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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Reactively, Proactively, Implicitly, Explicitly? Academics’ Pedagogical Conceptions of how to Promote Research Ethics and Integrity (Papers: Heidi Hyytinen & Erika Löfström | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 13, 2017

This article focuses on academics’ conceptions of teaching research ethics and integrity. Seventeen academics from a Finnish research intensive university participated in this qualitative study. The data were collected using a qualitative multi-method approach, including think-aloud and interview data. The material was scrutinized using thematic analysis, with both deductive and inductive approaches. The results revealed variation in academics’ views on the responsibility for teaching research integrity, the methods employed to teach it and the necessity of intervening when misconduct occurs. The academics emphasized the responsibility of the individual teacher and the student to foster integrity as well as the shared responsibility of all members of the academic community. However, many academics felt that they themselves needed pedagogical training. Most shared the view that practices of responsible conduct in research can be explicitly and intentionally taught through demonstration, explanation, and practice. However, the academics also noted that learning research integrity and ethics takes place implicitly. A few questioned the need for and the utility of training in the form of courses or through an explicitly addressed topic included in, for instance, methods courses. Their views on the question of how to deal with alleged cases of misconduct varied. While many academics considered a proactive approach the best way to prevent misconduct, some trusted more in a reactive approach. The results show that, while in general academics agree on the importance of research ethics, their conceptions of teaching it vary. The teaching conception bears consequences for the teaching methods chosen, assignment of responsibility for both teaching and students learning, and for the way in which teachers believe that misconduct should be responded to.

Research ethics, Research integrity, Ethics training, Preventing misconduct, Teaching conceptions

Hyytinen, H. & Löfström, E. (2017) Reactively, Proactively, Implicitly, Explicitly? Academics’ Pedagogical Conceptions of how to Promote Research Ethics and Integrity. Journal of Academic Ethics  15(1) 23-41. doi:10.1007/s10805-016-9271-9

Warning: conmen and shameless scholars operate in this area – Times Higher Education (James McCrostie | January 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 10, 2017

As I wrapped up a research sabbatical in Canada in March 2015, I started searching for conferences to present my research at. A quick Google search highlighted a shocking number of events and organisations that I had never even heard of – and an even more shocking list of conference fees.

But perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. Invitations to what University of Colorado librarian Jeffrey Beall calls “predatory conferences” now compete for attention in academics’ spam folders with solicitations from dubious open access journals, of which Beall keeps a well-known blacklist.

One question such emails raise is whether the conferences ever actually take place. My 10 months of research on the topic suggests that while pure scams do exist, they are the exception. And while predatory conferences are often shambolic, with last-minute venue changes or even greater disasters, such as running out of coffee before 9am, the more sophisticated and longer-lived organisers offer a veneer of legitimacy, recognising that repeat customers mean greater profits.

Read the rest of this news story

Creating a Community of Data Champions (Papers: Rosie Higman, et al | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on March 6, 2017

The AHRECS team are pretty loud supporters (okay very loud/annoying/dogged supporters) of the valuable role collegiate advisers can play, which is why we are building the peer-to-peer Research Ethics Adviser Platform, so it should be no surprise we’re big fans of the University of Cambridge’s Data Champion initiative.

Research Data Management (RDM) presents an unusual challenge for service providers in Higher Education. There is increased awareness of the need for training in this area but the nature of discipline-specific practices involved make it difficult to provide training across a multi-disciplinary organisation. Whilst most UK universities now have a research data team of some description, they are often small and rarely have the resources necessary to provide targeted training to the different disciplines and research career stages that they are increasingly expected to support. This practice paper describes the approach taken at the University of Cambridge to address this problem by creating a community of Data Champions. This collaborative initiative, working with researchers to provide training and advocacy for good RDM practice, allows for more discipline-specific training to be given, researchers to be credited for their expertise and an opportunity for those interested in RDM to exchange knowledge with others. The community of practice model has been used in many sectors, including Higher Education, to facilitate collaboration across organisational units and this initiative will adopt some of the same principles to improve communication across a decentralised institution. The Data Champions initiative at Cambridge was launched in September 2016 and this paper reports on the early months, plans for building the community in the future and the possible risks associated with this approach to providing RDM services.

Rosie Higman, Marta Teperek and Danny Kingsley (2017) Creating a Community of Data Champions. Posted February 20, 2017. bioRxiv 104661; doi:

Research Integrity in Greater China: Surveying Regulations, Perceptions and Knowledge of Research Integrity from a Hong Kong Perspective (Sara R Jordan and Phillip W Gray | 2013)0

Posted by Admin in on March 4, 2017

In their 2010 article ‘Research Integrity in China: Problems and Prospects’, Zeng and Resnik challenge others to engage in empirical research on research integrity in China. Here we respond to that call in three ways: first, we provide updates to their analysis of regulations and allegations of scientific misconduct; second, we report on two surveys conducted in Hong Kong that provide empirical backing to describe ways in which problems and prospects that Zeng and Resnik identify are being explored; and third, we continue the discussion started by Zeng and Resnik, pointing to ways in which China’s high-profile participation in international academic research presents concerns about research integrity. According to our research, based upon searches of both English and Chinese language literature and policies, and two surveys conducted in Hong Kong, academic faculty and research post-graduate students in Hong Kong are aware of and have a positive attitude towards responsible conduct of research. Although Hong Kong is but one small part of China, we present this research as a response to concerns Zeng and Resnik introduce and as a call for a continued conversation.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

KEYWORDS: China; Education; Ethics; Hong Kong; Research Integrity; Research Misconduct; Responsible Conduct of Research

Jordan SR and Gray PW, (2013) Research Integrity in Greater China: Surveying Regulations, Perceptions and Knowledge of Research Integrity from a Hong Kong Perspective. Developing World Bioethics. 13, 3