic of great excitement(!), it’s no secret that sometimes it can be difficult to get others to see the same. My colleague Katrine Sundsbo and I therefore took it upon ourselves to develop a new game to help engage users in the joys of copyright licences and exceptions. However, we were keen to ensure that every participant still went away from the game sessions having learnt a helpful amount about the sometimes-complicated world of copyright. Our other criteria was that the game could be shared amongst the community, as open education is something we are keen to pursue. So with those criteria in mind, Copyright Dough was born.

What is Copyright Dough?

Copyright Dough is an interactive game that gives participants a chance to put themselves in the position of different stakeholders. Within the game, we have termed these stakeholder roles as ‘creators’, ‘researchers’, ‘teachers’, and ‘students’. Each player begins the game by being given a card with one of these roles, along with some light-hearted information about their role’s character to help inspire them later (it is safe to say that we had a great time coming up with a whole range of guilty pleasures!).

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Friday afternoon’s funny – An innovation too far?0

Posted by Admin in on May 1, 2020

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

Engaging professional development is essential for promoting a healthy research culture.  Drawing on innovations with regard to pedagogy is just smart, but there are techniques that work in some contexts that would be absurd with experienced researchers.

Developing Grad Students’ Scientific Literacy Skills – Inside Higher Ed (David A. Sanders | February 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on April 21, 2020

Mentors can use a number of pedagogical techniques, and recent developments in the realm of scientific publication have provided new opportunities, writes David A. Sanders.

It is axiomatic that students need to learn to read and write. At first, one might assume that this task is accomplished early in their education. But, in fact, learning to read and write is a continuing, lifelong process.

Essential skills that should form a component of HDR capacity and the work of supervisors.

That is nowhere better demonstrated than in the training of a scientist. Their required reading and writing skills differ from those that a nonscientist might develop. For example, critical evaluation of experimental data presented in a number of formats is a central component of scientific reading. You have to learn how to examine each figural or tabular presentation of results and determine for yourself whether it supports the interpretation and conclusions that the authors of a published article have provided.

In most cases, budding scientists acquire the requisite capacities in graduate school. Mentors can use a number of pedagogical techniques, and recent developments in the realm of scientific publication have provided new opportunities for inculcating literacy and effective composition.

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