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To move research from quantity to quality, go beyond good intentions – Nature ( Alan Finkel | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 3, 2019
 

Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel calls for formal action to bake in better research practices.

In 1969, I skipped school to watch the Moon landing from home. Fifty years later, I struggle to think of an event that would justify truancy today. It’s not for lack of stunning breakthroughs in research, but rather their frequency: if children neglected their work every time the television reported another scientific milestone that my generation scarcely dared to contemplate, they’d end up with no education at all.

Yet there is a growing rumble of concern about the rigour and reproducibility of published research. Problems of over-hyped analysis and puffed-up CVs are well recognized. Financial and career incentives keep researchers on a treadmill, churning out papers.

We cannot know how many of the 1.6 million or so papers now added every year to the Web of Science database are flawed as a consequence, but we can agree that our focus has to shift from quantity to quality if we are to safeguard against shoddy work.

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African governments need to fund research ethics training – University World News (Paul Ndebele | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 24, 2019
 

There has been significant growth in international collaborative research implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past three decades – funded mainly by the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and other nations. This growth has in part led to debates about the ethics of some of the research.

For example, during the late 1990s there were serious debates regarding use of placebos in research on HIV treatment when treatment outcomes were already known. Some commentators accused researchers from rich countries of using poor African countries to conduct research which they could not conduct in their own countries due to the stringent protections already in place. Additionally, several papers described the weak research oversight systems in several African countries.

In response, several research ethics capacity development programmes were initiated across Sub-Saharan Africa with the support of the World Health Organization, US National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, Erasmus Mundus programme, pharmaceutical companies and others.

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Guest Post: Encouraging Data Sharing: A Small Investment for Large Potential Gain – Scholarly Kitchen (Rebecca Grant, et al | January 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 20, 2019
 

Data sharing is like maths at school.*

Bear with us.

It might seem harder than the other subjects. You might feel your teachers are not very good at explaining it. But if you do not pay attention, you will very quickly find that many real-world skills rely on maths; and you would have benefited from learning the basics as it provides a solid foundation for the rest of your adult life (whether your ambitions are to become an astronaut, a Grandmaster of chess, or simply to balance your personal expenses).

Likewise, data sharing and data management form the foundation of global academic collaboration, discovery and scientific advancement. Sadly, surveys show that academics rarely get formal training in good data management (let alone best practice), and data management is rarely incentivized by institutions. All too often even the basics are ignored, with data ending up languishing on a USB stick or on a paper notepad.

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Publish and Perish: The Dangers of Being Young and in a Hurry (Papers: James S. Huntley | February 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 5, 2019
 

Abstract

Publications in peer-reviewed journals are a key and official requirement for progression to a consultant surgeon post. Paradoxically, a stipulation that should enhance the importance of surgical research may, in fact, contribute to a pressure that is one of the causes of research misconduct. Consultant trainers can go some way to mitigating against this danger with appropriate teaching and an emphasis on the core values surrounding research ethics.

Huntley J S (February 19, 2019) Publish and Perish: The Dangers of Being Young and in a Hurry. Cureus 11(2): e4098. doi:10.7759/cureus.4098
Publisher (Editorial): https://www.cureus.com/articles/17575-publish-and-perish-the-dangers-of-being-young-and-in-a-hurry

This paper about early career researchers in the surgical field make points that hold true across most (sub)disciplines. It points to the importance of having collegiate Research Integrity Advisers, mentors and resources that support practice (rather than just state the rules).  AHRECS would be delighted to assist your institution with that – https://ahrecs.com/our-services.  We’ve included links to 19 great tips for early career researchers and institutions.

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