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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Even potential participants of a research integrity conference commit plagiarism, organizers learn – Retraction Watch (Lex Bouter | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 10, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 11, 2019 / , , , ,
 


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One would hope that researchers submitting abstracts for a meeting on research integrity would be less likely to commit research misconduct. But if the experience of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity is any indication, that may not be the case. Here, the co-organizers of the conference — Lex Bouter, Daniel Barr, and Mai Har Sham — explain.

We’re not sure that offering the same paper to different conferences is remotely unusual or viewed adversely in many disciplines, at least not in those where abstracts are not published. There is another lesson for those disciplines – make sure you know the rules of the game that you are playing

Recently the 430 abstracts submitted for the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) were peer reviewed. After an alarming report of apparent plagiarism from one of the 30 reviewers, text similarity checking was conducted on all the abstracts received using Turnitin. This identified 12 suspected cases of plagiarism and 18 suspected cases of self-plagiarism. Abstracts with a Turnitin Similarity Index above 30% (ranging from 37% to 94%) were further assessed and labelled as potential self-plagiarism if overlapping texts had at least one author in common.
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We did not investigate the 18 cases of suspected self-plagiarism further, but decided to exclude them from oral presentation and to consider them as eligible for poster presentation only. In the call for abstracts we did not say that submissions should contain work that had not been presented or published before. Furthermore, the abstract form did not allow for references to earlier presentations or publications. For future conferences we will explicitly ask whether the work is novel and to provide references to earlier presentations or publications. We do not believe that novelty is an absolute condition for eligibility as there may be good reasons to present important work to different audiences or to present important work that has recently been published but might have escaped being noticed.

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