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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Is it time for a new classification system for scientific misconduct? – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | December 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on January 1, 2019

Are current classification systems for research misconduct adequate? Toshio Kuroki — special advisor to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Gifu University — thinks the answer is no. In a new paper in Accountability in Research, Kuroki — who has published on research misconduct before — suggests a new classification system. We asked him a few questions about his proposal. The answers are lightly edited for clarity.

Retraction Watch (RW): Why did you feel that a new classification of misconduct was necessary?

Toshio Kuroki (TK): The STAP affair, starring Haruko Obokata, was my inspiration to become a “misconductologist.” In 2016, I published a book in Japanese on research misconduct for the general public.

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Pathogenic organization in science: Division of labor and retractions (John P. Walsh | 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 17, 2018

Science is increasingly a team activity, and the size of the teams has been growing. At the same time, there are concerns about an increasing rate of pathologies in science. The growth of team science suggests the need to look beyond individual-level explanations and focus on organizational structures and institutional contexts to explain pathologies in science. Drawing on the literature on organizational pathologies, we argue that division of labor may be a key factor contributing to pathologies in science. Furthermore, we examine the effects of high-stakes incentives and of institutional corruption as additional predictors of scientific pathologies. Using retractions as an indicator of pathologies, and drawing on a matched sample of 195 retracted papers and 349 paired papers that were not retracted, we develop indicators of the division of labor in the team that produced a paper and find that the rate of retractions is higher as the division of labor increases (net of team size). Additionally, we find that high-stakes incentives and institutional corruption are also associated with increased retractions. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for science policy, in particular for organizing team science projects.

Organization, Science, Pathologies, Corruption, Incentives, Division of labor

Walsh, J. P., et al. (2019). Pathogenic organization in science: Division of labor and retractions. Research Policy 48(2): 444-461.

Reboot undergraduate courses for reproducibility – Nature (Katherine Button | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on December 12, 2018

Collaboration across institutes can train students in open, team science, which better prepares them for challenges to come, says Katherine Button.

Three years ago, as I prepared to start as a lecturer in the University of Bath’s psychology department, I reflected on my own undergraduate training. What should I emulate? What would I like to improve? The ‘reproducibility crisis’ was in full swing. Many of the standard research practices I had been taught were now shown to be flawed, from P-value hacking to ‘HARKing’ — hypothesizing after the results are known — and an over-reliance on underpowered studies (that is, drawing oversized conclusions from undersized samples).

It struck me that the research dissertation students do in their final year is almost a bootcamp for instilling these bad habits. Vast numbers of projects, limited time and resources, small sample sizes, the potential for undisclosed analytic flexibility (P-hacking) and a premium on novelty: together, a recipe for irreproducible results.

Most undergraduate dissertations turn into exercises tallying the limitations of the research design — frustrating for both student and supervisor. However, each year a few students get lucky and publish, securing a huge CV advantage. I wondered what lesson this was teaching. Were we embedding a culture that rewards chance results over robust methods?

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Ethical relationships, ethical research in Aboriginal contexts: Perspectives from central Australia0

Posted by Admin in on November 18, 2018

Learning Communities International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts
Special issue: Ethical relationships, ethical research in Aboriginal contexts: Perspectives from central Australia

Number 23 – November 2018

Introduction to Special Issue: Being here matters …2
Barry Judd

Al Strangeways

“You helped us and now we’re going to all help you”: What we learned about how to do research together …16
Lisa Hall, Linda Anderson, Fiona Gibson, Mona Kantawara, Barbara Martin and Yamurna Oldfield

Ngapartji ngapartji ninti and koorliny karnya quoppa katitjin (Respectful and ethical research in central Australia and the south west) …32
Jennie Buchanan, Len Collard and Dave Palmer

Researching together: Reflections on ethical research in remote Aboriginal communities …52
Tessa Benveniste and Lorraine King

The dancing trope of cross-cultural language education policy…64
Janine Oldfield and Vincent Forrester

Different monsters: Traversing the uneasy dialectic of institutional and relational ethics …76
Al Strangeways and Lisa Papatraianou

Research for social impact and the contra-ethic of national frameworks…92
Judith Lovell Altyerre

NOW: Arrernte dreams for national reconstruction in the 21st century …106
Joel Liddle Perrurle and Barry Judd

The making of Monstrous Breaches: An ethical global visual narrative…116
Judith Lovell and Kathleen Kemarre Wallace

Read  the special edition