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People want to be able to influence the risk – The Ethics Blog (Pär Segerdahl | May 2019)

Published/Released on May 27, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 16, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

We need to do research to know what people think is important in genetic risk information. What they prefer to know. But how do we find out? One way is to ask people to answer questionnaires. One problem with questionnaires is that they ask one thing at a time. Do... More

We need to do research to know what people think is important in genetic risk information. What they prefer to know. But how do we find out? One way is to ask people to answer questionnaires. One problem with questionnaires is that they ask one thing at a time. Do you prefer a hotel room with a sea view when you are on vacation? You probably answer yes. But do you prefer the sea view even if the room is above the disco, or costs 500 EUR per night? If you only ask one thing at a time, then it is difficult to know how different factors interact, how important they are relative to each other. One way to get past this limitation is to ask people to choose between two alternatives, where the alternatives have several different attributes.

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Should journals credit eagle-eyed readers by name in retraction notices? – Retraction Watch (Benjamin Mazer | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 06, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 12, 2019 | Keywords: , , ,

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How Do You Publish the Work of a Scientific Villain? – WIRED (Megan Molteni | December 2018)

HOW DO YOU handle the data of a scientist who violates all the norms of his field? Who breaches the trust of a community that spans the entire globe? Who shows a casual disregard for the fate of the whole... More

HOW DO YOU handle the data of a scientist who violates all the norms of his field? Who breaches the trust of a community that spans the entire globe? Who shows a casual disregard for the fate of the whole human species? On the one hand, you might want to learn from such a person’s work; to have a full and open dissection of everything that went wrong. Because, spoiler, there was a lot that went wrong in the case in question. But rewarding such “abhorrent” behavior, as one scientist put it, with a publication—the currency of the scientific world—would send a message that ethical rules only exist to be broken.

This is the precarious situation in which we find ourselves today, as scientists hash out the next chapter of the human gene-editing scandal that erupted two weeks ago, when the Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed that for the last two years he has been working in secret to produce the world’s first Crispr-edited babies. Scientists denounced the work with near-unanimous condemnation, citing its technical failures as well as its deep breaches of ethical (and possibly legal) lines. What’s much less certain is what should happen to the work, now that it’s been done.

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“Our current approaches are not working:” Time to make misconduct investigation reports public, says integrity expert – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | June 2019)

Published/Released on June 04, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 9, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

With the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) underway in Hong Kong, C.K. Gunsalus, who has served as a research integrity officer, expert witness in scientific integrity cases, and consultant, argues in Nature this week that universities should “More

With the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) underway in Hong Kong, C.K. Gunsalus, who has served as a research integrity officer, expert witness in scientific integrity cases, and consultant, argues in Nature this week that universities should “Make reports of research misconduct public.” We asked her a few questions about why she has changed her mind about this issue. Retraction Watch (RW): We have of course been campaigning for universities to release investigation reports for some time, and have published a number of them following public records requests and reviews of court documents. What led you to this call to make them public? C.K. Gunsalus (CKG): I argued the opposite position for many years, decades, even. What led me to this call is that our current approaches are not working: not for credibility of investigations, not for reinforcing research integrity, not for protecting the integrity of the research community.

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(Includes an update 07/06/2019) A report about Plan S’s potential effects on journals marks a busy week for the open-access movement – Science (Jeffrey Brainard | March 2019)

Published/Released on June 07, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 7, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

It’s been a busy week for the open-access movement, the effort to make all scientific journal articles immediately free to read. Making that change would require a major shift in most journals’ business models, from one that charges subscribers to read articles to one in which authors pay to... More

It’s been a busy week for the open-access movement, the effort to make all scientific journal articles immediately free to read. Making that change would require a major shift in most journals’ business models, from one that charges subscribers to read articles to one in which authors pay to publish. Among the developments:

  • Many journals aren’t prepared to meet the requirements of Plan S, the proposal largely by European funders to require grantees to publish articles that are immediately open access, a report from a science publishing analytics company says.
  • Springer Nature, one of the largest publishers of scientific journals, and the networking website ResearchGate began an experiment making some articles open access through authors’ profiles on the website.

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(US) ‘Banished’ blood, stool samples from San Diego veterans used in research article, despite federal probe – ienewsource (Brad Racino & Jill Castellano | May 2019)

Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published this month in an academic research journal. The specimens were not supposed to be used, according to... More

Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published this month in an academic research journal. The specimens were not supposed to be used, according to the project’s lead researcher, because they were part of a study that unethically collected biological samples from living subjects without their consent, which investigators called "serious noncompliance." When people volunteer to be human research subjects, they accept potential health risks in order to contribute to a growing bank of scientific and medical knowledge.

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Chem journal yanks paper because authors had stolen it as peer reviewers – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 08, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 5, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

The UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry has retracted a 2017 paper in one of its journals after learning that the authors stole the article from other researchers during peer review. The offending article, “Typical and interstratified arrangements in Zn/Al layered double hydroxides: an experimental and theoretical approach,” appeared in CrystalEngComm,... More

The UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry has retracted a 2017 paper in one of its journals after learning that the authors stole the article from other researchers during peer review. The offending article, “Typical and interstratified arrangements in Zn/Al layered double hydroxides: an experimental and theoretical approach,” appeared in CrystalEngComm, and was written by Priyadarshi Roy Chowdhury and Krishna G. Bhattacharyya, of Gauhati University in Jalukbari. Well, that’s not really true, is it? The retraction notice lays out the transgression in detail:

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(Japan) 158 ethics violations found in research by Japan’s NCVC medical institute – The Japan Times (May 2019)

SUITA, OSAKA PREF. - The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center said Thursday it has found 158 cases of research that was conducted in violation of the country’s ethical standards. The violations include the use of patients’ information without their consent, the NCVC said. There have been no reports of health... More

SUITA, OSAKA PREF. - The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center said Thursday it has found 158 cases of research that was conducted in violation of the country’s ethical standards. The violations include the use of patients’ information without their consent, the NCVC said. There have been no reports of health damage linked to these cases that involved follow-up research, the institute said. “We deeply apologize for the misconduct,” NCVC President Hisao Ogawa said at a news conference in Suita, where the institute is based.

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The social values and politics behind science publishing – University World News (John Richard Schrock | May 2019)

Published/Released on May 18, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 3, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

There are some unique challenges faced by Chinese academics when they attempt to publish in Western journals which I have gleaned from years correcting English in entomology papers. In a recent presentation I outlined the main ones and, in some cases, gave suggestions for how to get around them. Understanding... More

There are some unique challenges faced by Chinese academics when they attempt to publish in Western journals which I have gleaned from years correcting English in entomology papers. In a recent presentation I outlined the main ones and, in some cases, gave suggestions for how to get around them. Understanding the context – the social values and politics – around science and science publishing for Chinese academics is vital. The following case studies illustrate the common problems.

Case 1: A Chinese scientist receives several peer reviews back via the ‘editor’. One reviewer finds the paper submitted acceptable, but a second reviewer notes that there are six very important references missing that must be added. All of these new references are by this second reviewer and are remote from the topic of the paper.

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(US) UMKC says pharmacy professor stole student’s research and sold it for millions – The Kansas City Star (Mike Hendricks & Mará Rose Williams | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 27, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 2, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

UMKC pharmacy professor Ashim Mitra stole a student’s research and sold it secretly to a pharmaceutical company, defrauding the university of millions of dollars, the University of Missouri alleges in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. [colored_box]Mitra, the suit alleges, already has improperly reaped $1.5 million from the sale and has the... More

UMKC pharmacy professor Ashim Mitra stole a student’s research and sold it secretly to a pharmaceutical company, defrauding the university of millions of dollars, the University of Missouri alleges in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. [colored_box]Mitra, the suit alleges, already has improperly reaped $1.5 million from the sale and has the potential of earning $10 million more in royalties over the next five years from what the university says could be a billion-dollar drug. . The suit said the money rightfully belongs to the university because the student who developed a new and more effective way to deliver drugs to the eye — through nanotechnology — did so while employed as a graduate research assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. .

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Rein in the four horsemen of irreproducibility – Nature ( Dorothy Bishop | April 2019)

Published/Released on April 24, 2019 | Posted by Admin on June 1, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,

Dorothy Bishop describes how threats to reproducibility, recognized but unaddressed for decades, might finally be brought under control.

More than four decades into my scientific career, I find myself an outlier among academics of similar age and seniority: I strongly identify with the movement... More

Dorothy Bishop describes how threats to reproducibility, recognized but unaddressed for decades, might finally be brought under control.

More than four decades into my scientific career, I find myself an outlier among academics of similar age and seniority: I strongly identify with the movement to make the practice of science more robust. It’s not that my contemporaries are unconcerned about doing science well; it’s just that many of them don’t seem to recognize that there are serious problems with current practices. By contrast, I think that, in two decades, we will look back on the past 60 years — particularly in biomedical science — and marvel at how much time and money has been wasted on flawed research. How can that be? We know how to formulate and test hypotheses in controlled experiments. We can account for unwanted variation with statistical techniques. We appreciate the need to replicate observations. Yet many researchers persist in working in a way almost guaranteed not to deliver meaningful results. They ride with what I refer to as the four horsemen of the reproducibility apocalypse: publication bias, low statistical power, P-value hacking and HARKing (hypothesizing after results are known). My generation and the one before us have done little to rein these in.

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Friday afternoon’s funny – Data Food Chain

Published/Released on May 31, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 31, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

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German ethics council expresses openness to eventual embryo editing – STAT (Sharon Begley | May 2019)

Published/Released on May 13, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 30, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

panel of government-appointed experts in Germany agreed unanimously that the human germline — DNA that is inherited by children from their parents — “is not inviolable,” rejecting one objection to using genome editing technologies such as CRISPR to make heritable changes in the DNA of human embryos,... More

panel of government-appointed experts in Germany agreed unanimously that the human germline — DNA that is inherited by children from their parents — “is not inviolable,” rejecting one objection to using genome editing technologies such as CRISPR to make heritable changes in the DNA of human embryos, sperm, or eggs. [colored_box]In a 47-page report made public on Monday, the independent German Ethics Council concluded that the power of CRISPR, and the announcement last November that a scientist in China had used it to edit two IVF embryos that resulted in the birth of twin girls, means that “the possibility of intervening more easily and precisely in the human germline is drawing closer and closer.” . Although the council’s 26 ethicists, legal scholars, scientists, and other experts agreed unanimously that there are no compelling philosophical arguments against altering human germlines, they also concluded that it is ethically irresponsible to do so now. .

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(Australia) University of Sydney pulls claims elderberries can fight flu – The Age (Liam Mannix | May 2019)

One of the country's leading universities has been forced to retract a claim its study showed eating elderberries could help beat the flu after admitting it was overhyping its own science. The University of Sydney also concealed the research was part-funded by company Pharmacare - which sells elderberry-based flu remedies... More

One of the country's leading universities has been forced to retract a claim its study showed eating elderberries could help beat the flu after admitting it was overhyping its own science. The University of Sydney also concealed the research was part-funded by company Pharmacare - which sells elderberry-based flu remedies - at the company's request. Although it was declared in the study itself, the university also failed to publicise that a Pharmacare employee was involved in the research.

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(Japan) Researcher at Japan stem cell institute falsified nearly all images in 2017 paper – Retraction Watch (Victoria Stern | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 23, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 25, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

An investigation by Kyoto University in Japan has found a researcher guilty of falsifying all but one of the figures in a 2017 stem cell paper. Yesterday, Kyoto University announced that the paper’s first author, Kohei Yamamizu, had fabricated and falsified data... More

An investigation by Kyoto University in Japan has found a researcher guilty of falsifying all but one of the figures in a 2017 stem cell paper. Yesterday, Kyoto University announced that the paper’s first author, Kohei Yamamizu, had fabricated and falsified data in the Stem Cell Reports paper. According to the investigation report, none of the other authors were involved in the data manipulation. Yamamizu works at the Center for iPS cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University, directed by Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel Prize winner for his pioneering work in stem cell biology.

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(US/China) When DNA science goes down an unethical path in China, who is responsible? – Medical Xpress (Brittany Meiling, et al | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 28, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 24, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

New reports that China is using DNA science developed in San Diego County for widespread ethnic surveillance raise ethical questions about who is responsible for how that technology is used. The New York Times reported recently that Chinese authorities are building a DNA database of the country's Uighur minority, a... More

New reports that China is using DNA science developed in San Diego County for widespread ethnic surveillance raise ethical questions about who is responsible for how that technology is used. The New York Times reported recently that Chinese authorities are building a DNA database of the country's Uighur minority, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group blamed for a series of terrorist attacks in northwestern China. Since 2016, there have been regular reports of authorities taking blood samples in the Xinjiang region, where ethnic tensions have been rising. The situation has evolved into a Muslim crackdown in China, with nearly one million Uighurs and other minorities reportedly held in "re-education" camps bent on making Muslims more subservient to the Communist Party. There, Uighurs are being forced to hand over genetic samples, which activists worry could later be used by authorities to chase down any Uighurs who resist the indoctrination.

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Friday afternoon’s funny – Participant betrayal

Published/Released on May 23, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 23, 2019 | Keywords: , , ,

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China tightens its regulation of some human gene editing, labeling it ‘high-risk’ – Science (Dennis Normile | February 2019)

In the wake of the shocking news that one of its scientists had produced genetically altered babies, the Chinese government this week issued draft regulations that would require national approval for clinical research involving gene editing and other “high-risk biomedical technologies.” Although some Chinese researchers welcome the move to... More

In the wake of the shocking news that one of its scientists had produced genetically altered babies, the Chinese government this week issued draft regulations that would require national approval for clinical research involving gene editing and other “high-risk biomedical technologies.” Although some Chinese researchers welcome the move to tighten oversight, there are worries that the rules could impose a burden on areas of genetic research that are not so controversial. “I am happy to see the national regulations regarding new biomedical technologies; I think this makes relevant policy more clear,” says Wei Jia, a medical oncologist who is involved with an ongoing trial using gene editing to modify cancer patient T-cells at the Affiliated Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School in China. The regulations are in response to the late November 2018 claim by He Jiankui, then of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, that he had altered the DNA embryos in a way that would give the babies and their descendants resistance to HIV. This approach is called germline engineering—it can involve changing DNA in embryos or sperm or eggs—and is banned in many countries, by law or regulation. He’s effort, using a technique called CRISPR, resulted in twin girls born last fall; one more baby, he said, is on the way. The experiment earned He worldwide condemnation for prematurely using a still glitchy technique that might negatively affect the babies’ development and health in a medically unnecessary and unjustified intervention.

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Chinese government funding may have been used for ‘CRISPR babies’ project, documents suggest – STAT (Jane Qiu | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 25, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 19, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

BEIJING — Three government institutions in China, including the nation’s science ministry, may have funded the “CRISPR babies” study that led to the birth last November of two genetically modified twin girls, according to documents reviewed by STAT.

These findings appear to support what many... More

BEIJING — Three government institutions in China, including the nation’s science ministry, may have funded the “CRISPR babies” study that led to the birth last November of two genetically modified twin girls, according to documents reviewed by STAT.

These findings appear to support what many researchers inside and outside China have suspected since scientist He Jiankui revealed the births in late November, sparking international condemnation for violating scientific guidelines against the use of gene-edited human embryos to start pregnancies. “I don’t think He Jiankui could have done it without the government encouragement to press ahead” with research they thought would merit a Nobel Prize, said Jing-Bao Nie, a bioethicist at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

If the documents are correct, they would suggest China is supporting research that the U.S. and other countries consider unethical, and raise doubts about the preliminary conclusion of a government investigation that He acted mostly on his own. That inquiry, which was led by the Guangdong provincial health commission and involved the science ministry and the National Health Commission, determined that He raised funding for the experiment on his own without official endorsement. It also concluded that He forged an informed-consent form and violated scientific ethics and Chinese regulations, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

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Ask The Chefs: AI and Scholarly Communications – Scholarly Kitchen (Ann Michael | April 2019)

Published/Released on April 25, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 19, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

No one will dispute that AI (Artificial Intelligence) needs to “eat” data, preferably in massive quantities, to develop. The better the data quality, the better the result. When thinking about the potential applications of AI in scholarly communications as related to research artifacts, how will that work? How might... More

No one will dispute that AI (Artificial Intelligence) needs to “eat” data, preferably in massive quantities, to develop. The better the data quality, the better the result. When thinking about the potential applications of AI in scholarly communications as related to research artifacts, how will that work? How might AI be trained on high quality, vetted information? How are the benefits and costs distributed? [colored_box]This month we asked the Chefs: Where does scholarly communication and academic outputs fit in to the world of AI development? . Judy Luther: In scholarly communications there is an expanding body of openly available content from preprint servers, such as arXiv and bioRxiv, and Open Access journals and books. In addition, there is a growing variety of formats that include datasets and code, open peer review, media, and other elements of the scholarly research cycle. This volume of content provides a rich resource to be mined for all stakeholders as well as a broader audience. .

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Trump’s science adviser on research ethics, immigration and presidential tweets – Science (Sara Reardon | April 2019)

Five months into the job, Kelvin Droegemeier tells Nature what it’s like to work with the US president.

When meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier was sworn in as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in February, he inherited More

Five months into the job, Kelvin Droegemeier tells Nature what it’s like to work with the US president.

When meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier was sworn in as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in February, he inherited an office that had been without a leader for two years — and became the top science adviser to President Donald Trump. Trump's push to cut government spending on research, and his policies on issues such as immigration, have caused controversy in science. Nature spoke to Droegemeier in mid-April — two months into his tenure — about these policies, his plans and what it’s like to work with the president. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. The number of OSTP staff dropped precipitously during Trump’s first two years in office. What is the situation now? The lights were definitely on, and there was a lot of work actually getting done. We have people cycle through. Some of them are on detail for a year, so there’s kind of a constant refresh. I have brought additional people on board in some of the areas that I’m going to be working on a little bit more.

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Friday afternoon’s funny – How safe is your data?

Published/Released on May 17, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 17, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

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Remains of dissected Nazi prisoners to be laid to rest in Berlin – The Guardian (Philip Oltermann | May 2019)

Microscopic tissue samples, kept by controversial anatomist, were found in 2016

The microscopic remains of political prisoners executed by the Nazis and dissected by a controversial anatomist are to be buried in Berlin on Monday, more than seven decades after the end of the... More

Microscopic tissue samples, kept by controversial anatomist, were found in 2016

The microscopic remains of political prisoners executed by the Nazis and dissected by a controversial anatomist are to be buried in Berlin on Monday, more than seven decades after the end of the second world war. About 300 tissue samples, each one no more than a hundredth of a millimetre thin and one square centimetre in size, were discovered in 2016 by descendants of Hermann Stieve, a former director of the Berlin Institute of Anatomy who specialised in research into the female reproductive system. Though Stieve was not a member of the Nazi party, he developed a relationship with the regime whereby he was allowed to do research on recently executed political prisoners in return for helping to obliterate any traces of their remains.

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Prominent UCSD eye doctor ‘on leave’ after inewsource investigation – inewsource (Jill Castellano & Brad Racino | April 2019)

Dr. Kang Zhang, chief of eye genetics at the University of California San Diego, is “on leave” after an inewsource investigation exposed how the doctor put medical research subjects in harm’s way for years while pulling in millions of federal dollars for the institution. [colored_box]In a... More

Dr. Kang Zhang, chief of eye genetics at the University of California San Diego, is “on leave” after an inewsource investigation exposed how the doctor put medical research subjects in harm’s way for years while pulling in millions of federal dollars for the institution. [colored_box]In a new development, inewsource obtained an inspection report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that detailed more problems with one of Zhang’s studies. The report, compiled in 2016, described one incident in which Zhang poked a hole in a study participant’s eye with a needle, causing a cataract that had to be fixed with surgery. . The person wasn’t supposed to be enrolled in the study, according to the report, and the injury allegedly occurred because Zhang was in a hurry to take a trip to China. .

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“We got scammed:” Authors “sincerely apologize” for plagiarism they blame a ghostwriter for – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | May 2019)

Published/Released on May 02, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 13, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

The journal Cureus is retracting three articles by a mashup of authors from Pakistan and the United States for plagiarism, which the researchers blame on their use of a hired gun to prepare the papers. [colored_box]The articles were published over a roughly one-month stretch in August and September 2018 and... More

The journal Cureus is retracting three articles by a mashup of authors from Pakistan and the United States for plagiarism, which the researchers blame on their use of a hired gun to prepare the papers. [colored_box]The articles were published over a roughly one-month stretch in August and September 2018 and covered an impressively polymathic range of topics, from lupus to heart disease. Although the list of authors varied, a few names remained constant. One, Asad Ali, of Lahore Medical College and Institute of Dentistry, was the first author on all three papers. Another was Malik Qistas Ahmad, whose affiliation is given as the University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson although he no longer works there. . The papers (not in chronological order) are: “Systemic lupus erythematosus: an overview of the disease pathology and its management”;  “Neurogenic stunned myocardium: a literature review”; and “An overview of the pathology and emerging treatment approaches for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.” .

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Aboriginal genome analysis comes to grips with ethics – Nature (Ewen Callaway | September 2011)

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(US) Major U.S. cancer center ousts ‘Asian’ researchers after NIH flags their foreign ties – Science (Mara Hvistendahl | April 2019)

Published/Released on April 19, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 11, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

HOUSTON, TEXAS—The MD Anderson Cancer Center here has ousted three senior researchers after the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, informed it that the scientists had committed potentially “serious” violations of agency rules involving confidentiality of peer review and the disclosure of foreign ties. The researchers are... More

HOUSTON, TEXAS—The MD Anderson Cancer Center here has ousted three senior researchers after the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, informed it that the scientists had committed potentially “serious” violations of agency rules involving confidentiality of peer review and the disclosure of foreign ties. The researchers are among five MD Anderson scientists that NIH cited in letters to the cancer center, which is part of the University of Texas (UT) system. MD Anderson officials say they invoked termination proceedings against three of the researchers, are still investigating allegations against one, and determined termination was not warranted for the fifth scientist. The new developments are linked to a sweeping effort launched last year by NIH to address growing U.S. government fears that foreign nations, particularly China, are taking unfair advantage of federally funded research. NIH says its inquiries about the foreign ties of specific NIH-funded researchers have prompted at least 55 institutions to launch investigations. The cases at MD Anderson, which received $148 million in NIH funding in 2018, are the first publicly known instances where NIH’s inquiries appear to have led an institution to invoke termination proceedings against researchers judged to have violated the rules. Cancer center officials have not named any of the five researchers. MD Anderson President Peter Pisters says all are “Asian”; Science has confirmed that three are ethnically Chinese. Several faced NIH inquiries about their ties to China, according to internal cancer center documents and NIH emails provided by MD Anderson to the Houston Chronicle and reviewed by Science. Those documents also show that MD Anderson has been working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for several years on undisclosed national security investigations, which included searches of faculty email accounts and in one instance, video surveillance. Those investigations could be linked to the recent departures and to the NIH letters; MD Anderson had put at least one faculty member named by NIH on leave in December 2017, months before NIH sent its letter and 1 week after FBI gained access to several MD Anderson network accounts.

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Friday afternoon’s funny – Faster recruitment

Published/Released on May 10, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 10, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Indigenous groups look to ancient DNA to bring their ancestors home – Nature (Nicky Phillips – April 2019)

Published/Released on May 9, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 9, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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Peer-review experiments tracked in online repository – Nature (Richard Van Noorden | March 2019)

Published/Released on March 04, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 8, 2019 | Keywords: , , ,

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(Japan) Science retracts report on deadly Kumamoto earthquake – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | May 2019)

Published/Released on May 02, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 6, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

Science is retracting a 2017 paper about the deadly Kumamoto earthquake about a month after the university announced that the paper’s first author, Aiming Lin, had committed misconduct, including falsification of data and plagiarism. Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg More

Science is retracting a 2017 paper about the deadly Kumamoto earthquake about a month after the university announced that the paper’s first author, Aiming Lin, had committed misconduct, including falsification of data and plagiarism. Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg told us in late March that the journal had been trying to obtain more information in preparation for writing an expression of concern. Here’s today’s retraction notice:

The November 2018 Science Report, “Coseismic rupturing stopped by Aso volcano during the 2016 Mw 7.1 Kumamoto earthquake, Japan” presented evidence that the 2016 Mw 7.1 Kumamoto earthquake produced a surface rupture zone of ~40 km long along the pre-existing active fault zone and identified for the first time faults on the western side of Aso caldera, Kyushu Island, Japan. In August 2017, a confidential investigation into potential irregularities in the paper was initiated at Kyoto University. The investigation was completed in March 2019 and has confirmed that the paper contained falsified data and manipulated images. Specifically, there were multiple falsifications in Figs 1B, 1C, 2A, and 2C, and instances of plagiarism in Fig. 1C. These were the responsibility of the corresponding author, Aiming Lin. In agreement with the recommendation of the investigation, the authors are retracting the Report.

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Censorship in a China Studies Journal – Inside Higher Ed (Elizabeth Redden | April 2019)

Scholars say they thought a journal was run on Western standards of free expression, but they found Chinese government control instead.

Yet another account of censorship involving a China studies journal has come to light. And the scholars involved say this case involves an... More

Scholars say they thought a journal was run on Western standards of free expression, but they found Chinese government control instead.

Yet another account of censorship involving a China studies journal has come to light. And the scholars involved say this case involves an insidious “blurring of boundaries” where they were misled into thinking Western publishing standards would apply when in fact the journal in question was subject to Chinese government censorship. Lorraine Wong and Jacob Edmond, both professors at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, have written an account of the censorship they encountered when they edited a planned special issue of the journal Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. The journal is published by the Netherlands-based publishing company Brill in association with the China-based Higher Education Press, an entity that describes itself on its website (in Chinese) as affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education. The journal's editorial board lists scholars from major American and international universities -- including Cornell University, Duke University, Harvard University, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Washington -- and its editor in chief is based at New York University. The journal’s editorial office is located in Beijing. Wong and Edmond wrote that the association with Brill, along with the involvement of leading scholars in the field on the editorial board, led them to mistakenly assume the publication standards would be akin to those of other journals in the field published in the U.S. What they found, however, was that the affiliation with the Higher Education Press and the location of the editorial office in Beijing means “the journal is subject to the full range of Chinese government censorship.”

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

Published/Released on February 19, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 3, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

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... More

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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Fraud Ain’t The Game

Published/Released on March 16, 2019 | Posted by Admin on May 1, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Forget about morality. Wrong is wrong.

In a parallel universe, not unlike our own, a graduate student is working late. She is putting the finishing touches on a paper she hopes will be the cornerstone of... More

Forget about morality. Wrong is wrong.

In a parallel universe, not unlike our own, a graduate student is working late. She is putting the finishing touches on a paper she hopes will be the cornerstone of her PhD, which — as much as it’s often reasonably soul-destroying — is progressively becoming more exciting. She works late to preserve this excitement. It gives her hope that maybe one day this rotten, unforgiving business will work out, that she will have a life of curiosity and progress. People doubt her. She does not doubt herself. Or, at least, not too often.

[colored_box]In another parallel universe, a tenured professor who is a complete bastard has finished kicking his neighbour’s garbage bins and yelling at the television for the evening, and slopes off to his study. It is working late nights like this, he grouses in a moment of self-pity, that caused his third wife to leave him (it actually wasn’t this, it’s because he’s a miserable wretch who would try the patience of St. Anthony and wipe the smile off the face of a golden retriever). He is a shiny brittle little man. He is a sneer in a cardigan, a tumble-dried faculty Grinch without the fetching skin tone. He is a martinet, a hypocrite, a bastard, and a ruiner.

Her latest study is a model of good scientific practice and prudence. She has tried to be careful, open, honest, forthright. The studies are correctly powered. The interventions are reasonable. The notes are careful. The data is freshly scrubbed and annotated, should anyone request it. She’s a model citizen. It’s important to her to BE a model citizen.

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Figure errors, sloppy science, and fraud: keeping eyes on your data (Papers: Corinne L. Williams, et al | March 2019)

Published/Released on March 25, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 30, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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We need to talk about systematic fraud – Nature (Jennifer Byrne | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 09, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 28, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

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Singapore legal challenge ‘will chill academic freedom’ – Times Higher Education (Ellie Bothwell | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 23, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 27, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

Academics issue warning after news story including critical comments about country’s top universities is removed

Academics fear that the removal of an online article that included critical comments about the country’s two leading universities following a legal challenge will have a chilling effect on... More

Academics issue warning after news story including critical comments about country’s top universities is removed

Academics fear that the removal of an online article that included critical comments about the country’s two leading universities following a legal challenge will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression. The story, “Opaque policies, xation with KPIs, rankings: why arts and humanities academics quit NUS, NTU”, which was published by the online newspaper Today, included interviews with several academics who had left or were planning to leave the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. According to the article, scholars claimed that the universities failed to retain talented academics because of their “incessant pursuit of rankings and the relative lack of academic freedom when it comes to certain projects or research initiatives”.

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‘They’re not property’: the people who want their ancestors back from British museums – The Guardian (David Shariatmadari | Apr 2019)

Published/Released on April 23, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 25, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

The remains of indigenous people from all over the world have ended up in various British institutions. Why do their descendants have so much trouble getting them returned?

In November 2011, Ned David travelled the 8,500 miles from his home on Thursday... More

The remains of indigenous people from all over the world have ended up in various British institutions. Why do their descendants have so much trouble getting them returned?

In November 2011, Ned David travelled the 8,500 miles from his home on Thursday Island, off the tip of Queensland, Australia, to the Natural History Museum in London. He was on a mission to collect the bones of his ancestors. The material included skulls, a jawbone and other fragments from the Torres Strait archipelago, collected by Europeans in the 19th century as scientific specimens and anthropological curios. The museum had agreed that the remains should be given back to their “originating community”, and it was finally time to take them home. A private ceremony was held – David is reluctant to share the details with outsiders – and afterwards he and his fellow islanders went back to their hotel. But the mood wasn’t celebratory. “Mate,” he says, “it was sombre with a capital ‘S’. There was sort of this eerie feeling after all the hoo-ha and the media, and whatever. We sat around and no one spoke. I think it took a long time to realise the significance of what we had done.” The handover had followed a consultation in which islanders were asked what they wanted to do about body parts that were sitting in collections on the other side of the world. Feelings ran high. “It’s probably one of those rare exercises we have done as a nation in which we were in total agreement with each other,” says David, who chairs the Gur A Baradharaw Kod, or Torres Strait Sea and Land council. “As one elder said: ‘How would you feel knowing that one of your family members is in some strange place and, more importantly, hasn’t been afforded the right burial?’ That has an impact on the psyche of a group.”

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

Published/Released on April 20, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 24, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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,... More

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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U.S. Public Health Service STD Experiments in Guatemala (1946–1948) and Their Aftermath – Ethics and Human Research (Kayte Spector‐Bagdady Paul A. Lombardo | March 2019)

ABSTRACT The U.S. Public Health Service’s sexually transmitted disease (STD) experiments in Guatemala are an important case study not only in human subjects research transgressions but also in the response to serious lapses in research ethics. This case study describes how individuals in the STD experiments... More

ABSTRACT The U.S. Public Health Service’s sexually transmitted disease (STD) experiments in Guatemala are an important case study not only in human subjects research transgressions but also in the response to serious lapses in research ethics. This case study describes how individuals in the STD experiments were tested, exposed to STDs, and exploited as the source of biological specimens—all without informed consent and often with active deceit. It also explores and evaluates governmental and professional responses that followed the public revelation of these experiments, including by academic institutions, professional organizations, and the U.S. federal government, pushing us to reconsider both how we prevent such lapses in the future and how we respond when they are first revealed.

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Director of Hong Kong science institute ASTRI charged with misconduct for not disclosing shares in vendor companies – South China Morning Post (Danny Lee | March 2019)

Published/Released on March 29, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 20, 2019 | Keywords: , , ,

Research head at government-run ASTRI accused of holding shares in companies he approved HK$535,000 worth of purchases from

The research director of a government science institute has been charged with misconduct for failing to disclose his financial interests in two companies before endorsing over... More

Research head at government-run ASTRI accused of holding shares in companies he approved HK$535,000 worth of purchases from

The research director of a government science institute has been charged with misconduct for failing to disclose his financial interests in two companies before endorsing over half a million dollars worth of purchases. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) found that Lau Man-kin, the research and development director of the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), did not reveal that he and his wife had investments in the two vendors before he approved buying HK$535,000 (US$68,155) worth of computers and software. The ICAC said in a statement on Friday that the case arose from a corruption complaint referred by ASTRI, which provided cooperation during the investigation.

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

Published/Released on January 30, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 20, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

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(US) Safeguards for human studies can’t cope with big data – Nature (Nathaniel Raymond | April 2019)

Forty years on from a foundational report on how to protect people participating in research, cracks are showing, warns Nathaniel Raymond.

One of the primary documents aiming to protect human research participants was published in the US Federal Register 40 years ago this week.... More

Forty years on from a foundational report on how to protect people participating in research, cracks are showing, warns Nathaniel Raymond.

One of the primary documents aiming to protect human research participants was published in the US Federal Register 40 years ago this week. The Belmont Report was commissioned by Congress in the wake of the notorious Tuskegee syphilis study, in which researchers withheld treatment from African American men for years and observed how the disease caused blindness, heart disease, dementia and, in some cases, death. [colored_box]The Belmont Report lays out core principles now generally required for human research to be considered ethical. Although technically governing only US federally supported research, its influence reverberates across academia and industry globally. Before academics with US government funding can begin research involving humans, their institutional review boards (IRBs) must determine that the studies comply with regulation largely derived from a document that was written more than a decade before the World Wide Web and nearly a quarter of a century before Facebook. . It is past time for a Belmont 2.0. We should not be asking those tasked with protecting human participants to single-handedly identify and contend with the implications of the digital revolution. Technological progress, including machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence, has altered the potential risks of research in ways that the authors of the first Belmont report could not have predicted. For example, Muslim cab drivers can be identified from patterns indicating that they stop to pray; the Ugandan government can try to identify gay men from their social-media habits; and researchers can monitor and influence individuals’ behaviour online without enrolling them in a study. .

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We need to relearn how to play nice in peer review – UA/AU (Daniel Harris | March 2019)

Published/Released on March 19, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 16, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Duke University’s huge misconduct fine is a reminder to reward rigour – Nature (Arturo Casadevall | April 2019)

Published/Released on April 02, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 15, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

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“Predatory” company uses Canadian universities to sell shoddy conferences – Ottawa Citizen (Tom Spears | April 2019)

Published/Released on April 10, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 14, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Omics International is still marketing junky science conferences in Montreal and Toronto this month despite a U.S. judge’s order to stop “deceptive” promoting of its conferences and academic journals. [colored_box]The company has a long record of publishing any research papers for a fee. This allows underqualified academics to pad their... More

Omics International is still marketing junky science conferences in Montreal and Toronto this month despite a U.S. judge’s order to stop “deceptive” promoting of its conferences and academic journals. [colored_box]The company has a long record of publishing any research papers for a fee. This allows underqualified academics to pad their credentials with fake research papers and gain promotion. Companies that do this are known as “predatory” publishers. . But a US District Court judge fined Omics more than $50 million on March 29 and made a sweeping order prohibiting the India-based company from “misrepresenting” its conferences and journals. . So far, the company is showing no signs of change. It is running a series of 18 small but pricey conferences in Toronto and Montreal in the next few weeks on topics ranging from cosmetology to medicine. Registration fees range up to US$1,399 for two days. .

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U.S. judge rules deceptive publisher should pay $50 million in damages – Science (Jeffrey Brainard | April 2019)

Published/Released on April 03, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 10, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

A U.S. federal judge has ordered the OMICS International publishing group to pay $50.1 million in damages for deceiving thousands of authors who published in its journals and attended its conferences. It’s one of the first rulings of its kind against one of the largest publishers accused of so-called... More

A U.S. federal judge has ordered the OMICS International publishing group to pay $50.1 million in damages for deceiving thousands of authors who published in its journals and attended its conferences. It’s one of the first rulings of its kind against one of the largest publishers accused of so-called predatory tactics. But because it’s a U.S. judgment and OMICS is based in Hyderabad, India, it’s not clear that any money will be collected or shared with researchers who claim OMICS deceived them. Judge Gloria Navarro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, granted summary judgment without a trial, accepting as uncontroverted a set of allegations made in 2016 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in Washington, D.C., in its capacity as a consumer watchdog. The ruling also bars OMICS from similar future conduct.

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(US/UK) Data suggest US, UK universities fall woefully short on reporting clinical trial results – Endpoints News (Natalie Grover | March 2019)

Published/Released on March 26, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 9, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Clinical trial data are used by patients, doctors and policymakers to make informed choices about the benefits and safety of interventions — while the methods and results of all trials are crucial to the pace and direction of scientific progress. However, there is a large body of evidence that... More

Clinical trial data are used by patients, doctors and policymakers to make informed choices about the benefits and safety of interventions — while the methods and results of all trials are crucial to the pace and direction of scientific progress. However, there is a large body of evidence that suggests that completed clinical trials are commonly left unreported, and educational institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom — arguably the two biggest regions that breed the bulk of medical innovation — have emerged as one of the key culprits guilty of these violations. In the United States, Congress passed a law in 2007 requiring trial sponsors — including universities — to post the results of certain clinical trials on clinicaltrials.gov within a year of trial completion, and a decade later in January 2017 the rule was finalized. Since 2017, 40 leading US universities should have posted the results of 450 clinical trials — but over a third (31%) of those results are missing, according to an analysis by Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) in partnership with non-profit research advocacy group TranspariMED. The violators include some of the most active trial sponsors: For example the MD Anderson Cancer Center, which has only reported 77% of due trials, Mayo Clinic (42%), UC San Francisco (37%), New York University (21%), and Columbia University (17%).

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Open Access, Academic Freedom, and the Spectrum of Coercive Power – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | November 2018)

Published/Released on January 05, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 8, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

I’m on the record as having suggested that institutional, funder-imposed, and governmental open access (OA) mandates have troubling implications for academic freedom, given that academic freedom includes — according to the statement promulgated by the American Association of University Professors —... More

I’m on the record as having suggested that institutional, funder-imposed, and governmental open access (OA) mandates have troubling implications for academic freedom, given that academic freedom includes — according to the statement promulgated by the American Association of University Professors — “full freedom… in publication.”* You can’t simultaneously enjoy “full freedom in publication” and operate under a regime that requires you to publish in very specific ways — especially when those modes of publication require you to give up important rights granted to you by law. When I’ve raised these concerns in the past, I’ve often been asked (usually by people who are strongly in favor of institutional, funder-based, and/or governmental OA mandates) whether I have the same concerns about a journal’s or publisher’s requirement that authors relinquish copyright in return for the their publishing services. After all, in both cases the author is being asked to relinquish control over her work in return for something else she wants. Aren’t journal publishers being just as coercive when they require copyright transfer as funders are when they require OA publication with a CC BY license? This question has usually come in relatively constraining forums like Twitter and online commenting threads, where it can be tough to respond effectively to a question this complex. Hence this posting, in which I’ll try to explain my thinking on this issue, which I think is a very important one. The first crucial thing to bear in mind is that when dealing with questions of freedom and coercion generally, we are not dealing with a binary issue. There’s no scenario available to faculty authors that offers either perfect freedom or absolute constraint. Even at their most free, academic authors are still generally expected by their peers to publish in quality scholarly journals, and their careers are hobbled when they fail to do so; even under the most constraining scenarios, authors usually still have some degree of choice between publishing venues (although some emerging models, like Plan S, would have particularly severe effects on authors’ freedom to choose). So this isn’t about choosing between absolute freedom and total coercion; the issue is how best to balance the tradition of academic freedom with the rights of various kinds of institutions to impose requirements on authors in return for such considerations as employment, funding, or publishing services. As it does in so many situations where different parties’ rights come into conflict, the challenge boils down to trying to find the right balance between the legitimate rights of individuals and an obligation to the collective good — or at least, the “collective good” as understood by people who have power over authors.

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Springer Nature Syndicates Content to ResearchGate – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | March 2019)

Published/Released on March 01, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 7, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Ever since Springer Nature and ResearchGate announced their cooperative agreement this past April, many have wondered what exactly the “sharing of articles on the scholarly collaboration platform in a way that protects the rights of authors and publishers” might look like. Today, we get our first... More

Ever since Springer Nature and ResearchGate announced their cooperative agreement this past April, many have wondered what exactly the “sharing of articles on the scholarly collaboration platform in a way that protects the rights of authors and publishers” might look like. Today, we get our first glimpse. Springer Nature and ResearchGate have announced that “full-text articles published in select Nature journals since November 2017 will be rolled out to researchers’ ResearchGate profiles starting now and completed by March 7, making it easier to read or download research on or off campus from that moment on.” I had a chance to speak yesterday with Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature, and Ijad Madisch, CEO of ResearchGate, about this project. Though small in scope, the importance of this project should not be overlooked. This pilot project represents the first significant experiment with the syndication of publisher content to a content supercontinent. My fellow Scholarly Kitchen contributor, Roger Schonfeld, has been tracking this emerging strategy and exploring it in recent months.

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(US) Old emails hold new clues to Coca-Cola and CDC’s controversial relationship – CNN (Jacqueline Howard | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 29, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 3, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Private emails between employees at the Coca-Cola Co. and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been exposed in a new research paper, raising questions about just how extensive of a relationship the soda company has had with the nation's public health agency. [colored_box]The paper, published Tuesday in... More

Private emails between employees at the Coca-Cola Co. and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been exposed in a new research paper, raising questions about just how extensive of a relationship the soda company has had with the nation's public health agency. [colored_box]The paper, published Tuesday in the journal The Milbank Quarterly includes excerpts from emails and suggests that current and former Coca-Cola staff tried to influence the CDC by attempting to frame the debate around whether sugar-sweetened beverages play a role in America's obesity epidemic, as well as trying to lobby decision-makers. . The email exchanges -- obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests -- were sent between 2011 and the time the FOIA requests were made in 2016 and 2017. .

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(China) Academic integrity gets renewed stress in aftermath of actor’s misconduct case – ECNS.cn (Jing Yuxin | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 28, 2019 | Posted by Admin on April 1, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

The Ministry of Education has asked universities with advanced degree programs to strengthen their supervision of student enrollment and management after a few high-profile academic misconduct cases tarnished the reputation of the country's postgraduate education. The ministry has zero tolerance for academic misconduct, such as plagiarism,... More

The Ministry of Education has asked universities with advanced degree programs to strengthen their supervision of student enrollment and management after a few high-profile academic misconduct cases tarnished the reputation of the country's postgraduate education. The ministry has zero tolerance for academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, and universities should scrutinize every step of graduate writing, from choosing research topics to dissertation defense, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Any misconduct will be dealt with seriously, and academic papers, theses and dissertations will be shared with other institutions to add more scrutiny, it said.

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(US) University of Illinois at Chicago Missed Warning Signs of Research Going Awry, Letters Show – Propublica Illinois (Jodi S. Cohen | March 2019)

Published/Released on February 28, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 31, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,

UIC has played down its shortcomings in overseeing the work of a prominent child psychiatrist, but newly obtained documents show that the school acknowledged its lapses to federal officials.

This story was co-published with The Chronicle of... More

UIC has played down its shortcomings in overseeing the work of a prominent child psychiatrist, but newly obtained documents show that the school acknowledged its lapses to federal officials.

This story was co-published with The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Chicago Sun-Times.

For a year, the University of Illinois at Chicago has downplayed its shortcomings in overseeing the work of a prominent child psychiatrist who violated research protocols and put vulnerable children with bipolar disorder at risk.

But documents newly obtained by ProPublica Illinois show that UIC acknowledged to federal officials that it had missed several warning signs that Dr. Mani Pavuluri’s clinical trial on lithium had gone off track, eventually requiring the university to pay an unprecedented $3.1 million penalty to the federal government.

UIC’s Institutional Review Board, the committee responsible for protecting research subjects, improperly fast-tracked approval of Pavuluri’s clinical trial, didn’t catch serious omissions from the consent forms parents had to sign and allowed children to enroll in the study even though they weren’t eligible, the documents show.

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(US) Duke whistleblower gets more than $33 million in research fraud settlement – NPR (Bill Chappell | March 2019)

Duke University is paying the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle accusations that it submitted bogus data to win federal research grants. The settlement will also bring a $33.75 million payment to Joseph Thomas, the whistleblower who drew attention to the fraud when he worked for Duke. Thomas, a former... More

Duke University is paying the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle accusations that it submitted bogus data to win federal research grants. The settlement will also bring a $33.75 million payment to Joseph Thomas, the whistleblower who drew attention to the fraud when he worked for Duke. Thomas, a former Duke lab analyst, sued the university on behalf of the federal government, saying that a Duke researcher fudged data to help the university win and keep lucrative grants from two agencies, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. The dozens of grants in question covered the study of the lung function of mice. The Justice Department says Thomas' lawsuit alleged that "between 2006 and 2018, Duke knowingly submitted and caused to be submitted" claims to federal agencies that were unknowingly paying grant money for falsified research data. It adds that while the agreement settles the court case, it does not mean Duke has been determined liable.

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(US) NIH apologizes for its failure to address sexual harassment in science – STAT (Lev Facher | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 28, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 29, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

[colored_box]WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health on Thursday apologized for its past failures to recognize and address the culture of sexual harassment that has impacted scientists for generations. . “To all those who have endured these experiences, we are sorry that it has taken so long to acknowledge... More

[colored_box]WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health on Thursday apologized for its past failures to recognize and address the culture of sexual harassment that has impacted scientists for generations. . “To all those who have endured these experiences, we are sorry that it has taken so long to acknowledge and address the climate and culture that has caused such harm,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement. . Sexual harassment in science, Collins said, is “morally indefensible, it’s unacceptable, and it presents a major obstacle that is keeping women from achieving their rightful place in science.” .

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On “truly” understanding the risk – The Ethics Blog (Pär Segerdahl | March 2019)

Pär SegerdahlIt is a well-known psychological fact that people have great difficulties to understand probabilistic risks. What does it actually mean that the risk of developing breast cancer the next ten years is fifteen percent? In addition to the difficulties of... More

Pär SegerdahlIt is a well-known psychological fact that people have great difficulties to understand probabilistic risks. What does it actually mean that the risk of developing breast cancer the next ten years is fifteen percent? In addition to the difficulties of understanding probabilities, mathematical expressions can cause a false appearance of exactitude and objectivity. It is often about uncertain evaluations, but expressed in seemingly definitive figures. At our Monday seminar, Ulrik Kihlbom discussed another difficulty with understanding risk information. It can be difficult to understand not only the probabilities, but also what it is you risk experiencing. Sometimes, people face enormously complex choices, where the risks are high, but also the benefits. Perhaps you suffer from a serious disease from which you will die. However, there is a treatment, and it may work. It is just that the treatment has such severe side effects that you may die even from the treatment. Ulrik Kihlbom interviewed physicians treating patients with leukemia. The doctors stated that patients often do not understand the risks of the treatment they are offered. The difficulty is not so much about understanding the risk of dying from the treatment. The patients understand that risk. However, the doctors said, no one who has not actually seen the side effects understand that the treatment can make you so incredibly ill.

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Sexual harassment rife in Australian science, suggests first workplace survey – Science (February 2019)

Published/Released on February 28, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 26, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

One in two female respondents to a national poll has been sexually harassed at work.

Nearly half the female scientists who responded to an Australian survey on sexual misconduct at work have experienced sexual harassment. In More

One in two female respondents to a national poll has been sexually harassed at work.

Nearly half the female scientists who responded to an Australian survey on sexual misconduct at work have experienced sexual harassment. In a report released today, 10% of male scientists also said they had been sexually harassed at work. [colored_box]The poll represents the first investigation into the prevalence of sexual harassment among Australian scientists and technologists working in industry, the public sector or non-profit organizations, as well as academia. Almost 300 science professionals answered the questions in an online poll conducted by Science & Technology Australia (STA), an organization based in Canberra that lobbies for the interests of scientists. . Previous surveys of students in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have found widespread harassment at universities. The latest results show that harassment is rife across all types of scientific workplace. .

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#MeToo and Health Research Ethics – The Hastings Center (Kathleen Bachynski | March 2019)

As a public health researcher interested in brain injuries in sports, I was searching for peer-reviewed literature that examined cultural pressures that cause athletes to minimize symptoms of potentially serious injuries when I came across a 1994 article entitled, “A Little Pain Never Hurt Anybody: A Photo-Essay on the... More

As a public health researcher interested in brain injuries in sports, I was searching for peer-reviewed literature that examined cultural pressures that cause athletes to minimize symptoms of potentially serious injuries when I came across a 1994 article entitled, “A Little Pain Never Hurt Anybody: A Photo-Essay on the Normalization of Sport Injuries.” The identity of one of the authors cast the study in a suspicious light: Dr. Richard Strauss, the Ohio State University physician who has been accused by more than 100 former students of sexual abuse. His article was a “visual study” with numerous photos of student wrestlers. It claimed to “convey some of the details and social ambiance of today’s approach to collegiate sports medicine.”  A research method that involves photographing injured students, both at the time of injury and while undergoing medical examinations and surgical procedures, also involves significant intimate contact with a vulnerable population. In such circumstances, patients must be able to fully trust the researcher’s integrity, honesty, and respect for persons. The irony that a doctor accused of groping his patients’ genitalia also studied the cultural belief that “a little pain never hurt anybody” astonishes me. Furthermore, I am concerned about the implications of accused serial sexual abusers publishing in academic literature: that they can use their position of authority to not only enhance their professional status but also to shape academic knowledge. According to Google Scholar, at least 117 articles have cited Strauss’ photo-essay. One 2005 article described it as an example of how the technique of photo-interviewing provided “a way to get people to talk about more difficult and abstract concepts.”

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(Australia Queensland case) Universal Medicine research conducted by devotees won’t be pulled by Queensland uni – ABC (Josh Robertson | March 2019)

A top Australian university has stood by studies into the health benefits of a group that a jury found was a "dangerous cult" making false healing claims, despite its own medical researchers failing to disclose they were devotees. [colored_box]A 10-month investigation by the University of Queensland (UQ) has cleared the... More

A top Australian university has stood by studies into the health benefits of a group that a jury found was a "dangerous cult" making false healing claims, despite its own medical researchers failing to disclose they were devotees. [colored_box]A 10-month investigation by the University of Queensland (UQ) has cleared the researchers of academic misconduct despite finding they did not fully detail their involvement with Universal Medicine (UM). . The studies were published in overseas journals and explored the benefits of UM treatments including "esoteric breast massage" and proposed clinical studies in Vietnamese hospitals that would be forbidden in Australia. .

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Academic Behind Cambridge Analytica Data Mining Sues Facebook for Defamation – New York Times (Matthew Rosenberg | March 2019)

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High-profile subscription journals critique Plan S – Nature (Holly Else | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 26, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 23, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Publishers say that the bold open-access initiative rules out proven ways of opening up the literature.

Publishers of highly selective scholarly journals — including Nature and Science — say that they cannot comply with Plan... More

Publishers say that the bold open-access initiative rules out proven ways of opening up the literature.

Publishers of highly selective scholarly journals — including Nature and Science — say that they cannot comply with Plan S, a European-led initiative that mandates free access to research results on publication from 2020, unless its rules are changed. Their appeals come as part of a massive consultation on how the open-access initiative should work, which closed on 8 February and received about 600 responses, including from most of the world’s major academic publishers. Many publishers told the Plan S coalition that they support the general aims of the initiative, but don’t agree on its details. They also say the timeframe for the transition is too short.

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China to tighten rules on gene editing in humans – Nature (David Cyranoski | March 2019)

In the wake of the gene-edited-baby scandal, scientists and institutions could face tough penalties for breaking the rules.

China’s health ministry has issued draft regulations that will restrict the use of gene editing in humans, just three months after Chinese researcher He Jiankui announced... More

In the wake of the gene-edited-baby scandal, scientists and institutions could face tough penalties for breaking the rules.

China’s health ministry has issued draft regulations that will restrict the use of gene editing in humans, just three months after Chinese researcher He Jiankui announced that twin girls had been born with edited genomes. The proposal includes severe penalties for those who break the rules. If approved, scientists say the policy could have gains and drawbacks for research. The draft regulations, issued by the National Health Commission on 26 February, state that gene editing in any type of cell that will end up in humans, including embryos, will need the commission’s approval, as will other high-risk biomedical procedures. The regulations come in response to He’s claim, in late November, that he used the gene-editing technology CRISPR–Cas9 to alter the genomes of embryos — a process known as germline editing — to make them resistant to HIV. He then implanted the edited embryos into women. News that twin girls had been born as a result of these experiments prompted an international outcry about He’s use of a risky and unproven technology.

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Major medical journals don’t follow their own rules for reporting results from clinical trials – Science (Jocelyn Kaiser | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 15, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 19, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

It’s a well-known problem with clinical trials: Researchers start out saying they will look for a particular outcome—heart attacks, for example—but then report something else when they publish their results. That practice can make a drug or treatment look like it’s safer or more effective than it actually is.... More

It’s a well-known problem with clinical trials: Researchers start out saying they will look for a particular outcome—heart attacks, for example—but then report something else when they publish their results. That practice can make a drug or treatment look like it’s safer or more effective than it actually is. Now, a systematic effort to find out whether major journals are complying with their own pledge to ensure that outcomes are reported correctly has found many are falling down on the job—and both journals and authors are full of excuses. [colored_box]When journals and researchers were asked to correct studies, the responses “were fascinating, and alarming. Editors and researchers routinely misunderstand what correct trial reporting looks like,” says project leader Ben Goldacre, an author and physician at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and a proponent of transparency in drug research. . Starting 4 years ago, his team’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Outcome Monitoring Project (COMPare) project examined all trials published over 6 weeks in five journals: Annals of Internal Medicine, The BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet, and The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The study topics ranged from the health effects of drinking alcohol for diabetics to a comparison of two kidney cancer drugs. All five journals have endorsed long-established Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines. One CONSORT rule is that authors should describe the outcomes they plan to study before a trial starts and stick to that list when they publish the trial. .

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Editorial Mutiny at Elsevier Journal – Inside Higher Ed (Lindsay McKenzie | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 14, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 18, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

Following in the footsteps of linguistics journal Lingua, the editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics has resigned and launched a rival journal that will be free for all to read. The entire editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics... More

Following in the footsteps of linguistics journal Lingua, the editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics has resigned and launched a rival journal that will be free for all to read. The entire editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics resigned Thursday in protest over high open-access fees, restricted access to citation data and commercial control of scholarly work. Today, the same team is launching a new fully open-access journal called Quantitative Science Studies. The journal will be for and by the academic community and will be owned by the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI). It will be published jointly with MIT Press. The editorial board of the Journal of Informetrics said in a statement that they were unanimous in their decision to quit. They contend that scholarly journals should be owned by the scholarly community rather than by commercial publishers, should be open access under fair principles, and publishers should make citation data freely available.

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New call to ban gene-edited babies divides biologists – Science (Jon Cohen | March 2019)

A prominent group of 18 scientists and bioethicists from seven countries has called for a global “moratorium” on introducing heritable changes into human sperm, eggs, or embryos—germline editing—to make genetically altered children. The group, which published a commentary in Nature today, hopes to influence a long-standing debate that dramatically... More

A prominent group of 18 scientists and bioethicists from seven countries has called for a global “moratorium” on introducing heritable changes into human sperm, eggs, or embryos—germline editing—to make genetically altered children. The group, which published a commentary in Nature today, hopes to influence a long-standing debate that dramatically intensified after China’s He Jiankui announced in November 2018 that he used the genome editor CRISPR to try to alter the genes of babies to be resistant to the AIDS virus. [colored_box]Their call, which is endorsed in the same issue of Nature by Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is a departure from statements issued by two global summits on genome editing in 2015 and 2018, a 2017 report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), and a 2018 report from the United Kingdom’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics. None has banned human germline editing, and most have stressed that it holds promise to help correct some heritable diseases. All have warned against using germline editing for cognitive or physical “enhancement” of people. Scientists including Nobel laureate David Baltimore of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena remain opposed to a moratorium. Even in the wake of the He incident, Baltimore, who helped organize the summits, denounced such a ban as “draconian” and “antithetical to the goals of science.” . Any nation that wants to greenlight a human germline edit by its scientists, the 18 authors declare, should have to give public notice, engage in an international and transparent assessment of whether the intervention is justified, and make sure the work has broad support in their own nation. “Nations might well choose different paths, but they would agree to proceed openly and with due respect to the opinions of humankind on an issue that will ultimately affect the entire species,” they write. They strongly encourage that nonscientific perspectives, including those of people with disabilities and religious groups, be included in the discussion. And they stress that they are not calling for a moratorium on genome editing of somatic cells, which would not affect future generations. .

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Adopt a moratorium on heritable genome editing – Nature (Eric Lander, et al | March 2019)

We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm, eggs or embryos) to make genetically modified children. By ‘global moratorium’, we do not mean a permanent ban. Rather, we call for the establishment of an international framework... More

We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm, eggs or embryos) to make genetically modified children. By ‘global moratorium’, we do not mean a permanent ban. Rather, we call for the establishment of an international framework in which nations, while retaining the right to make their own decisions, voluntarily commit to not approve any use of clinical germline editing unless certain conditions are met. To begin with, there should be a fixed period during which no clinical uses of germline editing whatsoever are allowed. As well as allowing for discussions about the technical, scientific, medical, societal, ethical and moral issues that must be considered before germline editing is permitted, this period would provide time to establish an international framework.

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Why were scientists silent over gene-edited babies? – Nature (Natalie Kofler | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 26, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 12, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,

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The CRISPR-baby scandal: what’s next for human gene-editing – Nature (David Cyranoski | February 2019)

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An idea to promote research integrity: adding badges to papers where the authors fought against the results being suppressed or sanitised – LSE Impact Blog (Adrian Barnett | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on March 11, 2019 | Keywords: , ,

Some journals, including Biostatistics and BMJ Open Science, add prominent badges to research papers for which the authors have shared the data and/or statistical code. The badge is intended to recognise the additional work undertaken by the authors to curate and deposit their data and code. It also... More

Some journals, including Biostatistics and BMJ Open Science, add prominent badges to research papers for which the authors have shared the data and/or statistical code. The badge is intended to recognise the additional work undertaken by the authors to curate and deposit their data and code. It also rewards good research practice, because sharing data and code helps with reproducibility and increases the value of research by allowing other researchers to run new studies. Evidence from two observational studies shows that badges have increased the rate of data sharing at journals.

I am a supporter of open science and have shared data without receiving a badge. However, if I could add badges to any of my papers, it would be where there was an attempt to suppress or sanitise the results. These are the papers I am most proud of publishing.

I’ve experienced three instances of suppression or sanitisation: two papers were eventually published in whole, but one other was sanitised, much to my enduring chagrin. In all three cases I believe the attempted suppression occurred because the study’s sponsor did not like the results. There is a similar story on the COPE website (Committee on Publication Ethics) involving a disagreement between a drug company and academic researchers.

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The Fraud Finder: A conversation with Elisabeth Bik – The Last Word on Nothing (Sally Adee | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 12, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 10, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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(US) Will Me Too Activism Cost Professor Her Job? – Inside Higher Ed (Scott Jaschi | February 2019)

Published/Released on March 22, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 8, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

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Rare trial of open peer review allays common concerns – Nature (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | February 2019)

Published/Released on March 15, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 6, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

Study suggests that making reviewers’ reports freely readable doesn’t compromise peer-review process.

[colored_box]A rare analysis of open peer review — in which reviews are posted alongside published papers — has overturned some common conceptions about the practice: notably, that it doesn’t put the reviewers... More

Study suggests that making reviewers’ reports freely readable doesn’t compromise peer-review process.

[colored_box]A rare analysis of open peer review — in which reviews are posted alongside published papers — has overturned some common conceptions about the practice: notably, that it doesn’t put the reviewers off or affect their recommendations on whether to accept a paper. . The analysis, published on 18 January in Nature Communications1, also indicates that open reviewers mostly prefer to remain anonymous, and that they don’t take any longer to complete reviews than in the conventional process. . “I think the case for publishing peer reviews is quite clear in terms of transparency and accountability,” says Tony Ross-Hellauer, an information scientist at the Graz University of Technology in Austria who conducted a 2017 survey about open peer review. “In terms of clearing away some doubts about publishing peer reviews, I think this study is really good news.” .

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Organ transplants from executed Chinese prisoners and research ethics – Radio National ABC (Norman Swan | February 2019)

Macquarie University researchers say hundreds of journal papers in the transplant field don’t follow ethical guidelines in declaring whether or not their research includes transplants from executed prisoners in China. The researchers want the papers retracted, saying it creates a moral hazard for the entire field of research. Guest: Professor Wendy Rogers More

Macquarie University researchers say hundreds of journal papers in the transplant field don’t follow ethical guidelines in declaring whether or not their research includes transplants from executed prisoners in China. The researchers want the papers retracted, saying it creates a moral hazard for the entire field of research. Guest: Professor Wendy Rogers

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(US) This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science – but her own job is in peril – Science (By Meredith Wadmam | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 12, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 3, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

BethAnn McLaughlin has no time for James Watson, especially not when the 90-year-old geneticist is peering out from a photo on the wall of her guest room at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Banbury Center. [colored_box]“I don’t need him staring at me when I’m trying to go to sleep,” McLaughlin told... More

BethAnn McLaughlin has no time for James Watson, especially not when the 90-year-old geneticist is peering out from a photo on the wall of her guest room at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Banbury Center. [colored_box]“I don’t need him staring at me when I’m trying to go to sleep,” McLaughlin told a December 2018 gathering at the storied New York meeting center as she projected a photo of her redecorating job: She had hung a washcloth over the image of Watson, who co-discovered DNA’s structure, directed the lab for decades—and is well-known for racist and sexist statements. . The washcloth image was part of McLaughlin’s unconventional presentation—by turns sobering, hilarious, passionate, and profane—to two dozen experts who had gathered to wrestle with how to end gender discrimination in the biosciences. McLaughlin, a 51-year-old neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, displayed the names of current members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) who have been sanctioned for sexual harassment. She urged other NAS members—several of whom sat in the room—to resign in protest, “as one does.” She chided institutions for passing along “harassholes” to other universities. “The only other places that do this are the Catholic Church and the military,” she said. .

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Call for retraction of 400 scientific papers amid fears organs came from Chinese prisoners – The Guardian (Melissa Davey | February 2019)

Study finds failure of English language medical journals to comply with international ethical standards

A world-first study has called for the mass retraction of more than 400 scientific papers on organ transplantation, amid fears the organs were obtained unethically from... More

Study finds failure of English language medical journals to comply with international ethical standards

A world-first study has called for the mass retraction of more than 400 scientific papers on organ transplantation, amid fears the organs were obtained unethically from Chinese prisoners. The Australian-led study exposes a mass failure of English language medical journals to comply with international ethical standards in place to ensure organ donors provide consent for transplantation. The study was published on Wednesday in the medical journal BMJ Open. Its author, the professor of clinical ethics Wendy Rogers, said journals, researchers and clinicians who used the research were complicit in “barbaric” methods of organ procurement.

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Why journal editors should dig deeper when authors ask for a retraction – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 21, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 2, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

Imagine you’re a journal editor. A group of authors sends you a request to retract one of their papers, saying that “during figure assembly certain images were inappropriately processed.” What do you do next? Do you ask some tough questions about just what “inappropriately processed” means? Do you check your... More

Imagine you’re a journal editor. A group of authors sends you a request to retract one of their papers, saying that “during figure assembly certain images were inappropriately processed.” What do you do next? Do you ask some tough questions about just what “inappropriately processed” means? Do you check your files for whether the author’s institution had told you about an investigation into the work? Do you Google the author’s names? Do you…search Retraction Watch? It seems unlikely that any of those things happened in the case of a recent retraction from Nature Communications, or, if they did, they don’t seem to have informed the notice. We don’t know for sure, because, as is typical, the journal isn’t saying much. But here’s what we do know.

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He Jiankui’s Germline Editing Ethics Article Retracted by The CRISPR Journal – GEN (Julianna LeMieux – February 2019)

Published/Released on February 20, 2019 | Posted by Admin on March 2, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

Failure to disclose conflicts of interest was "unacceptable"

Twelve weeks after publishing a perspective on the ethics of gene editing by He Jiankui, PhD, the scientist reportedly responsible for the first gene-edited humans, the editors of The CRISPR Journal have decided to retract the... More

Failure to disclose conflicts of interest was "unacceptable"

Twelve weeks after publishing a perspective on the ethics of gene editing by He Jiankui, PhD, the scientist reportedly responsible for the first gene-edited humans, the editors of The CRISPR Journal have decided to retract the article, GEN can exclusively report. [colored_box]In late November, the shocking news of the genetically edited twin girls broke out on the eve of the second international Human Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong. The creation of germline-edited humans was unprecedented and not something that the scientific community had prepared for. . Most of the attention focused on the actions of 34-year-old He, formerly a professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen. He’s decision to ignore advice from prominent members of the scientific community and serious questions over the technical and ethical procedures prompted an immediate investigation by Chinese authorities while he was held under house arrest, culminating in his dismissal by SUSTech last month.| .

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Move clinical trial data sharing from an option to an imperative – STAT (Rebecca Li | February 2019)

Data from clinical trials have long been locked away, some in this principal investigator’s computer bank, some in that pharmaceutical company’s cloud. For years we have been talking about opening up those vaults and freeing these data. The key has finally turned: Data sharing is becoming... More

Data from clinical trials have long been locked away, some in this principal investigator’s computer bank, some in that pharmaceutical company’s cloud. For years we have been talking about opening up those vaults and freeing these data. The key has finally turned: Data sharing is becoming the new reality.

From Jan. 1, 2019, onward, the world’s leading medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, BMJ, and thousands more require authors to disclose whether and how they plan to share deidentified raw data from individual participants in their clinical trials. What’s more, researchers wishing to publish in these journals must declare their data-sharing plans in a public registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov.

It’s a radical departure from where we’ve been. In my former life conducting trials as a scientist in industry and for the National Institutes of Health, when I’d log onto ClinicalTrials.gov to register a new trial, I didn’t have to give a second thought to if or how I’d be sharing data from the trial. Now all researchers need to think about that from the very beginning, even before the first trial participant is enrolled.

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Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers? – Science (Tania Rabesandratana | January 2019)

Published/Released on February 03, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 24, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

How far will Plan S spread? Since the September 2018 launch of the Europe-backed program to mandate immediate open access (OA) to scientific literature, 16 funders in 13 countries have signed on. That's still far shy of Plan S's ambition: to convince the world's major research funders to require immediate... More

How far will Plan S spread? Since the September 2018 launch of the Europe-backed program to mandate immediate open access (OA) to scientific literature, 16 funders in 13 countries have signed on. That's still far shy of Plan S's ambition: to convince the world's major research funders to require immediate OA to all published papers stemming from their grants. Whether it will reach that goal depends in part on details that remain to be settled, including a cap on the author charges that funders will pay for OA publication. But the plan has gained momentum: In December 2018, China stunned many by expressing strong support for Plan S. This month, a national funding agency in Africa is expected to join, possibly followed by a second U.S. funder. Others around the world are considering whether to sign on. Plan S, scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2020, has drawn support from many scientists, who welcome a shake-up of a publishing system that can generate large profits while keeping taxpayer-funded research results behind paywalls. But publishers (including AAAS, which publishes Science) are concerned, and some scientists worry that Plan S could restrict their choices.

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(JAP) Japanese stem cell fraud leads to a new retraction – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | January 2019)

Published/Released on February 04, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 23, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,

Last March, we reported on the retraction of a 2017 paper in Stem Cell Reports by Kohei Yamamizu and colleagues for widespread fabrication of figures. Turns out the problems were at least five years older than that. Yamamizu had received a pink slip from his institution, the... More

Last March, we reported on the retraction of a 2017 paper in Stem Cell Reports by Kohei Yamamizu and colleagues for widespread fabrication of figures. Turns out the problems were at least five years older than that. Yamamizu had received a pink slip from his institution, the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), which had put the blame for the misconduct squarely on his shoulders. (The director of the institute, Nobel winner Shinya Yamanaka, also took some of the blame in a public statement in which he said he bore “a strong responsibility for not having prevented research misconduct at our institute.”) Yamamizu has a new retraction, but this time’s a bit different. Here’s the notice for the paper, “Protein Kinase A Determines Timing of Early Differentiation through Epigenetic Regulation with G9,” which appeared in Cell Stem Cell in June 2012 (Yamanaka was not a co-author on either study).  Although the statement acknowledges the internal investigation, it doesn’t mention misconduct or name Yamamizu:

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CRISPR bombshell: Chinese researcher claims to have created gene-edited twins – Science (Dennis Normile | November 2018)

HONG KONG, CHINA—On the eve of an international summit here on genome editing, a Chinese researcher has shocked many by claiming to have altered the genomes of twin baby girls born this month in a way that will pass the modification on to future generations. The alteration is intended... More

HONG KONG, CHINA—On the eve of an international summit here on genome editing, a Chinese researcher has shocked many by claiming to have altered the genomes of twin baby girls born this month in a way that will pass the modification on to future generations. The alteration is intended to make the children’s cells resistant to infection by HIV, says the scientist, He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. The claim—yet to be reported in a scientific paper—initiated a firestorm of criticism today, with some scientists and bioethicists calling the work “premature,” “ethically problematic,” and even “monstrous.” The Chinese Society for Cell Biology issued a statement calling the research “a serious violation of the Chinese government’s laws and regulations and the consensus of the Chinese scientific community.” And He’s university issued a statement saying it has launched an investigation into the research, which it says may “seriously violate academic ethics and academic norms.” Other scientists, meanwhile, asked to see details of the experiment and its justification before passing judgment.

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(US) Overdue: a US advisory board for research integrity – Nature (C. K. Gunsalus, et al | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 11, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 23, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Research needs an authoritative forum to hash out collective problems, argue C. K. Gunsalus, Marcia K. McNutt and colleagues

When it comes to fostering rigour and scientific integrity, US research institutions are stuck. Working out best practice is far from straightforward, and faculty members... More

Research needs an authoritative forum to hash out collective problems, argue C. K. Gunsalus, Marcia K. McNutt and colleagues

When it comes to fostering rigour and scientific integrity, US research institutions are stuck. Working out best practice is far from straightforward, and faculty members can be resistant to top-down directives. So, on a day-to-day basis, the conventions that research groups have for documenting methods and results, conducting analyses and allocating credit are often less than optimal. At worst, they can encourage dishonesty and scandal. For example, in April 2017, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and its health-care network agreed to pay US$10 million to settle fraud allegations in stem-cell research funding. (Researchers contest who is at fault.) The hospital has requested retractions of more than 30 papers, and a clinical trial involving more than 100 participants has been paused while data are reviewed. Resources that might have brought better medical care have been squandered. [colored_box]Building a culture of quality and integrity requires conversations across the scientific enterprise. Science is a complex ecosystem of funders, journals, academic administrators, scientific societies and researchers — the latter group including principal investigators, staff scientists, postdocs and graduate students. The interests of each group conflict as often as they overlap, and interactions tend to be stratified and constrained. Institutional presidents sit on working groups with each other but not with research-integrity officers. These officers attend conferences with each other, but not with faculty advisers and bench scientists. Journal editors meet scientists and other editors, but not institutional officers, on whom they rely for investigation when concerns about manuscripts arise. . In the United States, a fractured, inefficient, inconsistent system has built up over the past 70 years to protect research quality and integrity. Separate and sometimes overlapping mechanisms focus on distinct areas, such as oversight of trial participants and animal subjects, data management, financial transactions and declarations of interest. .

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Learning lessons from the Paolo Macchiarini case – Horizons (Matthias Egger | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 06, 2018 | Posted by Admin on February 23, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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A Star Surgeon Left a Trail of Dead Patients—and His Whistleblowers Were Punished – LeapsMag (Eve Herold | October 2018)

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(US) A new NIH rule won’t be enough to make clinical research more inclusive – STAT (Louise Aronson | January 2019)

A quiet but revolutionary new national health policy goes into effect this week, ushering in changes that could lead to important medical discoveries that benefit most Americans. There’s just one problem. Implementing the change will require that our country’s health researchers make some fundamental changes in how they... More

A quiet but revolutionary new national health policy goes into effect this week, ushering in changes that could lead to important medical discoveries that benefit most Americans. There’s just one problem. Implementing the change will require that our country’s health researchers make some fundamental changes in how they do business.

[colored_box]Under the National Institutes of Health’s new Inclusion Across the Lifespan policy, federally supported medical research must include patients of all relevant ages or explain their exclusion. Since most studies already include adults, and a mandate to include children has existed since 1998, the novelty in this policy is the stipulation that clinical research include people age 65 and older. .

That’s a big group. It currently includes both Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Clarence Thomas, as well as the 50 million other older Americans, along with the rest of us who get lucky enough down the road to make it into elderhood. .

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Oft-quoted paper on spread of fake news turns out to be…fake news – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 09, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 20, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

The authors of an much-ballyhooed 2017 paper about the spread of fake news on social media have retracted their article after finding that they’d botched their analysis. [colored_box]The paper, “Limited individual attention and online virality of low-quality information,” presented an argument for why bogus facts seem to gain so much... More

The authors of an much-ballyhooed 2017 paper about the spread of fake news on social media have retracted their article after finding that they’d botched their analysis. [colored_box]The paper, “Limited individual attention and online virality of low-quality information,” presented an argument for why bogus facts seem to gain so much traction on sites such as Facebook. According to the researchers — — from Shanghai Institute of Technology, Indiana University and Yahoo — the key was in the sheer volume of bad information, which swamps the brain’s ability to discern the real from the merely plausible or even the downright ridiculous, competing with limited attention spans and time. . As they reported: .

Our main finding is that survival of the fittest is far from a foregone conclusion where information is concerned. .

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Cloning monkeys for research puts humans on a slippery ethical slope – The Conversation (David Hunter | February 2019)

Published/Released on February 01, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 17, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Scientists have many tools at their disposal to study, manipulate and copy genes. [colored_box]Now it appears researchers at the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai, China, have combined techniques to produce a world first: gene edited, cloned macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). . Qiang Sun, a senior researcher in... More

Scientists have many tools at their disposal to study, manipulate and copy genes. [colored_box]Now it appears researchers at the Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai, China, have combined techniques to produce a world first: gene edited, cloned macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). . Qiang Sun, a senior researcher in the project and Director of ION’s Nonhuman Primate Research Facility explains: .

We believe that this approach of cloning gene-edited monkeys could be used to generate a variety of monkey models for gene-based diseases, including many brain diseases, as well as immune and metabolic disorders and cancer. .

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Whose hearts, livers and lungs are transplanted in China? Origins must be clear in human organ research – The Conversation (Wendy Rogers and Matthew Robertson | February 2019)

Scientist He Jiankui’s claimed use of the genetic tool CRISPR to edit the genomes of twin girls led to international condemnation. His actions have focused a spotlight on research ethics – and what the consequences should be when scientists “go... More

Scientist He Jiankui’s claimed use of the genetic tool CRISPR to edit the genomes of twin girls led to international condemnation. His actions have focused a spotlight on research ethics – and what the consequences should be when scientists “go rogue”. The Chinese Academy of Science initially looked into He’s conduct, and a subsequent internal government investigation has allegedly identified multiple violations of state laws. He has now been fired by his university.


Read more: Tension as scientist at centre of CRISPR outrage speaks at genome editing summit
But beyond just this example, what does happen when scientists fail to comply with globally-accepted guidelines for ethical medical research? We examined this issue focusing on published research involving recipients of organ transplants performed in the People’s Republic of China.\

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Claim of CRISPR’d baby girls stuns genome editing summit – STAT (Sharon Begley | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on February 12, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

HONG KONG — A Chinese scientist’s claim that he used the genome editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the DNA of human embryos, resulting in the birth a few weeks ago of twin girls, stunned organizers of the Second International Summit... More

HONG KONG — A Chinese scientist’s claim that he used the genome editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the DNA of human embryos, resulting in the birth a few weeks ago of twin girls, stunned organizers of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, leaving them scrambling to evaluate the claim two days before the scientist is scheduled to speak at the meeting.

“I don’t know the details” of the claim by He Jiankui, said David Baltimore of the California Institute of Technology, chairman of the organizing committee of the summit, which begins on Tuesday in Hong Kong. “We don’t know what will be said” when He speaks at a session on human embryo editing.

The summit’s organizing committee issued a statement Monday saying they had only just learned of He’s research in Shenzhen, China. “Whether the clinical protocols that resulted in the births in China conformed with the guidance” of leading scientific bodies for conducting clinical trials of heritable genome editing “remains to be determined,” the statement said. “We hope that the dialogue at our summit further advances the world’s understanding of the issues surrounding human genome editing. Our goal is to help ensure that human genome editing research be pursued responsibly, for the benefit of all society.”

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Human genome editing: ask whether, not how – Nature (J. Benjamin Hurlbut | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 02, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 12, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

The scientific community’s response to the CRISPR twins should not pre-empt broader discussion across society, warns J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Leaders in the scientific community are urgently seeking to set international standards for producing genetically modified humans. They are reacting to November’s announcement by Chinese... More

The scientific community’s response to the CRISPR twins should not pre-empt broader discussion across society, warns J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Leaders in the scientific community are urgently seeking to set international standards for producing genetically modified humans. They are reacting to November’s announcement by Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who claims that twin girls have been born carrying gene-editing changes He made when they were embryos. In calling for standards for producing such ‘CRISPR-edited’ babies, these leaders have shunted aside a crucial and as-yet-unanswered question: whether it is (or can ever be) acceptable to genetically engineer children by introducing changes that they will pass on to their own offspring. That question belongs not to science, but to all of humanity. We do not yet understand what making heritable genetic alterations will mean for our fundamental relationships — parent to child, physician to patient, state to citizen and society to its members. In 2015, the dozen bioethicists and scientists who organized the first International Summit on Human Gene Editing agreed. They said it was irresponsible to proceed with heritable human genetic alteration until two conditions were met: one, that safety and efficacy had been demonstrated; and two, that there was “broad societal consensus” about the appropriateness of proceeding.

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Are scientists’ reactions to ‘CRISPR babies’ about ethics or self-governance? – STAT (Nina Frahm and Tess Doezema | January 2019)

It’s been two months since Chinese scientist He Jiankui shocked the world with the announcement that his lab had created the first genetically edited babies. Since then, much of the public furor surrounding the news has died down, even as He More

It’s been two months since Chinese scientist He Jiankui shocked the world with the announcement that his lab had created the first genetically edited babies. Since then, much of the public furor surrounding the news has died down, even as He has been fired by the Southern University of Science and Technology. There is one important takeaway from the controversy that seems to have gone overlooked in the CRISPR ethics discussion: defining the ethics of editing human life should not be left to scientists alone.

The research community widely agreed that He and his colleagues crossed an ethical line with the first inheritable genetic modification of human beings. Gene-editing experts as well as bioethicists described the transgression as being conducted by a “rogue” individual. But when leading voices such as NIH Director Francis Collins assert that He’s work “represents a deeply disturbing willingness by Dr. He and his team to flout international ethical norms,” what are they actually expressing concern about? Who determines what are the ethics of altering human life?

We believe that the alarm being sounded by the scientific community isn’t really about ethics. It’s about protecting a particular form of scientific self-governance, which the “ethics” discourse supports. What are currently treated as matters of research ethics are in fact political and social questions of fundamental human importance.

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American scientist played more active role in ‘CRISPR babies’ project than previously known – STAT (Jane Qiu | January 2019)

BEIJING — An American scientist at Rice University was far more involved in the widely condemned “CRISPR babies” experiment than has previously been disclosed. Most notably, STAT has learned that Rice biophysicist Michael Deem was named as the senior author on... More

BEIJING — An American scientist at Rice University was far more involved in the widely condemned “CRISPR babies” experiment than has previously been disclosed. Most notably, STAT has learned that Rice biophysicist Michael Deem was named as the senior author on a paper about the work that was submitted to Nature in late November.

Deem’s prominent authorship indicates that a respected American researcher played an instrumental role in the controversial project, which sparked a worldwide furor. His involvement could have encouraged volunteers to join the experiment and lent credibility to He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who led the work.

Emails provided to STAT show that Deem was listed as the last author — which, in the life sciences, is typically reserved for the senior researcher who oversees a study. The paper, titled “Birth of twins after genome editing for HIV resistance,” has another nine contributors, including He as the first author, where the person who makes the most hands-on contribution is credited.

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CRISPR-baby scientist fired by university – Nature (David Cyranoski | January 2019)

Investigation by Chinese authorities finds He Jiankui broke national regulations in his controversial work on gene-edited babies

The scientist who announced last year that he had produced the world’s first gene-edited babies has been... More

Investigation by Chinese authorities finds He Jiankui broke national regulations in his controversial work on gene-edited babies

The scientist who announced last year that he had produced the world’s first gene-edited babies has been fired by his university. The decision, announced on 21 January by the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, in China’s Guandong province, follows an investigation into He Jiankui’s work by provincial health authorities. A probe by the Guangdong health ministry found that He broke national regulations against using gene-editing for reproductive purposes, Chinese state media agency Xinhua reported on 21 January.

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Scientist Who Used Gene Editing On Human Embryos Likely To Face Criminal Charges In China – KHN (January 2019)

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Legal threats, opacity, and deceptive research practices: A look at more than 100 retractions in business and management – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | November 2018)

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(US) ‘Three Identical Strangers’: The high cost of experimentation without ethics – The Washington Post (Barron H. Lerner | January 2019)

On Sunday night, CNN will air “Three Identical Strangers,” a documentary about an experiment in which adopted twins and triplets were secretly separated. Viewers will probably be appalled as they learn about the emotional damage these individuals experienced as a result of their forced separation.... More

On Sunday night, CNN will air “Three Identical Strangers,” a documentary about an experiment in which adopted twins and triplets were secretly separated. Viewers will probably be appalled as they learn about the emotional damage these individuals experienced as a result of their forced separation. But this medical experiment was not exceptional: It was just one of many unethical studies in the 1950s and 1960s that used subjects as means to an end.

[colored_box]Injunctions against unethical research go back at least to the mid-19th century, when the French scientist Claude Bernard admonished his fellow investigators never to do an experiment that might harm a single person, even if the result would be highly advantageous to science and the health of others. Yet despite Bernard’s admonition, the next century was replete with experiments that put orphans, prisoners, minorities and other vulnerable populations at risk for the sake of scientific discovery. Medical progress often came at too high a human cost, something the CNN documentary exposes. .

Human experimentation surged during World War II as American scientists raced to find treatments for diseases encountered on the battlefield. This experimental enthusiasm continued into the Cold War years, as the United States competed with the Soviet Union for scientific knowledge. In both eras, a utilitarian mind-set trumped concerns about research subjects. .

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Peer Review System – GradHacker (Carolyn Trietsch | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 16, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 10, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

Thinking through the Peer Review system, especially for first time writers.

I was thrilled to receive my first request to peer review a paper while working on my Ph.D. Then I realized I didn’t know how to peer review. It had never been covered in... More

Thinking through the Peer Review system, especially for first time writers.

I was thrilled to receive my first request to peer review a paper while working on my Ph.D. Then I realized I didn’t know how to peer review. It had never been covered in my classes, so I started asking around and sending emails, reaching out to my friends in other programs, but with little luck. As important as peer review is, it seems that few STEM programs actively teach students about how to navigate the peer review process and make the decisions involved, such as whether to accept or reject a paper for publication. Fortunately, this is why we have mentors. I set up a meeting with a veteran peer reviewer and journal editor who was kind enough to spend an afternoon answering my questions and sharing important takeaways gleaned over years of experience. I realized that others could benefit from this advice, and I put together the following post from our discussion (with permission, of course, though my mentor wished to remain anonymous). Here is some guidance for students, early career professionals and others who are new to the peer review system:

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It’s time to end the code of silence at universities – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 06, 2018 | Posted by Admin on February 8, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

[colored_box]Yesterday, Cornell University told a group of researchers who had petitioned them to release a report of their investigation into alleged misconduct by Brian Wansink, a food marketing researcher who recently resigned his post there, that they would not release that report. As BuzzFeed reports, the... More

[colored_box]Yesterday, Cornell University told a group of researchers who had petitioned them to release a report of their investigation into alleged misconduct by Brian Wansink, a food marketing researcher who recently resigned his post there, that they would not release that report. As BuzzFeed reports, the university is now conducting a “Phase II” investigation into Wansink’s work. (It’s unclear what a “Phase II” investigation refers to; we’ve asked the university to clarify.) . Unfortunately, Cornell’s lack of transparency about the case puts them in the majority. Here’s a piece by our two co-founders, Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, about why this veil of secrecy needs to be lifted. . For more than a decade, Cornell University’s Brian Wansink was a king in the world of nutrition. He published his findings — on everything from why small plates make us eat less to the behavior of obese people at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets — in top-tier journals and garnered media coverage in prestigious newspapers. His work even formed the basis of U.S. dietary guidelines. .

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AI peer reviewers unleashed to ease publishing grind – Science (Douglas Heaven | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 22, 2018 | Posted by Admin on February 4, 2019 | Keywords: , , ,

A suite of automated tools is now available to assist with peer review but humans are still in the driver's seat.

Most researchers have good reason to grumble about peer review: it is time-consuming and error-prone, and the workload is unevenly spread, with More

A suite of automated tools is now available to assist with peer review but humans are still in the driver's seat.

Most researchers have good reason to grumble about peer review: it is time-consuming and error-prone, and the workload is unevenly spread, with just 20% of scientists taking on most reviews. Now peer review by artificial intelligence (AI) is promising to improve the process, boost the quality of published papers — and save reviewers time. A handful of academic publishers are piloting AI tools to do anything from selecting reviewers to checking statistics and summarizing a paper’s findings.

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25% researchers worldwide unaware, confused what is plagiarism: Survey – Business Standard (Press Trust of India | November 2018)

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Mentors help authors say “no” to predatory journals – Elsevier Connect (Marilynn Larkin | November 2018)

Published/Released on January 14, 2019 | Posted by Admin on February 2, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Ask the patients about the benefits and the risks – The Ethics Blog (Pär Segerdah | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 16, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 31, 2019 | Keywords: , ,

Almost no medications are without risks of side effects. When new drugs are approved, decision makers must balance risks and benefits. To make the balancing, they use results from clinical trials where the drugs are tested on patients to determine (among other things) efficacy and side effects. [colored_box]But how do... More

Almost no medications are without risks of side effects. When new drugs are approved, decision makers must balance risks and benefits. To make the balancing, they use results from clinical trials where the drugs are tested on patients to determine (among other things) efficacy and side effects. [colored_box]But how do you balance risks and benefits? Is the balancing completely objective, so that all that is needed is results from clinical trials? Or can risks and benefits be valued differently? . It has been noted that decision makers can value risks and benefits differently from patients. Therefore, results merely from clinical trials do not suffice. Decision makers also need to understand how the patients themselves value the risks and the benefits associated with treatments of their disease. The patients need to be asked about their preferences. . Karin Schölin Bywall is a PhD student at CRB. She plans to carry out preference studies with patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The task is complex, since risks and benefits are multidimensional. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease with several symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, fatigue, fever, weakness, deformity, malaise, weight loss and depression. Medications can be variously effective on different symptoms, while they can have a range of side effects. Which positive effect on which symptom is sufficiently important for the patients to outweigh a certain level of one of the side effects? .

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Doctor who participated in fake chocolate study fined for violating code of conduct – Retraction Watch (Hinnerk Feldwisch-Drentrup | September 2016)

Published/Released on September 22, 2016 | Posted by Admin on January 30, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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A colleague included plagiarized material in your grant proposal. Are you liable? – Retraction Watch (Richard Goldstein | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 03, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 29, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

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(UK) Crackdown on unreported trials is good news for researchers – *Research (Till Bruckner | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 27, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

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Single-molecule magnet controversy highlights transparency problems with U.K. research integrity system – C&EN (Mark Peplow | November 2018)

Universities’ reluctance to reveal details of such cases could undermine public trust in research, experts say

For Conrad A. P. Goodwin, June 6, 2017, was a pretty harrowing day. The organometallic chemist, then at the University of Manchester, had just finished his Ph.D. on... More

Universities’ reluctance to reveal details of such cases could undermine public trust in research, experts say

For Conrad A. P. Goodwin, June 6, 2017, was a pretty harrowing day. The organometallic chemist, then at the University of Manchester, had just finished his Ph.D. on a high. Earlier that year he had synthesized an organometallic complex called dysprosocenium that could be switched from one stable magnetic state to another. Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) like this might eventually be used in extremely-high-density memory devices, but researchers had previously been able to make SMMs that only operated at ultracold temperatures. Crucially, Goodwin’s molecule could retain its designated magnetic state at up to 60 K—the highest temperature yet for any SMM. By the end of May, Nature had accepted a paper about the work from Goodwin and his colleagues, subject to revisions. Then, on that fateful June day—months before Goodwin’s report actually published—a paper appeared in Angewandte Chemie describing exactly the same molecule, made in exactly the same way. Goodwin and his colleagues had been scooped. To make matters worse, the team behind the Angewandte paper was led by Richard A. Layfield, a professor whose office was just down the hall from Goodwin’s supervisor, David P. Mills. “We’d put so much work into it,” recalls Goodwin, who now works at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “The synthetic methodology was brand new, so we thought we were on to something cool. Then, suddenly, the novelty was gone.”

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Ethics & Human Research (E&HR)

Published/Released on January 24, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 25, 2019 | Keywords: , ,

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(US) Temple Will Pay $5.5M to Settle Suits Over False Rankings Data – Inside Higher ED (Scott Jaschik | January 2019

Published/Released on January 07, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 22, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Open Access: A Look Back – Scholarly Kitchen (David Crotty | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 22, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 22, 2019 | Keywords: , , , ,

Open Access Week 2018 has begun, and as happens each year, I’m never quite sure how The Scholarly Kitchen should (or shouldn’t) participate. This blog has long (unfairly, in my opinion) been cast as “the enemy” of open access (OA). The reality is, as with most... More

Open Access Week 2018 has begun, and as happens each year, I’m never quite sure how The Scholarly Kitchen should (or shouldn’t) participate. This blog has long (unfairly, in my opinion) been cast as “the enemy” of open access (OA). The reality is, as with most things OA, more complex once you get past the sloganeering. To me, the questions have never been about the concept behind OA (more availability of high quality information is a good thing for the world), but rather the implementation. We’ve been stuck in something of a loop for the last decade, knowing that OA is a good idea, but never getting past flawed ways to put it into action (author-pays Gold OA, which merely shifts the point of inequity from the reader to the author; Green OA which, if efficiently implemented threatens to destroy the subscription journals upon which it relies; and an insistence on one-size-fits-all policies). Today’s OA world seems split between those who are actively experimenting with new models, looking for something better, and those determined to force change upon academic culture and business practices to fit the models already in hand.

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Research ethics now a strategic priority for doctoral schools – University World News ( Brendan O’Malley | January 2019)

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An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky – January 2019)

Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale. One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government,... More

Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale. One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government, and has led to clinical trials, although more on that later — was retracted from Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The “corresponding author published the paper without the full consent or acknowledgement of all the researchers and would like to apologize for this error,” according to that notice. Three more papers, all from the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), were retracted the following July, saying only that “This article has been withdrawn by the authors,” as was typical for the JBC for many years.

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Cribbing from Kribbe: UK criminology prof loses four papers for plagiarism – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 09, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 13, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

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Blowback Against a Hoax – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | January 2019)

Published/Released on January 08, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 11, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Author of a recent academic scam faces disciplinary action by Portland State, for failing to alert his research review board before hoodwinking journal editors with outrageous articles. Many say he's guilty of bad form, but did he commit misconduct? [colored_box]A hoax revealing that... More

Author of a recent academic scam faces disciplinary action by Portland State, for failing to alert his research review board before hoodwinking journal editors with outrageous articles. Many say he's guilty of bad form, but did he commit misconduct? [colored_box]A hoax revealing that academic journals had accepted fake papers on topics from canine “rape culture” in dog parks to “fat bodybuilding” to an adaption of Mein Kampf met with applause and scorn in the fall. Fans of the project tended to agree with the hoaxers that critical studies scholars will validate anything aligned with their politics. Critics said that the researchers acted in bad faith, wasting editors’ and reviewers’ time and very publicly besmirching academe in the process: the story was covered by nearly every major news outlet. . Now the controversy has flared up again, with news that one of the project’s authors faces disciplinary action at his home institution. Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University and the only one of three researchers on the project to hold a full-time academic position, was found by his institutional review board to have committed research misconduct. Specifically, he failed to secure its approval before proceeding with research on human subjects -- in this case, the journal editors and reviewers he was tricking with his absurd but seemingly well-researched papers. Some seven of 20 were published in gender studies and other journals. Seven were rejected. Others were pending before the spoof was uncovered. . “An IRB protocol application should have been submitted to the Office of Research Integrity,” reads a determination letter from Portland state’s IRB dated last month. “University policy requires that all research involving human subjects conducted by faculty, other employees and students [on campus] must have prior review and approval by the IRB.” .

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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 | Keywords: , , , ,

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 —... More

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. [colored_box]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. . 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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More science than you think is retracted. Even more should be – The Washington Post (Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky | December 2018)

Adam Marcus, the managing editor of Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, and Ivan Oransky, distinguished writer in residence at New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute and vice president for editorial at Medscape, are co-founders of Retraction Watch.

The fall from grace wasn’t exactly swift, but it... More

Adam Marcus, the managing editor of Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, and Ivan Oransky, distinguished writer in residence at New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute and vice president for editorial at Medscape, are co-founders of Retraction Watch.

The fall from grace wasn’t exactly swift, but it was stunning. Among stem cell researchers, Piero Anversa’s work trying to regrow the human heart in the 1990s and 2000s was legendary. That was then. In October, his former institutions, Harvard Medical School and its affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital, asked journals to retract 31 of his lab’s papers. That followed an agreement last year by the Brigham and other hospitals to pay the government $10 million to settle claims that Anversa and a colleague used bogus data to obtain their grant funding.

As dramatic as the Anversa case is, he is far from alone. This month, Anversa’s lab saw 13 papers retracted, but even if all journals honor the retraction requests, he won’t crack the top 10 for scientists who’ve had their articles pulled from the literature. Neither does Cornell University’s Brian Wansink, the food marketing researcher — and former media fixture — who experienced a similar fall over the past few years. The dubious honor for most retractions goes to Yoshitaka Fujii, a Japanese anesthesiologist who fabricated his findings in at least 183 papers, according to a 2012 investigation launched by journal editors and Japanese universities.

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(Australia) Reef company altered scientist’s report on crown-of-thorns program — even though he told them not to – ABC News (Michael Slezak | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 19, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 7, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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As China cracks down on faked drug trial data, US FDA abandons disclosure rule – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | October 2018)

Published/Released on January 23, 2019 | Posted by Admin on January 5, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

The FDA has walked away from a 2010 rule that would have forced drug makers to disclose fabricated data to regulators. As Bloomberg Law reported last week, the FDA has withdrawn the proposed rule, “Reporting Information Regarding Falsification of Data,” which would

require sponsors to report information indicating that... More

The FDA has walked away from a 2010 rule that would have forced drug makers to disclose fabricated data to regulators. As Bloomberg Law reported last week, the FDA has withdrawn the proposed rule, “Reporting Information Regarding Falsification of Data,” which would

require sponsors to report information indicating that any person has, or may have, engaged in the falsification of data in the course of reporting study results, or in the course of proposing, designing, performing, recording, supervising, or reviewing studies that involve human subjects or animal subjects conducted by or on behalf of a sponsor or relied on by a sponsor. A sponsor would be required to report this information to the appropriate FDA center promptly, but no later than 45 calendar days after the sponsor becomes aware of the information. This proposal is necessary because ambiguity in the current reporting scheme has caused confusion among sponsors. The proposed rule is intended to help ensure the validity of data that the agency receives in support of applications and petitions for FDA product approvals and authorization of certain labeling claims and to protect research subjects.

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Major publishers sue ResearchGate over copyright infringement – Nature (Holly Else | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 05, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 4, 2019 | Keywords: , , ,

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society say that the academic-networking website violates US copyright law.

Two journal publishers have launched legal proceedings in the United States against academic-networking site ResearchGate for copyright infringement. Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) say that the ResearchGate website... More

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society say that the academic-networking website violates US copyright law.

Two journal publishers have launched legal proceedings in the United States against academic-networking site ResearchGate for copyright infringement. Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) say that the ResearchGate website violates US copyright law by making articles in their journals freely available. The two publishers filed the claim with the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on 2 October. ResearchGate, which is based in Berlin, Germany, declined to comment to Nature. In October 2017, the same publishers launched a similar suit for copyright infringement in Germany, which has not yet concluded. At the time, ResearchGate declined to comment on this lawsuit.

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From Paywall to Datawall – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 3, 2019 | Keywords: , ,

Almost every day, my email or Twitter feed brings ... More

Almost every day, my email or Twitter feed brings an alert to a “free” report, article, white paper, etc. No payment or subscription required! [colored_box]It sounds great. In many ways it is the promise of the Internet fulfilled, a world in which a single click brings you the document you are seeking for immediate review or even a deep read. . The reader experience, however, is quite often not exactly that. Instead of a paywall, perhaps to be negotiated through a proxy server or some other authentication mechanism, the reader is faced with a demand for their contact information. Or, even more demanding, they face a requirement to create an account. Use of that account will be tracked and the data fed into an analytics system, likely joined up with data collected elsewhere as well. .

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Which kind of peer review is best for catching fraud? – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 20, 2018 | Posted by Admin on January 2, 2019 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Is peer review a good way to weed out problematic papers? And if it is, which kinds of peer review? In a new paper in Scientometrics, Willem Halffman, of Radboud University, and Serge Horbach, of Radboud University and Leiden University, used our database of retractions to... More

Is peer review a good way to weed out problematic papers? And if it is, which kinds of peer review? In a new paper in Scientometrics, Willem Halffman, of Radboud University, and Serge Horbach, of Radboud University and Leiden University, used our database of retractions to try to find out. We asked them several questions about the new work. Retraction Watch (RW): You write that “journals’ use of peer review to identify fraudulent research is highly contentious.” Can you explain what you mean? Willem Halffman and Serge Horbach (WH and SH): The precise role of the peer review system has long been discussed. Two expectations of the system are more or less universally accepted: peer review is supposed to help improve the quality of a submitted manuscript and it is expected to distinguish between high and low quality work. However, there are quite a few expectations of the peer review system that are not as widely shared. These include expectations such as granting equal and fair opportunities to all authors (regardless of gender, nationality etc.), providing a hierarchy of the most significant published results, or detecting errors or outright fraud in submitted papers. Some claim that peer review cannot be expected to perform such functions, as it was never designed nor meant to do so. Others point out that the peer review and editorial system are increasingly remodelled to detect fraud, supported by recent developments such as text similarity scanners, image manipulation scanners or the establishment of editorial ‘integrity czars’. In addition, when new cases of misconduct come to light, the peer review system is often blamed for not filtering out the fraudulent research before it could enter the academic literature. Researchers talk about peer review as if we all know precisely what it is and what it is for, but there is actually quite some variation hidden under that general term.

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

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,... More

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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(US) ‘It’s time for systemic change’: Scientific leaders urge new efforts to curb sexual harassment in the field – STAT (Megan Thielking | September 2018)

Leaders of one of the nation’s most prominent scientific groups are calling for the research community to “act with urgency” to address sexual and gender-based harassment in the field.

“It’s time for systemic change,” three leaders of the American Association for the Advancement of Science wrote in... More

Leaders of one of the nation’s most prominent scientific groups are calling for the research community to “act with urgency” to address sexual and gender-based harassment in the field.

“It’s time for systemic change,” three leaders of the American Association for the Advancement of Science wrote in an editorial published Thursday in Science.

The editorial — penned by AAAS president Dr. Margaret Hamburg, chair of the board Susan Hockfield, and president-elect Steven Chu — follows on the heels of a new policy on harassment adopted by the organization last weekend. That policy allows the organization to revoke the membership of elected fellows in cases of proven scientific misconduct or serious breaches of professional ethics. The policy also makes it clear: Sexual and gender-based harassment violate those standards and are grounds for removal.

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Amid ethics outcry, should journals publish the ‘CRISPR babies’ paper? – STAT (Adam Marcus | December 2018)

Like researchers everywhere, He Jiankui — the scientist in China who claims to have used CRISPR to edit embryos to create babies protected from HIV — is eager to publish scientific papers. It is, after all, a publish-or-perish world — although in He’s case, his fate... More

Like researchers everywhere, He Jiankui — the scientist in China who claims to have used CRISPR to edit embryos to create babies protected from HIV — is eager to publish scientific papers. It is, after all, a publish-or-perish world — although in He’s case, his fate at home may rest more with what the Chinese government thinks of his behavior than what a peer reviewer says about his work.

[colored_box]As STAT reported Monday, He shopped around a manuscript earlier this fall about using CRISPR to edit genes for a different purpose — to prevent an inherited condition that causes sky-high cholesterol levels — but it was rejected because of ethical and scientific shortcomings. And two weeks ago, in the face of withering criticism over his lack of transparency, He told the International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong that he had submitted a paper on the “CRISPR babies” work to a journal. .

Given the maelstrom surrounding He’s claims, however, should any journals even consider papers from him? And if they do, what should they keep in mind? .

Jeremy Berg, editor of Science, told STAT that while he could not comment on whether the paper had been submitted to his journal, “given the numerous ethical issues with this situation as presented, we would be extremely unlikely to consider it." .

Howard Bauchner, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, wouldn’t comment on the possibility of a submission by He either, but said, “I believe articles should be reviewed and not judged based upon what is written in the media.”.

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Journal retracts paper by controversial Australian journalist – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 30, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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A new publishing approach – retract and replace – is having growing pains – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 29, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Why Cell Systems is publishing Peer Reviews – Crosstalk (Carly Britton | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 29, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Quincey Justman's first editorial as Editor-in-Chief of Cell Systems highlights a new type of article: the Peer Review, which showcases the contributions to science that peer reviewers make every day. The Peer Review is separate from, but complementary to, broader forthcoming experiments with... More

Quincey Justman's first editorial as Editor-in-Chief of Cell Systems highlights a new type of article: the Peer Review, which showcases the contributions to science that peer reviewers make every day. The Peer Review is separate from, but complementary to, broader forthcoming experiments with transparent peer review conducted by Molecular Cell, Developmental Cell, and Cell Systems. The first Peer Review from Cell Systems, by John Doyle, Noah Olsman, and Fangzhou Xiao, evaluates the research article "Cytoplasmic Amplification of Transcriptional Noise Generates Substantial Cell-to-Cell Variability," by Maike Hansen, Leor Weinberger, and their colleagues. Both pieces were published in the October 24 issue of Cell Systems. Quincey sat down with Cell Press Press Officer Carly Britton to answer some questions about why she wanted to publish this Peer Review.

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Kinder Peer Review – Scientists Are Humans (Dr Rebecca Kirk | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 08, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 24, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Every day, thousands of scientists around the world donate their spare hours as peer reviewers to help colleagues (and competitors!) improve their work. But unkindness does exist too (as you can see from the emergence of Facebook groups such as Reviewer 2 Must Be Stopped…) and... More

Every day, thousands of scientists around the world donate their spare hours as peer reviewers to help colleagues (and competitors!) improve their work. But unkindness does exist too (as you can see from the emergence of Facebook groups such as Reviewer 2 Must Be Stopped…) and we all have a role to play in making it a kinder, more-productive process. As an editor, I have seen the full gamut of reviews, from unhelpful one-liners, through useful assessment of the work that highlights deficits and provides solutions to help the authors transform their paper, to unrealistic demands that go far beyond the scope of the paper under scrutiny. There is a lot of comment out there on what makes a good scientific review, but what basic tenets of peer review could we agree to sign up to if we all wanted to make science a kinder place? Importantly, all parties involved in peer review need to remember that there are people behind the science. A publication is the outcome of hard work and time away from loved ones or much-loved leisure pursuits; for some, there are hopes, dreams and grants at stake. Fair, fast, thorough and impartial assessment is needed to ensure the wheels of research keep spinning. Firstly, what can editors do? We can be transparent in our processes and keep authors informed. We can ensure we contact the best people to review a paper, and we can endeavour to provide a fast, fair decision, with guidance regarding the peer review reports and how authors might address the comments. We should ensure that we invite reviewers who represent the full spectrum of researchers. We should look for ways to support authors and referees in a continuously changing publishing landscape and to improve the peer review process by trialling new approaches that could help speed up peer review.

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Publish AND perish: how the commodification of scientific publishing is undermining both science and the public good – Learning for Sustainability (Arjen Wals | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 19, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

“Everybody is writing, nobody is reading, everybody is writing for nobody.”

Academics are spending hundreds of hours a year, getting their work published, in peer-reviewed journals, providing free labor to commercial publishing companies. The pressure to ‘produce’ and grow is huge, both in academia and... More

“Everybody is writing, nobody is reading, everybody is writing for nobody.”

Academics are spending hundreds of hours a year, getting their work published, in peer-reviewed journals, providing free labor to commercial publishing companies. The pressure to ‘produce’ and grow is huge, both in academia and in the publishing industry; this undermines quality and the university’s ability to serve the public good and, indeed, public trust in science. Open access journal Sustainability publishes over 4000 contributions in its current Volume 10 – where most contributors will have to pay 1400 US Dollars* to have their work published. Its publisher MDPI has close to 200 journals working in a similar vein.’

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Oh, What A Tangled Web! Citation Network Underscores Editorial Conflicts of Interest – Scholarly Kitchen (Phil Davis | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 18, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 18, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

The separation of powers is as important in academic publishing as it is in government.

If readers are to trust the integrity of the editorial and peer review process, editors need to be insulated from the business of publishing, which often means keeping them... More

The separation of powers is as important in academic publishing as it is in government.

If readers are to trust the integrity of the editorial and peer review process, editors need to be insulated from the business of publishing, which often means keeping them away from their colleagues in marketing, sales, and advertising. So important is the separation of powers that some publishers physically separate editorial offices from business operations and place them in different cities. If they can’t separate these divisions physically, they will often develop strong internal policies to minimize influence. For example, PLOS does not disclose to the editor whether a submitting author has applied for article processing fee assistance when reviewing a manuscript. Similarly, many publishers have explicit rules that prevent editors from handling their own paper or the papers of authors very closely associated with them. None of these separations of roles and powers guarantee that the decision to publish is entirely free of bias, but they do demonstrate a seriousness in building an institution, a process, and a product that can be trusted.

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China introduces ‘social’ punishments for scientific misconduct – Nature (David Cyranoski | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 16, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Offending researchers could face restrictions on jobs, loans and business opportunities under a system tied to the controversial social credit policy.

Researchers in China who commit scientific misconduct could soon be prevented from getting a bank loan, running a company or applying for a... More

Offending researchers could face restrictions on jobs, loans and business opportunities under a system tied to the controversial social credit policy.

Researchers in China who commit scientific misconduct could soon be prevented from getting a bank loan, running a company or applying for a public-service job. The government has announced an extensive punishment system that could have significant consequences for offenders — far beyond their academic careers. [colored_box]Under the new policy, dozens of government agencies will have the power to hand out penalties to those caught committing major scientific misconduct, a role previously performed by the science ministry or universities. Errant researchers could also face punishments that have nothing to do with research, such as restrictions on jobs outside academia, as well as existing misconduct penalties, such as losing grants and awards. . “Almost all aspects of daily life for the guilty scientists could be affected,” says Chen Bikun, who studies scientific evaluation systems at Nanjing University of Science and Technology. .

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Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation? – LSE Impact Blog (Tony Ross-Hellauer, et al | July 2018)

Published/Released on December 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 15, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt... More

Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and Bianca Kramer examine the ethical, organisational, and economic strengths and weaknesses of funder OA platforms to scope the opportunities and threats they present in the transition to OA. While they may help to increase OA uptake, control costs, and lower the administrative burden on researchers, possible unintended consequences include conflicts of interest, difficulties of scale, or potential vendor lock-in.

[colored_box]In the age of open access (OA), research funding organisations have taken a more active interest in academic publishing. They are increasingly mandating their beneficiaries to publish OA, supporting infrastructures and directly funding publishing (via article processing charges). .

A step-change in this engagement is the recent phenomenon of OA publishing platforms commissioned by funding organisations. Examples include those of the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation, as well as recently announced initiatives from public funders like the Irish Health Research Board and the European Commission. As the number of such platforms increases, it becomes critical to assess in which ways, for better or worse, this emergent phenomenon complements or disrupts the scholarly communication landscape.

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AHRECS is calling for expressions of interest: Unpaid internship

Published/Released on December 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 14, 2018 | Keywords:

Expressions of interest are sought for a two month unpaid internship with the Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS). Intern candidates must have a demonstrated interest in human research ethics and/or research integrity, have completed a HDR qualification, be an excellent communicator and have a demonstrated... More

Expressions of interest are sought for a two month unpaid internship with the Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS). Intern candidates must have a demonstrated interest in human research ethics and/or research integrity, have completed a HDR qualification, be an excellent communicator and have a demonstrated work ethic. In addition to being involved in background work, literature searches and drafting documents, the internship will provide a valuable capacity building and professional development opportunity with a growing consultancy firm under the supervision of our senior consultants. The unpaid role will require about a 35-hour commitment to be completed over two months. At the end of the two months, the intern and the AHRECS team will decide together whether to start another two month term. Work will be conducted remotely and online, with meetings at an agreed time somewhere between 8am and 10pm AEST. Expressions of interest must be submitted in writing by 15 January 2019 to internship@ahrecs.com and must be accompanied with two relevant professional/academic/research references. The expressions of interest will be considered by the AHRECS senior consultants and shortlisted candidates may be interviewed via video conference. Less

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

Published/Released on September 19, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 12, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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.... More

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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How a simple ‘thank you’ could improve clinical trials – Nature (Editorial | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 13, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Everyone would benefit if researchers did more to make participants feel part of a study.

When researchers at the drug giant Pfizer wanted to improve their clinical trials, the people who had taken part had a clear suggestion: researchers should say thank you. It is... More

Everyone would benefit if researchers did more to make participants feel part of a study.

When researchers at the drug giant Pfizer wanted to improve their clinical trials, the people who had taken part had a clear suggestion: researchers should say thank you. It is a simple request, but a revealing one. When a clinical trial is completed, many participants walk away empty-handed. Most never hear from the investigators or the trial’s sponsor again. Many do not learn the results of the study in which they took part. It’s not good enough — and it indicates a deeper problem. As we discuss in a News Feature this week, clinical-trial participants and the people who care for them are increasingly seen as partners in research. They are more informed than ever about their conditions and their medical options. And they are demanding — and receiving — more of a say in how clinical trials are designed and conducted. Some of this activity has been boosted by social media, which has allowed people with medical conditions and their carers to band together, share their experiences and advocate for change.

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What These Medical Journals Don’t Reveal: Top Doctors’ Ties to Industry – New York Times (Charles Ornstein and Katie Thomas | December 2018)

Published/Released on December 08, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 10, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

One is dean of Yale’s medical school. Another is the director of a cancer center in Texas. A third is the next president of the most prominent society of cancer doctors.

These leading medical figures are among dozens of doctors who have failed in recent years... More

One is dean of Yale’s medical school. Another is the director of a cancer center in Texas. A third is the next president of the most prominent society of cancer doctors.

These leading medical figures are among dozens of doctors who have failed in recent years to report their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their studies are published in medical journals, according to a review by The New York Times and ProPublica and data from other recent research.

Dr. Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, the president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, for instance, declared that he had no conflicts of interest in more than 50 journal articles in recent years, including in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

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(US) NIH set to strengthen its sexual-harassment policies – Nature (Sara Reardon | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 17, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Agency plans to create central reporting system and launch training and education campaigns.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is remaking how it handles allegations of harassment by its employees. The agency will soon introduce a centralized system for reporting harassment by NIH... More

Agency plans to create central reporting system and launch training and education campaigns.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is remaking how it handles allegations of harassment by its employees. The agency will soon introduce a centralized system for reporting harassment by NIH scientists, director Francis Collins said on 17 September. [colored_box]“NIH recognizes that we need to increase our transparency on this issue,” Collins wrote in a statement to announce the launch of an anti-sexual-harassment website. . The agency is also planning to update its harassment policy and launch training and education campaigns to prevent harassment, he said. This winter, the NIH will survey its staff and contractors about the workplace climate at the agency and harassment issues. These policies will be published in the US government’s Federal Register “in a few days”, Collins said.

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How Do We Move Towards Better Peer Review? – The Wiley Network (Elizabeth Moylan | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Elizabeth Moylan, Publisher at Wiley, talks to Michael Willis, Senior Manager in Wiley’s Content Review team, about the work he and colleagues have undertaken to explore what better peer review looks like. [colored_box]Q. What inspired you to define a set of standards for ‘better peer review’ ? A. The starting point... More

Elizabeth Moylan, Publisher at Wiley, talks to Michael Willis, Senior Manager in Wiley’s Content Review team, about the work he and colleagues have undertaken to explore what better peer review looks like. [colored_box]Q. What inspired you to define a set of standards for ‘better peer review’ ? A. The starting point was a question thrown out by a Wiley colleague: ‘is there a gold standard of peer review?’ That got us thinking about what good peer review looks like. I guess we all have our preconceptions of what good peer review looks like – it should be timely, ethical and fair - but we felt we needed to articulate the details more usefully and also  help journals to improve in measurable, specific ways. This in turn led to a project to define essential areas of best practice for peer review. We thought about different characteristics of the peer review process, and then we described the ways in which each of these might be manifested. Taking integrity as an example, and pertinent to the theme of this year’s Peer Review Week, a journal might achieve greater integrity in its processes by working towards greater geographical and gender diversity in its reviewer pool. You can read more about our project in this blog post which we wrote soon after the project launched. Q. How did you go about researching some of the issues in peer review? A. Having defined our scope, we then published a survey seeking the views of editors, reviewers, authors, readers and the general public, asking them to share examples of good practice in peer review. We received 40 case studies which we grouped under the headings of integrity, ethics, fairness, usefulness and timeliness.

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Friday arvo funny: Peer review

Published/Released on December 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 7, 2018 | Keywords: ,

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The main obstacles to better research data management and sharing are cultural. But change is in our hands – LSE Blog (Marta Teperek and Alastair Dunning | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 7, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

This blog post is a summary of Marta Teperek’s presentation at today’s Better Science through Better Data 2018 event.

By now, it’s probably difficult to find a researcher who hasn’t heard of journal requirements for sharing research data supporting publications. Or a researcher who hasn’t... More

This blog post is a summary of Marta Teperek’s presentation at today’s Better Science through Better Data 2018 event.

By now, it’s probably difficult to find a researcher who hasn’t heard of journal requirements for sharing research data supporting publications. Or a researcher who hasn’t heard of funder requirements for data management plans. Or of institutional policies for data management and sharing. That’s a lot of requirements! Especially considering data management is just one set of guidelines researchers need to comply with (on top of doing their own competitive research, of course).

All of these requirements are in place for good reasons. Those who are familiar with the research reproducibility crisis and understand that missing data and code is one of the main reasons for it need no convincing of this. Still, complying with the various data policies is not easy; it requires time and effort from researchers. And not all researchers have the knowledge and skills to professionally manage and share their research data. Some might even wonder what exactly their research data is (or how to find it).

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Recognizing Contributions and Giving Credit – EOS Editors’ Vox (Brooks Hanson and Susan Webb | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 27, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 6, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

AGU is working with other leading publishers to implement common standards for authorship and recognize and value specific contributions across cultures. Problematic practices Authorship standards in scholarly publishing can vary across disciplines. For example, in many biology papers, the last author is traditionally... More

AGU is working with other leading publishers to implement common standards for authorship and recognize and value specific contributions across cultures. Problematic practices Authorship standards in scholarly publishing can vary across disciplines. For example, in many biology papers, the last author is traditionally assumed to be the one that has organized and led the research project. In contrast, in the physical sciences, including the Earth and space sciences, the last author is considered to have contributed the least, unless the list is alphabetical. Readers are simply expected to know these distinctions. Authorship practices are also evolving as research papers become more complex, bringing together multiple techniques and data sets, interdisciplinary approaches, international teams, and ever-longer lists of co-authors. Authors are expected to navigate the conventions and expectations of different disciplines. Authorship issues are also at the core of many of the ethical and other difficult issues that publishers see. One problem is including honorary authors (Zen, 1988, p. 202). Another is ghost authors, who are often from industry partners or services and were involved in framing interpretations but are not recognized. This hides relevant information about influence or conflict of interest from readers. Finally, legitimate authors may be omitted because of perceived mores around funding and collaboration, or for other reasons.

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Hanson, B., and S. Webb (2018), Recognizing contributions and giving credit, Eos, 99, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EO104827. Published on 27 August 2018.

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The Ethical Quandary of Human Infection Studies – Undark (Linda Nordling | November 2018)

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Pointing the Finger at Colleagues – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Controversial visiting researcher – heavily criticized as having racist work – sparks pushback – The Daily North Western (Rachel Kupfer | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 30, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 2, 2018 | Keywords: ,

Students and faculty of the psychology department are asking for a revamp of the screening process for visiting scholars after a controversial psychologist’s request to conduct research at Northwestern was approved without scrutiny. Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist and intelligence researcher, is spending a year-long sabbatical from The London... More

Students and faculty of the psychology department are asking for a revamp of the screening process for visiting scholars after a controversial psychologist’s request to conduct research at Northwestern was approved without scrutiny. Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist and intelligence researcher, is spending a year-long sabbatical from The London School of Economics and Political Science in Evanston. Kanazawa’s research on the relationships between intelligence, race, health and gender has provoked criticism. In 2011, he wrote an article titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women” during his time as a blogger for Psychology Today. He was later removed from the site as a blogger, and the post was deleted.

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Chinese military warns against forged data and plagiarism in science and technology research – South China Morning Post (Minnie Chan | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 28, 2018 | Posted by Admin on December 1, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Academics have been put on notice to maintain ‘integrity of scientific research’ as rampant misconduct puts lives at risk

China’s military top brass have released research integrity guidelines urging leaders in charge of the country’s defence-related science and technology research to avoid forgery, plagiarism... More

Academics have been put on notice to maintain ‘integrity of scientific research’ as rampant misconduct puts lives at risk

China’s military top brass have released research integrity guidelines urging leaders in charge of the country’s defence-related science and technology research to avoid forgery, plagiarism and other wrongdoing. [colored_box]The guidelines published on Friday are the first indication that China’s defence industry faces a forgery problem similar to that found in the academic community – including feigning scientific data, plagiarising subordinates’ study results, exaggerating study achievements and other misconduct. . The guidelines have been proposed by the Science and Technology Commission, a functional department directly under the powerful Central Military Commission headed by President Xi Jinping, which is in charge of China’s military defence technology research and development. .

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Why do medical journals keep taking authors at their word? – STAT (Ivan Oransky | September 2018)

The recent revelation that a leading official at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center failed for years to disclose lucrative financial conflicts of interest might have been surprising in its scale. But it’s old news that many researchers aren’t fully transparent when it comes to their financial... More

The recent revelation that a leading official at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center failed for years to disclose lucrative financial conflicts of interest might have been surprising in its scale. But it’s old news that many researchers aren’t fully transparent when it comes to their financial relationships with industry.

So why should we keep up the charade? And why, given the clarity of the problem, do medical journals continue to take authors at their word — only to wind up looking like dupes?

According to an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times, Dr. José Baselga — who was chief medical officer of the venerable cancer clinic until resigning Thursday — has what can charitably be described as an inconsistent personal policy on revealing companies that have given him cash or other potentially lucrative fillips. Baselga also has stayed mum about his conflicts of interest — which also involve research funding and seats on advisory boards — in many of his publications, including those in high-rent titles like the New England Journal of Medicine, and despite policies from the journals demanding that authors reveal such relationships.

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What if we could scan for image duplication the way we check for plagiarism? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 28, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Paul Brookes is a biologist with a passion for sleuthing out fraud. Although he studies mitochondria at the University of Rochester, he also secretly ran a science-fraud.org, a site for people to post their concerns about papers. Following legal threats, he revealed he was the author and shut... More

Paul Brookes is a biologist with a passion for sleuthing out fraud. Although he studies mitochondria at the University of Rochester, he also secretly ran a science-fraud.org, a site for people to post their concerns about papers. Following legal threats, he revealed he was the author and shut the site in 2013 — but didn’t stop the fight. Recently, he’s co-authored a paper that’s slightly outside his day job: Partnering with computer scientist Daniel Acunaat Syracuse University and computational biologist Konrad Kording at the University of Pennsylvania, they developed a software to help detect duplicated images. If it works, it would provide a much needed service to the research community, which has been clamoring for some version of this for years. So how did this paper — also described by Nature News — come about? [colored_box]Retraction Watch: Dr. Brookes, you study mitochondria. What brought you to co-author a paper about software to detect duplications? . Paul Brookes: I had authored a paper on the relationship between levels of internet publicity (blogs etc.) and actions taken against problematic papers in the biosciences – retractions, corrections, etc.  As such, I was sitting on a large database (500+ papers) with documented image problems. Konrad and Daniel approached me by email, to request this set of examples, to act as a training set for their machine learning algorithm. .

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New COPE guidelines on publication process manipulation: why they matter – BMC (Jigisha Patel | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 27, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Abstract Manipulation of the publication process is a relatively new form of misconduct affecting the publishing industry. This editorial describes what it is, why it is difficult for individual journal editors and publishers to handle and the background to the development of the new COPE guidelines... More

Abstract Manipulation of the publication process is a relatively new form of misconduct affecting the publishing industry. This editorial describes what it is, why it is difficult for individual journal editors and publishers to handle and the background to the development of the new COPE guidelines on how to manage publication process manipulation. These new guidelines represent an important first step towards encouraging openness and collaboration between publishers to address this phenomenon. 10 years ago, a retraction of an article was a rare thing. We know that the rate of journal retractions has been rising [1]. It has been argued that the increasing number of journals and the ‘pressure to publish’ have been the driving unethical practices such as data falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism [2]. There have been calls to address this by changing the way research success is measured, for example, by changing the way journal and article quality is measured and rewarded [3] in the hope that, by removing the pressure, unethical practices might decline.

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Patients find misleading information on the internet – The Ethics Blog (Pär Segerdahl | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 30, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 25, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

In phase 1 clinical studies of substances that might possibly be used to treat cancer in the future, cancer patients are recruited as research participants. These patients almost always have advanced cancer that no longer responds to the standard treatment. That research participation would affect the cancer is unlikely. The... More

In phase 1 clinical studies of substances that might possibly be used to treat cancer in the future, cancer patients are recruited as research participants. These patients almost always have advanced cancer that no longer responds to the standard treatment. That research participation would affect the cancer is unlikely. The purpose of a phase 1 study is to determine safe dosage range and to investigate side effects and other safety issues. This will then enable proceeding to investigating the effectiveness of the substance on specific forms of cancer, but with other research participants. Given that patients often seek online information on clinical trials, Tove Godskesen, Josepine Fernow and Stefan Eriksson wanted to investigate the quality of the information that currently is available on the internet about phase 1 clinical cancer trials in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

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Constructive Voices: Panel discussion about institutional implementation of the National Statement (2007 updated 2018)

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Institutional Conflicts of Interest and Public Trust – JAMA Viewpoint (Francisco G. Cigarroa, MD | November 2018)

Published/Released on November 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 22, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

The World Medical Association developed the Declaration of Helsinki as a statement regarding ethical principles for medical research involving human research participants and directs physicians to promote and safeguard the health, well-being, and rights of patients. Included in this declaration is the requirement that each potential research participant be... More

The World Medical Association developed the Declaration of Helsinki as a statement regarding ethical principles for medical research involving human research participants and directs physicians to promote and safeguard the health, well-being, and rights of patients. Included in this declaration is the requirement that each potential research participant be informed of possible conflicts of interest among the researchers conducting the study.1 Many clinical trials and biomedical research projects are funded by the private sector and have led to the development of important novel therapeutics and devices that improve the health of individuals and society. [colored_box]Funding by the private sector is important to meeting the missions of many institutions and to the development of science, but may lead to potential or real individual conflicts of interest that must be effectively disclosed, reported, and managed. Institutional conflicts of interest related to clinical trials and biomedical research may occur because many research institutions and universities increasingly rely on funding from the private sector as state and federal funding has become more competitive and difficult to secure. Most research institutions and universities have conflicts of interest polices for individuals because of federal mandates issued under the auspices of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The same cannot be stated about the institutions even though institutional conflicts of interest can affect patients, multiple investigators, and the entire institution.2 . The lack of consistency among research institutions and universities related to managing institutional conflicts of interest must be addressed. Potential and real conflicts of interest require full disclosure to participants enrolled in research studies so that informed decisions can be made regarding participation. Institutional officers and committees responsible for protecting the integrity of research must also provide full disclosure and sufficient explanation regarding an investigator’s or the institution’s relationship to external entities that can either directly or indirectly affect research judgment. .

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When it comes to retracting papers by the world’s most prolific scientific fraudsters, journals have room for improvement – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 06, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 18, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Journals have retracted all but 19 of the 313 tainted papers linked to three of the most notorious fraudsters in science, with only stragglers left in the literature. But editors and publishers have been less diligent when it comes to delivering optimal retraction notices for the affected articles. [colored_box]That’s the... More

Journals have retracted all but 19 of the 313 tainted papers linked to three of the most notorious fraudsters in science, with only stragglers left in the literature. But editors and publishers have been less diligent when it comes to delivering optimal retraction notices for the affected articles. [colored_box]That’s the verdict of a new analysis in the journal Anaesthesia, which found that 15% of retraction notices for the affected papers fail fully to meet standards from the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE). Many lacked appropriate language and requisite watermarks stating that the articles had been removed, and some have vanished from the literature. . The article was written by U. M. McHugh, of University Hospital in Galway, Ireland, and Steven Yentis, a consultant anaesthetist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London. Yentis was editor of Anaesthesia during the three scandals and had a first-hand view of two of the investigations. He also is the editor who unleashed anesthetist and self-trained statistician John Carlisle on the Fujii papers to see how likely the Japanese researcher’s data were to be valid (answer: not very likely). .

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(US) ER patients given ketamine, other powerful drugs in clinical trials without their consent, FDA finds – STAT (Sharon Begley | October 2018)

Minneapolis hospital tested powerful antipsychotics and the potent anesthetic ketamine on emergency room patients without their knowledge or consent, violating regulations on human research, federal inspectors have determined.

Based on those findings, a health watchdog group on Monday urged federal regulators to suspend... More

Minneapolis hospital tested powerful antipsychotics and the potent anesthetic ketamine on emergency room patients without their knowledge or consent, violating regulations on human research, federal inspectors have determined.

Based on those findings, a health watchdog group on Monday urged federal regulators to suspend all clinical trials at the hospital. In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services office that protects human research subjects, Public Citizen also called for regulators to immediately launch an investigation into the conduct and oversight of the studies and “impose severe sanctions for the serious ethical and regulatory lapses that have occurred in the ketamine clinical trials and other studies” at Minneapolis’s Hennepin County Medical Center.

The hospital committee that green-lighted the studies, called an institutional review board (IRB), “appears incapable of doing its job,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, who organized the letter. It acted unethically and placed patients in danger, he said, “including by waiving the requirement for informed consent in situations where that is not allowed.”

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Have retraction notices improved over time? – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 01, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 14, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Evelyne Decullier & Hervé Maisonneuve have been studying retractions for a long time. They’ve looked at how long retractions take to show up in PubMed, and five years ago they published a paper on the quality of retraction... More

Evelyne Decullier & Hervé Maisonneuve have been studying retractions for a long time. They’ve looked at how long retractions take to show up in PubMed, and five years ago they published a paper on the quality of retraction notices — and how well they were disseminated — in 2008. Now, they’ve repeated that analysis for papers retracted in 2016, and in a new paper in BMC Research Notes, conclude that “management of retraction has improved.” We asked them some questions — one of which, about an Elsevier policy, as noted below, led to a re-examination of the conclusions — about their findings: Retraction Watch (RW): Why do you think it’s important for journals to provide a reason for retraction? Evelyne Decullier & Hervé Maisonneuve (ED and HM): Correcting the literature is key for ensuring the quality of data and that the scientific method is respected. Readers should at least be able to differentiate retractions for honest errors from retractions for fraud or plagiarism.

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Constructive Voices: Panel discussion about institutional implementation of the Australian Code (2018)

On 8th November, AHRECS hosted its first Constructive Voices panel. These panels aim to create an opportunity for open discussion about human research ethics and research integrity among researchers, policymakers, research managers, research ethics reviewers and other stakeholders. The first panel featured:

  • Jillian Barr, Director of Ethics and Governance at NHMRC
  • ... More

    On 8th November, AHRECS hosted its first Constructive Voices panel. These panels aim to create an opportunity for open discussion about human research ethics and research integrity among researchers, policymakers, research managers, research ethics reviewers and other stakeholders. The first panel featured:

    • Jillian Barr, Director of Ethics and Governance at NHMRC
    • Kandy White, Director, Research Ethics and Integrity, Macquarie Uni
    • Gary Allen, Senior Consultant, AHRECS
    We had close to 40 participants at peak and would like to believe that the session nudged the debate and activity forward across a range of institutions. The PowerPoints, recording and links to relevant documents will be freely available on the AHRECS website for 90 days at https://ahrecs.com/post-panel-room Below is a recording of the panel discussion. It will here for 90 and afterwards, the materials will be archived on the Patreon site for AHRECS subscribers. OTHER MATERIAL MENTIONED Register for the National Statement Constructive Voices discussion panel event on 22 November The free Research Ethics Monthly blog - Subscribe The subscribers’ area - a subscription of USD15/month provides access to the growing library of professional development and other resources. It is also a great way to support events and services like this. If you have any questions or comments about any of the above send an email to ConstructiveVoices@ahrecs.com.   Less

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Journal flags papers, saying authors didn’t adequately disclose ties to Monsanto – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 27, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 12, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

A toxicology journal has issued an expression of concern for a group of papers about the controversial herbicide glyphosate after concluding that some of the authors didn’t adequately disclose their ties to the maker of the product. At issue are five articles that appeared in a 2016 supplement to More

A toxicology journal has issued an expression of concern for a group of papers about the controversial herbicide glyphosate after concluding that some of the authors didn’t adequately disclose their ties to the maker of the product. At issue are five articles that appeared in a 2016 supplement to Critical Reviews in Toxicology, a Taylor & Francis title, about the chemical, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s blockbuster weed-killer Roundup. Although the authors of the articles don’t overlap perfectly, Keith Solomon, of the University of Guelph, in Canada, appears on three of the articles; Gary Williams, of New York Medical College, appears on three as well. Williams was caught up in a ghost-writing scandal after court documents revealed that he had put his name on a published paper written by Monsanto employees. Solomon served on a panel funded by Monsanto that undercut the conclusions of a report from the World Health Organization that glyphosate is probably cancerous to people.

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(Egypt) Debate over misconduct stalls Egyptian clinical trials law – Sci Dev Net (Hazem Badr | October 2018)

[Cairo] Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has declined to sign the country’s clinical trials law into action, after objecting to parts that, he said, might violate the human body. [colored_box]According to researchers following the law’s creation, Sisi returned seven amendments to the law, which... More

[Cairo] Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has declined to sign the country’s clinical trials law into action, after objecting to parts that, he said, might violate the human body. [colored_box]According to researchers following the law’s creation, Sisi returned seven amendments to the law, which could delay its creation. For example, articles 28, 29 and 32 of the law have been amended to reduce the severity of proposed prison terms for misconduct, such as using human samples without informed consent. . But the scientists following the law’s creation are positive about the president’s response, saying that his amendments show he is engaging with the matter and keen to see the law signed into life. “The president’s comments address the complex equation of respecting the sacredness of the human body and, at the same time, endorsing scientific research,” said Mahmoud Sakr, the director of Egypt’s Academy of Scientific Research and Technology. . “The text [as it stands] contradicts our goal of motivating universities to pursue joint research and hinders the exploration of samples using advanced equipment that might not be available locally,” ......Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s president .

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Predatory publishers: the journals that churn out fake science -The Guardian (Alex Hern and Pamela Duncan | August 2018)

A Guardian investigation, in collaboration with German broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, reveals the open-access publishers who accept any article submitted for a fee

A vast ecosystem of predatory publishers is churning out “fake science” for profit, an investigation by the Guardian in collaboration with German... More

A Guardian investigation, in collaboration with German broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, reveals the open-access publishers who accept any article submitted for a fee

A vast ecosystem of predatory publishers is churning out “fake science” for profit, an investigation by the Guardian in collaboration with German publishers NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin has found. [colored_box]More than 175,000 scientific articles have been produced by five of the largest “predatory open-access publishers”, including India-based Omics publishing group and the Turkish World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, or Waset. . But the vast majority of those articles skip almost all of the traditional checks and balances of scientific publishing, from peer review to an editorial board. Instead, most journals run by those companies will publish anything submitted to them – provided the required fee is paid. . To demonstrate the lack of peer review, Svea Eckert, a researcher who worked with NDR on the investigation, successfully submitted an article created by the joke site SCIgen, which automatically generates gibberish computer science papers. The paper was accepted for discussion at a Waset conference, which Eckert attended and filmed for NDR. .

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(Japan) When researchers from a particular country dominate retraction statistics, what does it mean? – Retraction Watch (Iekuni Ichikawa | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

The Retraction Watch Leaderboard of authors with the most retractions is a frequent source of comment and speculation. Why do only men appear on it? And what fields and countries are represented? Here, Iekuni Ichikawa, Project Professor at Shinshu University and Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics... More

The Retraction Watch Leaderboard of authors with the most retractions is a frequent source of comment and speculation. Why do only men appear on it? And what fields and countries are represented? Here, Iekuni Ichikawa, Project Professor at Shinshu University and Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, as well as a co-founder of the Association for the Promotion of Research Integrity (APRIN) in Japan, takes a look at a recent story that referenced our leaderboard — and what those figures really mean. [colored_box]The authors of Retraction Watch often take pains to point out that the relative rarity of retractions — despite dramatic increases in their rates — make studying them a challenge. But it is often difficult to resist seeking out truth in retraction numbers. . As a case in point, in August Science published an article by Kai Kupferschmidt about research misconduct in Japan that quoted data from the Retraction Watch Leaderboard, pointing that out that although “half of the top 10 are Japanese researchers…only about 5% of published research comes from Japan.” .

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It’s not too late to register for today’s free webinar about institutions and the implementation of the Australian Code (2018)

Published/Released on November 08, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 7, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

This afternoon AHRECS is hosting a hosting a free Constructive Voices panel discussion about implementing the Australian Code 2018. The 30 minute online panel will bring together the perspectives of the NHMRC, the drafting committee and research offices. While question be sent in during the session we encourage sending... More

This afternoon AHRECS is hosting a hosting a free Constructive Voices panel discussion about implementing the Australian Code 2018. The 30 minute online panel will bring together the perspectives of the NHMRC, the drafting committee and research offices. While question be sent in during the session we encourage sending your questions to us now - ACburningquestion@ahrecs.com

New South Wales Thursday, 8 November at 2:30:00 pm AEDT UTC+11 hours
Western Australia Thursday, 8 November at 11:30:00 am AWST UTC+8 hours
Australian Capital Territory Thursday, 8 November at 2:30:00 pm AEDT UTC+11 hours
Queensland Thursday, 8 November at 1:30:00 pm AEST UTC+10 hours
South Australia Thursday, 8 November at 2:00:00 pm ACDT UTC+10:30 hours
Northern Territory Thursday, 8 November at 1:00:00 pm ACST UTC+9:30 hours
Victoria/Tasmania Thursday, 8 November at 2:30:00 pm AEDT UTC+11 hours
New Zealand Thursday, 8 November at 4:30:00 pm NZDT UTC+13 hours
. To register for this event complete the short form at  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nsbPkzfbT6S4YWzeEekKxA

We hope to see you there!

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Is your institution on track to have implemented the Australian Code 2018 by the 30 June deadline?

Published/Released on November 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 7, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

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‘Could Somebody Please Debunk This?’: Writing About Science When Even the Scientists Are Nervous – The New York Times (Amy Harmon | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 18, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 6, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times.

[colored_box]N. is a black high school student in Winston-Salem, N.C., who does not appear in my article on Thursday’s front page about... More

Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times.

[colored_box]N. is a black high school student in Winston-Salem, N.C., who does not appear in my article on Thursday’s front page about how human geneticists have been slow to respond to the invocation of their research by white supremacists. (Note: N.’s full name has been removed to minimize online harassment.) .

But the story of how he struggled last spring to find sources to refute the claims of white classmates that people of European descent had evolved to be intellectually superior to Africans is the reason I persevered in the assignment, even when I felt as if my head were going to explode. .

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Universities warn against defence plans to increase control over research – The Guardian (Christopher Knaus | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 30, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Labor and academics say freedoms will be stifled by proposed powers which officials claim are necessary because of potential overseas infiltration

Labor, Australia’s leading universities, and the tertiary education union have warned a proposal to dramatically expand defence’s control over university research would stifle... More

Labor and academics say freedoms will be stifled by proposed powers which officials claim are necessary because of potential overseas infiltration

Labor, Australia’s leading universities, and the tertiary education union have warned a proposal to dramatically expand defence’s control over university research would stifle academic freedom and damage the sector’s competitiveness. [colored_box]Defence has called for a sweeping overhaul of laws that currently give it strict control over the sharing or export of sensitive Australian research and technology, citing a “changed national security environment”. . It wants the ability to control technology and research beyond that currently on a defined list, known as the defence and strategic goods list, which compiles military and some commercial goods and technologies. Defence has also asked for an escalation of warrantless search and seizure powers on university campuses and research agencies. .

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Perish not publish? New study quantifies the lack of female authors in scientific journals – The Conversation (Ione Fine and Alicia Shen | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 08, 2018 | Posted by Admin on November 2, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

“Publish or perish” is tattooed on the mind of every academic. Like it or loathe it, publishing in high-profile journals is the fast track to positions in prestigious universities with illustrious colleagues and lavish resources, celebrated awards and plentiful grant funding. Yet somehow, in the search to understand why... More

“Publish or perish” is tattooed on the mind of every academic. Like it or loathe it, publishing in high-profile journals is the fast track to positions in prestigious universities with illustrious colleagues and lavish resources, celebrated awards and plentiful grant funding. Yet somehow, in the search to understand why women’s scientific careers often fail to thrive, the role of high-impact journals has received little scrutiny. One reason is that these journals don’t even collect data about the gender or ethnic background of their authors. To examine the representation of women within these journals, with our colleagues Jason Webster and Yuichi Shoda, we delved into MEDLINE, the online repository that contains records of almost every published peer-reviewed neuroscience article. We used the Genderize.io database to predict the gender of first and last authors on over 166,000 articles published between 2005 and 2017 in high-profile journals that include neuroscience, our own scientific discipline. The results were dispiriting. Female scientists underrepresented We began by looking at first authors – the place in the author list that traditionally is held by the junior researcher who does the hands-on research. We expected over 40 percent to be women, similar to the percentage of women postdocs in neuroscience in the U.S. and Europe. Instead, fewer than 25 percent first authors in the journals Nature and Science were women.

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From punish to empower: A blame-free approach to research misconduct – Nature Index (Lex Bouter | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 16, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 31, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Research institutions have a duty to foster integrity, and that includes monitoring.

The Netherlands has a new code of conduct, which outlines institutions’ duty of care to foster research integrity — a rare emphasis in such documents. In many regions, including the... More

Research institutions have a duty to foster integrity, and that includes monitoring.

The Netherlands has a new code of conduct, which outlines institutions’ duty of care to foster research integrity — a rare emphasis in such documents. In many regions, including the United States and Scandinavia, codes of conduct have a legal basis. Serious breaches in research integrity are investigated by governmental committees, with an emphasis on sanctioning misconduct. In contrast, the Netherlands' position is that research institutions should empower scientists to maintain the principles and standards of responsible research practice. Researchers and their institutions are expected to learn from their mistakes, and improve the quality of science. Rather than policing scientists, the Dutch focus is on blame-free reporting and inviting researchers to discuss the dilemmas they experience.

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Scientists Rarely Admit Mistakes. A New Project Wants to Change That – UnDark (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 02, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 30, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

What are researchers to do when they lose confidence in their previously published work? A new project seeks to offer them an outlet. IN SEPTEMBER 2016, the psychologist Dana Carney came forward with a confession: She no longer believed the findings of a More

What are researchers to do when they lose confidence in their previously published work? A new project seeks to offer them an outlet. IN SEPTEMBER 2016, the psychologist Dana Carney came forward with a confession: She no longer believed the findings of a high-profile study she co-authored in 2010 to be true. The study was about “power-posing” — a theory suggesting that powerful stances can psychologically and physiologically help one when under high-pressure situations. Carney’s co-author, Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at Harvard University, had earned much fame from power poses, and her 2012 TED talk on the topic is the second most watched talk of all time.

Carney, now based at the University of California, Berkeley, had, however, changed her mind. “I do not believe that ‘power pose’ effects are real,” she wrote on her website in 2016. The reason, she added, was that “since early 2015 the evidence has been mounting suggesting there is unlikely any embodied effect of nonverbal expansiveness.” Other researchers, it turned out, could not replicate the power pose results, and withering scrutiny of the Carney and Cuddy study by fellow scientists mounted.
Carney’s assertions and Cuddy’s responses were widely covered in the media. (Earlier this year, Forbes reported that Cuddy had successfully refuted criticism of the power-posing study.) And despite her own eventual refutation of the findings, Carney did not believe the original paper warranted a full retraction, because it “was conducted in good faith based on phenomena thought to be true at the time,” she told the research integrity blog Retraction Watch.

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(Australia) Outrage over minister cancelling research grants – University World News (Geoff Maslen | October 2018)

Published/Released on October 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 30, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

Revelations that a former federal education minister interfered in a competitive research grants process and cancelled 11 humanities and social sciences projects, costed at more than AU$4 million (US$2.8 million), has generated outrage across Australia’s higher education sector. The decision by former education minister Simon Birmingham last year and early... More

Revelations that a former federal education minister interfered in a competitive research grants process and cancelled 11 humanities and social sciences projects, costed at more than AU$4 million (US$2.8 million), has generated outrage across Australia’s higher education sector. The decision by former education minister Simon Birmingham last year and early this year to override recommendations from the Australian Research Council (ARC) was belatedly revealed in federal parliament on Thursday night. ARC officials were being questioned during a Senate hearing and explained how Birmingham had stepped in to reject the council’s decision that 11 of the research projects be funded.

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Retraction Watch: We’re officially launching our database today. Here’s what you need to know.

Published/Released on October 27, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 27, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

Readers, this is a big day for us.

We’re officially launching the Retraction Watch Database of more than 18,000 retractions, along with a six-page package of stories and infographics based on it that we developed with our partners... More

Readers, this is a big day for us.

We’re officially launching the Retraction Watch Database of more than 18,000 retractions, along with a six-page package of stories and infographics based on it that we developed with our partners at Science Magazine. In that package, you’ll learn about trends — some surprising, some perhaps not — and other tidbits such as which countries have the highest retraction rates. Thanks as always to our partners at Science, particularly Jeffrey Brainard and Jia You, who crunched the numbers and developed the package. [colored_box] As readers no doubt know, we’ve been working on the database for some years. Some have asked us why it has taken so long — can’t we just pull retractions from existing databases like PubMed, or publishers’ sites? The answer is resoundingly no. All of those databases are missing retractions, whether by design or because notices aren’t transmitted well. That’s why we found more than 18,000, far more than you’ll find elsewhere. And we also went through each one and assigned it a reason, based on a detailed taxonomy we developed over eight years of reporting on retractions. . Now that you know how much work the database is, please consider thanking Alison Abritis, our researcher, who has done the lion’s share of the work on this project. She had some help — see below — but without Alison’s expertise and painstaking efforts, we wouldn’t have a database. And true to form, Alison has created an exhaustive user’s guide that we would strongly urge you to review if you’re planning to use the database for anything other than simple searches. .

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Austrian agency shows how to tackle scientific misconduct – Nature (Editorial | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 19, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 22, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

A decade on from a major academic scandal, officials there have got their act together.

Many countries are trying to clamp down on scientific misconduct. Last week, the UK government promised to look into setting up an independent body to oversee institutional investigations into... More

A decade on from a major academic scandal, officials there have got their act together.

Many countries are trying to clamp down on scientific misconduct. Last week, the UK government promised to look into setting up an independent body to oversee institutional investigations into research misconduct, and the Netherlands has revamped its research-integrity code. Last month, India said it would crack down on widespread academic plagiarism. And earlier this year, Chinese officials pledged to get tough on academic fraud with new laws that include a dedicated government agency to police misconduct. The problem is that much of this renewed political attention is not translating into meaningful action. High-profile cases of exposed malpractice continue to pile up, and surveys of researchers regularly confirm that poor behaviour is shockingly more common than many who promote the values of science might want to accept. So it is promising to report from a meeting in Vienna last week that was held to celebrate ten years of the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity. The organization is not perfect, but it has much to be proud of. Its work shows what can be achieved given the requisite political will. And it reveals some of the problems that remain, in Austria and elsewhere. Officials in countries that are looking for ways to tackle misconduct should pay close attention.

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(US) Participants In Rogue Herpes Vaccine Research Take Legal Action – KHN (Marisa Taylor | March 2018)

Published/Released on September 13, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 20, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Three people injected with an unauthorized herpes vaccine by a Southern Illinois University researcher have filed suit against his company, demanding compensation for alleged adverse side effects from the experiments. SIU professor William Halford, who died in June, had injected Americans with his experimental herpes vaccine in... More

Three people injected with an unauthorized herpes vaccine by a Southern Illinois University researcher have filed suit against his company, demanding compensation for alleged adverse side effects from the experiments. SIU professor William Halford, who died in June, had injected Americans with his experimental herpes vaccine in St. Kitts and Nevis in 2016 and in Illinois hotel rooms in 2013 without safety oversight that is routinely performed by the Food and Drug Administration or an institutional review board. Two of the participants who filed the lawsuit, Elizabeth Erkelens and Ed Biel, received the vaccine in the Caribbean trial, according to the lawsuit. The third participant, Terry Graham, was injected in two Illinois hotel rooms, it states.

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How Much Editorial Misconduct Goes Unreported? – Scholarly Kitchen (Phil Davis | June 2018)

Published/Released on June 21, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 20, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

COPE Case #18-03, “Editors and reviewers requiring authors to cite their own work”  reads like a political thriller:

Working alone late one night, a staffer stumbles upon a decision letter in which a handling editor instructs an author to... More

COPE Case #18-03, “Editors and reviewers requiring authors to cite their own work”  reads like a political thriller:

Working alone late one night, a staffer stumbles upon a decision letter in which a handling editor instructs an author to cite some of his papers. Intrigued, the staffer digs deeper and finds a pattern of systematic abuse that involves a gang of crony reviewers willing to do the handling editor’s misdeeds and evidence of strong-arming authors who put up any resistance. The staffer brings the ream of evidence to the Editor-in-Chief, who goes to the editorial board. Confronted by questions to explain himself, the handling editor resigns out of haughty indignation. Case closed. Or is it? [colored_box]All COPE cases are public, however, the texts are carefully edited to preserve anonymity. COPE is an industry advisory group, not a court of law. The purpose of publicizing cases is to educate, not adjudicate. We can only hope that the summary of actions provides a clear path of action for future staffers and editors dealing with similar cases of misconduct. Still, it makes me wonder just how common is editorial misconduct and whether the vast majority of cases, like similar power-abuse misconduct, goes unreported. . A 2012 survey of social sciences authors published in the journal Science, reported that one-in-five respondents said they were coerced by journal editors to add more citations to papers published in their journal. Not surprisingly, lower-ranked faculty were more likely to acquiesce to this type of coercion. A follow-up study in PLOS ONE confirmed that the practice of requesting additional citations to the journal was prevelant across disciplines, although much more frequent in marketing, information systems, finance, and management than it was in math, physics, political science, and chemistry. In these studies, the researchers limit coercive citation to the journal itself, assuming that its purpose was to inflate the journal’s Impact Factor. But what if its purpose was also to inflate citations to the editor himself or to a cartel of other participating journals? .

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Davis, P. (2018) How Much Editorial Misconduct Goes Unreported? The Scholarly Kitchen, 21 June. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/06/21/much-editorial-misconduct-goes-unreported/ Less

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The Next Phase of Human Gene-Therapy Oversight – The New England Journal of Medicine (Francis S. Collins and Scott Gottlieb | August 2018)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have played key roles in the emergence of safe and effective human gene therapies. Now, we are proposing new efforts to encourage further advances in this rapidly evolving field.

The potential to alter human... More

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have played key roles in the emergence of safe and effective human gene therapies. Now, we are proposing new efforts to encourage further advances in this rapidly evolving field.

The potential to alter human genes directly was first recognized nearly 50 years ago, around the same time as initial groundbreaking advances were being made in recombinant DNA technology. After intense discussions regarding the ethical, legal, and social implications of this technology, conversations were initiated at the NIH that led to the establishment of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) in 1974. The RAC’s mission was to advise the NIH director on research that used emerging technologies involving manipulation of nucleic acids — a mission that was eventually expanded to encompass the review and discussion of protocols for gene therapy in humans. In 1990, the FDA oversaw the first U.S. human gene-therapy trial, which involved pediatric patients with adenosine deaminase deficiency and was conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Although no major safety concerns were initially reported, over the course of the 1990s it became evident that many questions regarding the safety and efficacy of gene therapy remained unanswered. These unknowns were brought into sharp focus in 1999 when Jesse Gelsinger died of a massive immune response during a safety trial of gene therapy for ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency.1 This tragic death led to closer scrutiny of the field, including a greater focus on open dialogue and increased regulatory oversight.

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The Rise of Peer Review: Melinda Baldwin on the History of Refereeing at Scientific Journals and Funding Bodies – Scholarly Kitchen (Robert Harington | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 17, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

I  was recently given the opportunity to read a fascinating paper by Melinda Baldwin, (Books Editor at Physics Today magazine, published by the American Institute of Physics), entitled “Scientific Autonomy, Public Accountability, and the Rise of “Peer Review” in the... More

I  was recently given the opportunity to read a fascinating paper by Melinda Baldwin, (Books Editor at Physics Today magazine, published by the American Institute of Physics), entitled “Scientific Autonomy, Public Accountability, and the Rise of “Peer Review” in the Cold War United States” (Isis, volume 109, number 3, September 2018). Melinda is an accomplished historian of science, with a special emphasis on the cultural and intellectual history of science and scientific communication. Not only is her writing infectiously entertaining, the story itself is new, or at least it is new to me. It turns out that peer reviewing in scientific journals is a relatively recent construct, first emerging in the nineteenth century and not seen as a central part of science until the late twentieth century. [colored_box]Melinda paints a picture of constant change in peer review, which perhaps provides a lesson for us all. Maybe this should be obvious, but there is no status quo in academic publishing, and while we may feel our moment is more important than those that have gone before, or those ahead of us, expectations and models are fluid, be you author, reviewer, publisher, institution, or funder. . In this interview I ask Melinda to talk about her article, and provide some more personal views on peer review topics of the moment. .

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Who Says You Need Permission to Study Yourself? – NEO.LIFE (Emily Mullin | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 27, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 16, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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Sara Riggare can’t finish her PhD because an ethics committee says she needed their approval first. For the past six years, Sara Riggare, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been conducting research on herself as part of her PhD at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Using mobile apps, she tracks her symptoms, sleep, and activity. She’s not unique in doing so: Many people self-monitor with apps and wearable devices like Fitbit and the Apple Watch, a trend spurred by the broader Quantified Self movement, where “lifeloggers” track everything from their blood sugar to their microbiome, and even carry out experiments on themselves.

For the past six years, Sara Riggare, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been conducting research on herself as part of her PhD at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Using mobile apps, she tracks her symptoms, sleep, and activity.

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The “problem” of predatory publishing remains a relatively small one and should not be allowed to defame open access – LSE Impact Blog (Tom Olijhoek and Jon Tennant | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 25, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 15, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

A recent investigation led by an international group of journalists raised concerns over the scale of the problem of deceptive publishing practices, with many researchers of standing and reputation found to have published in “predatory” journals. However, while the findings of this investigation garnered significant media attention, the... More

A recent investigation led by an international group of journalists raised concerns over the scale of the problem of deceptive publishing practices, with many researchers of standing and reputation found to have published in “predatory” journals. However, while the findings of this investigation garnered significant media attention, the robustness of the study itself was not subject to the same scrutiny. To Tom Olijhoek and Jon Tennant, the profile afforded to investigations of this type causes some to overstate the problem of predatory publishing, while often discrediting open access publishing at the same time. The real problem here is one of education around questionable journals, and should not distract from more urgent questions around the shifting scholarly ecosystem.

[colored_box]Full disclosure: Tom Olijhoek is Editor-in-Chief of DOAJ and Jon Tennant is the founder of the Open Science MOOC. . Imagine you want to investigate the quality of restaurants. You know beforehand there are bad restaurants. So you set up your investigation by going to a number of bad restaurants of bad reputation. What do you find? You find that a number of restaurants are really bad, an inevitable conclusion. You even find that people of standing and reputation have visited these restaurants on occasion. . Would the conclusion here be that all restaurants are bad? Several investigations of this kind have looked into the problem of “predatory” or “questionable” publishers, the most famous being the heavily criticised and deeply flawed “sting operation” by John Bohannon in Science magazine. In science speak, this is called doing an experiment without an appropriate control group, usually sufficient for research to be desk rejected for being fundamentally flawed.

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(US) Mount Sinai multiple sclerosis researcher admits to misconduct – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 14, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

A researcher who has received millions in funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and who runs a lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York has confessed to falsifying data in a 2014 paper. Gareth John, who studies multiple sclerosis... More

A researcher who has received millions in funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and who runs a lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York has confessed to falsifying data in a 2014 paper. Gareth John, who studies multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases, “has expressed remorse for his actions,” according to a report released last week from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity. John falsified data in two different figures in a 2014 paper in Development, “Combinatorial actions of Tgfβ and Activin ligands promote oligodendrocyte development and CNS myelination,” according to the report. In one figure, a Western blot, he “removed the lower set of bands, reordered the remaining bands and used those bands to represent the actin control,” among other falsifications, and in another, he cut and pasted bands “onto a blank background and used those false bands to create a graph.”

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The Limits of Dual Use – Issues in Science & Technology (Tara Mahfoud, et al | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 03, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 12, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Distinguishing between military and civilian applications of scientific research and technology development has become increasingly difficult. A more nuanced framework is needed to guide research.

Research and technologies designed to generate benefits for civilians that can also be used for military purposes... More

Distinguishing between military and civilian applications of scientific research and technology development has become increasingly difficult. A more nuanced framework is needed to guide research.

Research and technologies designed to generate benefits for civilians that can also be used for military purposes are termed “dual use.” The concept of dual use frames and informs debates about how such research and technologies should be understood and regulated. But the emergence of neuroscience-based technologies, combined with the dissolution of any simple distinction between civilian and military domains, requires us to reconsider this binary concept. Not only has neuroscience research contributed to the development and use of technology and weapons for national security, but a variety of factors have blurred the very issue of whether a technological application is military or civilian. These factors include the rise of asymmetric warfare, the erosion of clear differentiation between states of war abroad and defense against threats “at home,” and the use of military forces for homeland security. It is increasingly difficult to disentangle the relative contributions made by researchers undertaking basic studies in traditional universities from those made by researchers working in projects specifically organized or funded by military or defense sources. Amid such complexity, the binary world implied by “dual use” can often obscure rather than clarify which particular uses of science and technology are potentially problematic or objectionable. To help in clarifying matters, we argue that policy makers and regulators need to identify and focus on specific harmful or undesirable uses in the following four domains: political, security, intelligence, and military (PSIM). We consider the ways that research justified in terms of socially constructive applications—in the European Human Brain Project, the US BRAIN initiative, and other brain projects and related areas of neuroscience—can also provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be applied in these four domains. If those who fund, develop, or regulate research and development (R&D) in neuroscience, neurotechnology, and neurorobotics fail to move away from the dual-use framework, they may be unable to govern its diffusion.

Mahfoud, Tara, Christine Aicardi, Saheli Datta, and Nikolas Rose. "The Limits of Dual Use." Issues in Science and Technology 34, no. 4 (Summer 2018). http://issues.org/34-4/the-limits-of-dual-use/

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Clinical Trials – More Blinding, Less Worry! – Statistically Funny (Hilda Bastian | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 12, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

She's right to be worried! There are so many possible cracks that bias can seep through, nudging clinical trial results off course. Some of the biggest come from people knowing which comparison group a participant will be, or has been, in. Allocation concealment and blinding are strategies to reduce this... More

She's right to be worried! There are so many possible cracks that bias can seep through, nudging clinical trial results off course. Some of the biggest come from people knowing which comparison group a participant will be, or has been, in. Allocation concealment and blinding are strategies to reduce this risk. [colored_box]Before we get to that, let's look at the source of the problems we're aiming at here: people! They bring subjectivity to the mix, even if they are committed to the trial - and not everyone who plays a role will be supportive, anyway. On top of that, randomizing people - leaving their fate to pure chance - can be the rational and absolutely vital thing to do. But it's also "anathema to the human spirit", so it can be awfully hard to play totally by the rules. . And we're counting on a lot of people here, aren't we? There are the ones who enter an individual into one of the comparison groups in the trial. There are those individual participants themselves, and the ones dealing with them during the trial - healthcare practitioners who treat them, for example. And then there are the people measuring outcomes - like looking at an x-ray and deciding if it's showing improvement or not. .

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What does it mean to “take responsibility for” a paper? – Scientist Sees Squirrel (Stephen Heard | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 17, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

 I spend a lot of time talking with students and colleagues about what authorship means, and about what criteria one might use for assigning it.  That’s partly because the nature of authorship is both complex and (especially for early-career scientists) critically important.  It’s also because my research has evolved... More

 I spend a lot of time talking with students and colleagues about what authorship means, and about what criteria one might use for assigning it.  That’s partly because the nature of authorship is both complex and (especially for early-career scientists) critically important.  It’s also because my research has evolved in ways that mean I rarely write a single-authored paper any more.  In fact, I rarely write a 2- or 3-authored paper any more. [colored_box]There’s nothing unusual about me (in this respect); the lengths of author lists have been increasing in almost every field.  In some fields, they’ve reached startling proportions, with author lists surpassing 5,000.  It’s not universally agreed exactly what contributions merit authorship, or what responsibilities coauthors bear.  However, one thing we often hear – and I’m pretty sure, one thing I’ve said – is that each coauthor should be willing to take responsibility for the entire paper.  Take, for example, the recommendations on coauthorship from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: . The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria: .

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. ,

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The Evolution and Critical Role of Peer Review in Academic Publishing – The Wiley Network (Marilyn Pollett | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 12, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 6, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Did you know that the number of peer-reviewed journals has steadily grown by 3.5% per year for over the past three centuries? In fact, a rigorous peer review process is considered to be an indication of a journal’s quality, and most journals rely on... More

Did you know that the number of peer-reviewed journals has steadily grown by 3.5% per year for over the past three centuries? In fact, a rigorous peer review process is considered to be an indication of a journal’s quality, and most journals rely on peer review to ensure that only the best research gets accepted for publication. This often results in journals having high rejection rates, for example, as high as 90% in the case of many Wiley journals. Peer review is considered the pillar that upholds the credibility and integrity of the scientific record. However, in its conventional form, peer review has drawn some criticism for issues like lack of transparency and inconsistency in output. To address these issues, several innovations in peer review have been introduced (new models, reviewer recognition, and more). Let’s take a look at the evolution of peer review and how industry experts see it shaping up in the future. Challenges associated with peer review Despite its merits, peer review has some limitations that threaten to weaken the entire scholarly publishing system:

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The Great Leap Fraud: China’s wake-up call on scientific misconduct and fake science on Science Friction – ABC RN (Natasha Mitchell | September 2018)

You've heard of fake news, but what about fake science? The shocking, shady world of the modern scientific marketplace. A special for ABC RN's China In Focus series featuring Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch and guests. China's president wants to turn the country into a scientific... More

You've heard of fake news, but what about fake science? The shocking, shady world of the modern scientific marketplace. A special for ABC RN's China In Focus series featuring Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch and guests. China's president wants to turn the country into a scientific superpower, but mass retractions by scientific journals of papers penned by Chinese scientists has exposed a major problem for China and for science globally. It's home to a thriving black market for fake papers, fake peer reviews, and beyond. But is China alone?

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Revisiting: Six Years of Predatory Publishing – Scholarly Kitchen (David Crotty | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 3, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Predatory publishing has been on our radar for quite a while now, but mainstream media coverage and awareness is rapidly intensifying. We have perhaps finally reached a point where the damage being done to the credibility of research may be enough to move the stakeholders involved... More

Predatory publishing has been on our radar for quite a while now, but mainstream media coverage and awareness is rapidly intensifying. We have perhaps finally reached a point where the damage being done to the credibility of research may be enough to move the stakeholders involved — universities, funders, and publishers, to finally take some action. Just what that action will be is unclear — like most of our lingering problems, if there was an easy solution, it would have happened long ago. In light of the increasing debate, I thought it worth revisiting some of our coverage of predatory publishing over the years. [colored_box]Kent Anderson first wrote about the phenomenon back in 2012, in his post, “Predatory” Open Access Publishers — The Natural Extreme of an Author-Pays Model. It’s interesting to see that even in this early post, the focus was on the author-pays model, rather than a condemnation of open access as a whole. Also interesting to see how much unconditional support there was (particularly in the comments) for Jeffrey Beall’s list, which later fell under so much controversy. . Speaking of Beall, a trio of posts — two interviews, the first in the form of a podcast from 2013, and the second as a written interview, done after Beall had taken a public swipe at The Scholarly Kitchen. And finally, Joe Esposito’s post entitled, “Parting Company with Jeffrey Beall“, where he tried to come to grips with Beall’s increasingly problematic rhetoric. .

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A Major Industry-Funded Alcohol Study Was Compromised. How Many Others Are Out There? – UnDark (Jeremy Samuel Faust | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 13, 2018 | Posted by Admin on October 2, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

The most salient takeaway from the collapse of the MACH15 trial is that the conflicts of interest at its core are probably not as rare as we think.

LAST YEAR, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the federal National Institutes... More

The most salient takeaway from the collapse of the MACH15 trial is that the conflicts of interest at its core are probably not as rare as we think.

LAST YEAR, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the federal National Institutes of Health, laid out plans for what is a rarity in the realm of public health: a high quality clinical trial. The “Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial,” known as MACH15, was to be randomized so that some subjects would be selected to drink and some would not. It would follow participants “prospectively,” over time, not retrospectively. And in the end, the results were to be adjudicated by evaluators blinded to which subjects had been instructed to drink and which to abstain. The goal was an assessment of the effect of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health. [colored_box]But last month, the National Institutes of Health took the unusual step of shutting down one of its own clinical trials — a $100 million dollar experiment gone wrong. The announcement followed an internal investigation, prompted by a dogged New York Times report, that uncovered inappropriate interactions between the alcohol industry (Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, and others) and the NIAAA in the execution of MACH15. . By law, federal health agencies can receive funding from for-profit industry. But direct courting of funding, coordination, and collaboration on research design, and excessive communications are not permitted, and according to The Times and the findings of the NIH’s subsequent internal investigation, these violations occurred early and often during the development of the MACH15 trial. The NIH report concluded that the actions uncovered “calls into question the impartiality of the process and thus casts doubt that the scientific knowledge gained from the study would be actionable or believable.” .

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(US) NIH delays controversial clinical trials policy for some studies – Science (Jocelyn Kaiser | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 30, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Basic brain and behavioral researchers will get more than a year to comply with a new U.S. policy that will treat many of their studies as clinical trials. The announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) appears to defuse, for now, a yearlong controversy over whether basic research... More

Basic brain and behavioral researchers will get more than a year to comply with a new U.S. policy that will treat many of their studies as clinical trials. The announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) appears to defuse, for now, a yearlong controversy over whether basic research on humans should follow the same rules as studies testing drugs. [colored_box]Although research groups had hoped NIH would drop its plans to tag basic studies with humans as trials, they say they’re relieved they get more time to prepare and give the agency input. “It’s a positive step forward,” says Paula Skedsvold, executive director of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences in Washington, D.C. . At issue is a recently revised definition of a clinical trial along with a set of rules in effect since January that are meant to increase the rigor and transparency of NIH-funded clinical trials. About a year ago, basic scientists who study human cognition—for example, using brain imaging with healthy volunteers—were alarmed to realize many of these studies fit the new clinical trial definition. .

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Top Chinese rabies vaccine maker ordered to stop production over forged data – FiercePharma (Angus Liu | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 17, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 28, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

China’s drug regulator just pulled a manufacturing permit for the country’s second-largest maker of rabies vaccines over data falsification, marking the latest episode in China’s drug safety scandal. During an inspection, China’s State Drug Administration found Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences forged production records for its Vero cell-based rabies vaccines. The... More

China’s drug regulator just pulled a manufacturing permit for the country’s second-largest maker of rabies vaccines over data falsification, marking the latest episode in China’s drug safety scandal. During an inspection, China’s State Drug Administration found Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences forged production records for its Vero cell-based rabies vaccines. The agency immediately moved to revoke the company’s GMP license tied to the vaccine—just three months after its issuance—and dispatched a team to investigate the incident on site, according to a Sunday statement (Chinese). In its announcement filed to Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the Changchun, China-based company said it has started recalling all unexpired rabies vaccines, even though the batches under question weren’t released to the market, and it hasn’t received any adverse event report related to the quality of the vaccines through years of monitoring.

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There is little evidence to suggest peer reviewer training programmes improve the quality of reviews – LSE Blog (Shaun Khoo | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 23, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 28, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

In little more than a year a number of peer reviewer training programmes have launched, promising to help early-career researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. This follows an expressed need from graduate students and postdocs for precisely this... More

In little more than a year a number of peer reviewer training programmes have launched, promising to help early-career researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. This follows an expressed need from graduate students and postdocs for precisely this sort of training. But can these new programmes deliver? And as many providers suggest moves towards a subscription-based model, are they worth individuals or institutions paying for them? Shaun Khoo examines the evidence base and finds that there is little to suggest that peer reviewer training programmes actually improve the quality of article reviews.

Peer reviewer training for graduate students and postdocs is pretty trendy right now. As the number of submissions to academic journals grows, publishers are interested in expanding their reviewer pools. Over the last year we have seen the launch of the Publons Academy, ACS Reviewer Lab, Nature Masterclasses’ Focus on Peer Review, and JNeurosci’s Reviewer Mentoring Program. These training programmes promise to help researchers learn how to do peer review, review more efficiently, and connect with editors at top journals. They also fill a gap in researcher training, as over 90% of early-career researchers express interest in peer review training but few receive any formal training during their PhDs. But can these new training programmes deliver? And if training providers were to make their programmes subscription-based, would it be worth the investment?

What are the training programmes like?

Each training course has its own distinct and useful features. In general, programmes like the ACS Reviewer Lab, Publons Academy, and Nature Masterclass feature text and short video segments on how to do peer review, what to focus on, what not to focus on, and ethical dilemmas. They sometimes also feature online formative assessments, like answering multiple choice questions at the end of the unit.

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Let the Sun Shine into the Medical Ivory Tower – The Hastings Center (Adriane Fugh-Berman | September 2018)

In 2012, I coauthored a case report about the successful use of dietary supplements in treating a case of male infertility in the American Family Physician. Before it was published, I was surprised to receive a communication asking me to disclose the fact that I had... More

In 2012, I coauthored a case report about the successful use of dietary supplements in treating a case of male infertility in the American Family Physician. Before it was published, I was surprised to receive a communication asking me to disclose the fact that I had written a textbook on dietary supplements. It had not occurred to me to disclose the publication of my then decade-old book, but I certainly should have, and I was impressed that the publication had actually checked up on me. Would that more journals would follow AFP’s example. A joint New York Times and ProPublica investigation found that Jose Baselga, the chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, failed to disclose payments from pharmaceutical and health care companies in more than 100 articles he authored in medical journals. Between August 2013 (when Federal Open Payments disclosures began) and 2017, nine pharmaceutical and medical device companies paid Dr. Baselga almost $3.5 million. Dr. Baselga has been on the board of directors of Bristol Myers Squibb and Varian medical systems, which sells radiation equipment to Memorial Sloan Kettering, among other clients. Dr. Baselga has been a consultant to Astra Zeneca, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Roche/Genentech and an advisor to many pharmaceutical companies, diagnostics companies, and start-ups. He has presented favorable opinions about drugs made by companies that paid him– including drugs that other researchers found ineffective or unsafe. According to the Times article, Dr. Baselga called the results of a Roche trial of taselisib, a P13K inhibitor “incredibly exciting” at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; Roche, the manufacturer, considered the drug so disappointing they scrapped further development.

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Gender and Regional Diversity In Peer Review – The Wiley Network (Lou Peck | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 10, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 25, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

In keeping with the theme of Diversity in Peer Review, for this year’s Peer Review Week we’re taking a closer look at two recent studies on the topic. These articles are freely available What influences the regional diversity of reviewers: A study of medical and agricultural/biological sciences journals This... More

In keeping with the theme of Diversity in Peer Review, for this year’s Peer Review Week we’re taking a closer look at two recent studies on the topic. These articles are freely available What influences the regional diversity of reviewers: A study of medical and agricultural/biological sciences journals This 2018 Learned Publishing article discusses the geographical imbalance of reviewers discovered during research in medicine and agricultural and biological sciences. They found that:

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Privacy in User Research: Can You? – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | September 2018)

We may live in the age of privacy nihilism but recognizing one’s reality does not have to mean agreeing to do your own work by its terms. This post is for those publishers, academic and research librarians, and others who conduct research on user behavior in... More

We may live in the age of privacy nihilism but recognizing one’s reality does not have to mean agreeing to do your own work by its terms. This post is for those publishers, academic and research librarians, and others who conduct research on user behavior in library information systems, who — whether for personal and/or professional ethical reasons or policies — want to do so in ways that prioritize privacy. Situating Myself and Academic Librarianship [colored_box]A bit of my own background is probably useful to contextualize this discussion. My own attention to this topic of privacy and user data came into focus when I led the launch of the Value of Academic Libraries Initiative as President of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2010-2011. Grounded in The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report, my work that year and since then has been heavily focused on advocating for the profession to move to evidence-based claims for library value and for the collection and analysis of individual user data in order to do so. This work has been heavily criticized for its focus on collecting user data and, at times, for facilitating the neoliberal transformation of higher education. . Given that, I have also had to confront hard questions about how gathering and analyzing user data aligns with the values of my profession. Specifically, the value of privacy as expressed in the ALA Code of Ethics statement that: “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.” These questions have not had easy or straightforward answers, particularly as the value of privacy can be in tension with another principle in the ALA Code of Ethics: “We provide the highest level of service to all library users.” I’m grateful to Andrew Asher who joined me in a series of public presentations exploring these issues (e.g., CNI Fall 2014). .

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Japanese university revokes PhD following a retraction – Retraction Watch (Ivan Oransky | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 10, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 22, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Tokyo Women’s Medical University has stripped a researcher of her PhD, following the retraction of a paper — for data duplication — that was based on her thesis. [colored_box]The August 30th announcement notes that a degree was revoked on July 20. The announcement does not name the... More

Tokyo Women’s Medical University has stripped a researcher of her PhD, following the retraction of a paper — for data duplication — that was based on her thesis. [colored_box]The August 30th announcement notes that a degree was revoked on July 20. The announcement does not name the researcher, but refers to degree number 2881, which corresponds to Rika Nakayama’s PhD. The university describes carelessness and errors, but not misconduct. . Here’s a rough Google translation of the announcement: .

The thesis which became the application paper is based on the case which was handled at the off-campus facility to which the person belongs. Duplication of case data occurred due to carelessness of the person during the preparation of the paper. Those who created the paper with data duplication applied for a degree, and a degree was approved. Duplication of case data was discovered when this paper was investigated by random monitoring of the facility. That person did not take the form of correction but undertook the withdrawal procedure of the paper from the journal. In recognition of the fact that the dissertation application paper was withdrawn, we decided to cancel the degree award. .

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Little White Lies in Healthcare Publishing – Scholarly Kitchen (Phaedra Cress | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 31, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 21, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,

Most Americans lie one to two times daily according to an article in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology. Yet, we are “truth biased” to believe that the majority of messages we interact with are honest versus dishonest. This chips away at our lie-detecting skills... More

Most Americans lie one to two times daily according to an article in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology. Yet, we are “truth biased” to believe that the majority of messages we interact with are honest versus dishonest. This chips away at our lie-detecting skills and in a field (or an entire era?) fraught with transparency issues, it can be incredibly detrimental. [colored_box]What’s the difference between telling someone they look great in those jeans versus I didn’t really read that entire manuscript, but I came “close enough” to provide peer review comments for it? Was that employee fired or laid off, and how can recruiters tell the difference on their LinkedIn profile? Subtle nuances tell the real story but can be hard to discern just like the various shades of grey. . Nearly all of us have engaged in some form of writing, editing, or research during our professional careers, especially those who’ve built their careers in publishing. We endeavor to hold ourselves to the highest standards in all that we do, in both our work and personal lives, including our Instagram stories. .

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From lectures to the lab: three steps to becoming an undergraduate researcher – Nature (James Ankrum | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 30, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 19, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Participating in research gives students first-hand experience of a potential career path and provides graduate students and postdocs with important mentoring opportunities.

In the past decade, I’ve mentored 18 undergraduates in my laboratory, with the majority of them going on to pursue graduate degrees... More

Participating in research gives students first-hand experience of a potential career path and provides graduate students and postdocs with important mentoring opportunities.

In the past decade, I’ve mentored 18 undergraduates in my laboratory, with the majority of them going on to pursue graduate degrees in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) and co-authoring papers. Nearly every tier 1 research university in the United States has an undergraduate research programme, and uptake exceeds 90% at some institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Students in these programmes are a valuable resource for research labs and vice versa. Although beneficial to the lab overall, mentoring undergraduates requires investment in education and technical training. Adapting from lectures to life in a research lab is an abrupt transition, and is one that students and mentors should be prepared to navigate together. In my experience, students typically progress through three stages during their time in the lab. Although not everyone will move through all of the stages, setting aspirational goals can help to draw undergraduates into the excitement of research and keep them focused on the task in mind. They are:

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Was it Ethical for Dropbox to Share Customer Data with Scientists? – Wired (Emily Dreyfuss | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 18, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

FOR THE PAST two years, researchers at Northwestern University have been analyzing the habits of tens of thousands of scientists—using Dropbox. Looking at data about academics' folder-sharing habits, they found the most successful scientists share some collaboration behaviors in common. And on Friday, they published their results in... More

FOR THE PAST two years, researchers at Northwestern University have been analyzing the habits of tens of thousands of scientists—using Dropbox. Looking at data about academics' folder-sharing habits, they found the most successful scientists share some collaboration behaviors in common. And on Friday, they published their results in an article for the Harvard Business Review. [colored_box]The study quickly attracted the notice of academics—but not for the reason Dropbox and the researchers had hoped. One sentence in particular caught readers' attention: “Dropbox gave us access to project-folder-related data, which we aggregated and anonymized, for all the scientists using its platform over the period from May 2015 to May 2017—a group that represented 1,000 universities." Written by Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems professors Adam Pah and Brian Uzzi and Dropbox Manager of Enterprise Insights Rebecca Hinds, that wording suggested Dropbox had handed over personally identifiable information on hundreds of thousands of customers. . By Tuesday, Harvard Business Review had corrected that part of the article to say the data was anonymized and aggregated prior to being given to the researchers. “Before providing any Dropbox users’ data to the researchers, Dropbox permanently anonymized the data by rendering any identifying user information unreadable, including individual emails and shared folder IDs," a Dropbox spokesperson told WIRED. But while Dropbox's more than half a billion users can rest easy that their de-anonymized data isn't readily shared with researchers, the only consent Dropbox obtained from customers involved in the study was their agreement to its privacy policy and terms of service, according to representatives for Dropbox. .

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Guest Post: What a new Publons Report on Peer Review Says About Diversity, and More – Scholarly Kitchen (Tom Culley, et al | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 12, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 17, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Editor’s Note: This third installment of posts for Peer Review Week is a guest post from Tom Culley and the team at Publons. For centuries academic journals have brought modern research from around the globe into regularly published pages for consumption. At the heart of this system is peer review... More

Editor’s Note: This third installment of posts for Peer Review Week is a guest post from Tom Culley and the team at Publons. For centuries academic journals have brought modern research from around the globe into regularly published pages for consumption. At the heart of this system is peer review — the process we rely on to ensure the quality and integrity of scholarly communication. But as the research market grows exponentially the peer review system is feeling the strain. [colored_box]How do we know this? Publons Global State of Peer Review Report brings a new level of transparency to the state of peer review, revealing the numbers behind who’s doing it, how well they’re doing it, and how efficient the process really is. The timing is right, as the community comes together to celebrate the fourth installment of Peer Review Week, focusing on the theme of Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review. . Released on September 7th, the report combines novel results of a global survey alongside data from PublonsScholarOne, and Web of Science. For the survey, Publons reached out to researchers via the Publons database of over 400,000 reviewers, and 1 million authors indexed in Web of Science. Of the more than 11,000 researchers who completed the survey, 69% were working at a university or college, 69% were men, and over 35% had 15 years or more experience writing and reviewing scholarly articles. The majority of reviewers came from Europe (37% — including the UK) and 13% worked in the areas of Clinical Medicine or Engineering respectively.* .

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Opening up peer review – Science (Editorial – August 2018)

Published/Released on August 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 17, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

A transparent process to publish referees’ reports could benefit science, but not all researchers want their assessments made available. When Nature asks experts to review manuscripts for possible publication, we promise that the reports they send back will be kept confidential. But should we? More

A transparent process to publish referees’ reports could benefit science, but not all researchers want their assessments made available. When Nature asks experts to review manuscripts for possible publication, we promise that the reports they send back will be kept confidential. But should we? This week we publish a Comment article that comes with a provocative challenge: more journal editors should commit to publishing peer-review reports. Doing so, the authors argue, benefits science. It puts published work in useful context and helps junior scientists to understand how review works. Nature and the Nature research journals have long welcomed suggestions to make peer review work better for the communities we serve. In 2016, Nature Communications started to publish referee reports — with names removed — as long as the authors of the papers agreed. The reaction has been instructive. For one, it demonstrated that authors in specific fields of the life sciences are more likely to welcome such openness. Take-up from those in other disciplines, including many in the physical sciences, has been much slower. In fact, Nature Communications lost several reliable reviewers in chemistry when the referees were told their unsigned reviews would be made public if the author opted for it. They resented not having a say in the process, and felt that their reports would have little value outside the small intended audience.

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Gender and Regional Diversity In Peer Review – The Wiley Network (Lou Peck | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 10, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 17, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

In keeping with the theme of Diversity in Peer Review, for this year’s Peer Review Week we’re taking a closer look at two recent studies on the topic. These articles are freely available What influences the regional diversity of reviewers: A study of medical... More

In keeping with the theme of Diversity in Peer Review, for this year’s Peer Review Week we’re taking a closer look at two recent studies on the topic. These articles are freely available What influences the regional diversity of reviewers: A study of medical and agricultural/biological sciences journals This 2018 Learned Publishing article discusses the geographical imbalance of reviewers discovered during research in medicine and agricultural and biological sciences. They found that:

  • there was a correlation between the reviewer location and the country and region of the EditorChief and that of the corresponding author.
  • reviewers were more likely to accept invitations to review articles when the corresponding author was from their region and were more likely to be positive about such articles.

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Addressing the Regional Diversity of Reviewers – The Wiley Network (Thomas Gaston | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 17, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

There is a present imbalance in the regional distribution of the burden of peer review. The regional distribution of reviewers (or, more specifically, of those invited to review) does not mirror the regional distribution of submitting authors. This is the conclusion of multiple studies (Kovanis, 2016 and Mulligan and... More

There is a present imbalance in the regional distribution of the burden of peer review. The regional distribution of reviewers (or, more specifically, of those invited to review) does not mirror the regional distribution of submitting authors. This is the conclusion of multiple studies (Kovanis, 2016 and Mulligan and van Rossum, 2014), including a study conducted by Wiley in 2016 (Warne, 2016). This research found that uneven burden upon researchers from the USA, providing 33-34% of the reviewers and 22-24% of the submissions. One might argue that this is not an issue. Editors are under no obligation to ensure an even geographic distribution of those they invite to review. The primary consideration for editors, when selecting reviewers, must be choosing individuals whose expertise is appropriate to the manuscript under consideration. However, there are reasons for seeing the present imbalance as a problem. The burden of peer review is currently borne by a small pool of reviewers, leading to increased difficulty for editors in finding available reviewers (Sipior, 2018). Furthermore, there is an inherent advantage in having a diverse reviewer pool to counter tendencies toward group-think and bias. Why This Imbalance? We wanted to understand why there is this regional imbalance. Non-US researchers are willing to review (Mulligan and van Rossum, 2014); the problem seems to be that they are not being invited. We wanted to investigate the factors involved in the reviewers being invited and agreeing to review. Our hypothesis was that there would be a correlation between the location of the editor-in-chief (EiC) and the location of the reviewer. We also wanted to look at other potential factors, including the location of the author, the ranking of the journal, the size of the journal, and the apparent difficulty the journal had in obtaining reviews.

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Ask The Chefs: How Would You Ensure Diversity In Peer Review? – Scholarly Kitchen (Ann Michael | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 12, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Next week is Peer Review Week 2018. Asking the Chefs a peer review question has become a bit of a tradition for us. In 2016 we asked: What is the future of peer review? Last year we contemplated: Should peer review... More

Next week is Peer Review Week 2018. Asking the Chefs a peer review question has become a bit of a tradition for us. In 2016 we asked: What is the future of peer review? Last year we contemplated: Should peer review change? This year the theme is diversity in peer review. So we’ve asked the Chefs: How would you ensure diversity in peer review? Lisa Hinchliffe: Given I have served as a journal editor multiple times in my career, allow me to respond to this question from that perspective. First, you must have a commitment to diversity in peer review as a non-negotiable facet of your process and investing the time and effort needed in order achieve your goal of diversity. Second, you must do the work to identify a diverse reviewer corps and solicit the commitment of reviewers who you wish to be part of your team. Third, you must ensure that the experience of serving as a peer reviewer is a positive experience. You may need to do additional outreach and offer additional support to overcome the impact of reviewers’ past negative experiences as a peer reviewer. Fourth, you must check your own biases and privileges when you review the assessments submitted by the peer reviewers and not discount the feedback and evaluations submitted from the diversity of perspectives you have recruited. Fifth, you must ensure that peer reviewers receive recognition for their labor in ways that are valued in the performance review (tenure/promotion) schemes under which they are evaluated. No one owes their diversity to our peer review processes but many are willing. It is our responsibility as editors to invite, recognize, and reward them.

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The perils of fieldwork in authoritarian states – University World News (Yojana Sharma | September 2018)

Doctoral students and researchers in the social and political sciences need more training to deal with the perils of fieldwork in authoritarian states in Southeast Asia, according to two experts on the region. [colored_box]They note that existing “one size fits all” recommendations on field research “presume the setting to be... More

Doctoral students and researchers in the social and political sciences need more training to deal with the perils of fieldwork in authoritarian states in Southeast Asia, according to two experts on the region. [colored_box]They note that existing “one size fits all” recommendations on field research “presume the setting to be liberal democratic regimes” rather than the less accessible or less secure and transparent authoritarian regimes prevalent in the region. . “The discipline of political science is poorly positioned to guide its own scholars on the best way to perform field research in countries lacking guarantees for norms of speech, movement and scholarship,” say Meredith Weiss, associate professor of political science at the State University of New York at Albany in the United States, and Lee Morgenbesser, a lecturer in comparative politics at Griffith University in Australia, in a just-published paper that draws on their own and other academics’ experiences of working in such countries. . “The implications of this lacuna are acute in Southeast Asia,” where nine out of 11 countries are classified as having authoritarian regimes, they say in their paper published in the Asian Studies Review entitled “Survive and Thrive: Field research in authoritarian Southeast Asia”. .

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Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions – Nature (Holly Else | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 10, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Eleven research funders in Europe announce ‘Plan S’ to make all scientific works free to read as soon as they are published.

Research funders from France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and eight other European nations have... More

Eleven research funders in Europe announce ‘Plan S’ to make all scientific works free to read as soon as they are published.

Research funders from France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and eight other European nations have unveiled a radical open-access initiative that could change the face of science publishing in two years — and which has instantly provoked protest from publishers. The 11 agencies, who together spend €7.6 billion (US$8.8 billion) in research grants annually, say they will mandate that, from 2020, the scientists they fund must make resulting papers free to read immediately on publication (see ‘Plan S players’). The papers would have a liberal publishing licence that would allow anyone else to download, translate or otherwise reuse the work. “No science should be locked behind paywalls!” says a preamble document that accompanies the pledge, called Plan S, released on 4 September. “It is a very powerful declaration. It will be contentious and stir up strong feelings,” says Stephen Curry, a structural biologist and open-access advocate at Imperial College London. The policy, he says, appears to mark a “significant shift” in the open-access publishing movement, which has seen slow progress in its bid to make scientific literature freely available online.

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Can Peer Review Be Saved? – Chronicle of Higher Education (Paul Basken | March 2018)

Published/Released on May 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Peer Review in Flux

The internet era has changed the landscape [colored_box]The problem facing universities in 2018 isn't so much that peer review has inevitably evolved, but that scientists collectively have failed to respond with a better replacement. . Beaten down by technological change and... More

Peer Review in Flux

The internet era has changed the landscape [colored_box]The problem facing universities in 2018 isn't so much that peer review has inevitably evolved, but that scientists collectively have failed to respond with a better replacement. . Beaten down by technological change and economic pressures, the long-held notion of scientific peer review is losing its status as the "gold standard" measure of scholarly reliability. . The problem facing universities in 2018, however, isn't so much that peer review has inevitably evolved, but that scientists collectively have failed to respond with a better replacement. Among the many troubles for peer-reviewed publications: .

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Non-preferred reviewers and editorial discretion – Small Pond Science (Terry Mcglynn | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 21, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 7, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

Apparently, there are some editors of academic journals who will readily send manuscripts out to “non-preferred reviewers” - the specific people that authors specify who they don’t want to receive the paper for review. I think this is all kinds of messed up. Is this a simple, clear-cut issue? Well, no.... More

Apparently, there are some editors of academic journals who will readily send manuscripts out to “non-preferred reviewers” - the specific people that authors specify who they don’t want to receive the paper for review. I think this is all kinds of messed up. Is this a simple, clear-cut issue? Well, no. There are a lot of factors at work on the surface, and a lot going on under the surface that the involved parties might not be aware of. However, notwithstanding the complexity of the issues at hand, it’s hard for me to imagine a circumstance where this kind of action would be advisable (and I’d like to be clear that this is a practice that I do not engage in).

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Water Warrior Marc Edwards Warns of Scientific Dark Age if Science Goes “Post Truth” – Radio IQ (Robbie Harris | July 2018

Blowing the lid off the Flint Michigan water pollution crisis was a watershed moment in this country. It began as a crusade, first, just to prove there was a problem and ultimately, for public officials to address it. But its leader, Marc Edwards, an environmental scientist at Virginia Tech, sees... More

Blowing the lid off the Flint Michigan water pollution crisis was a watershed moment in this country. It began as a crusade, first, just to prove there was a problem and ultimately, for public officials to address it. But its leader, Marc Edwards, an environmental scientist at Virginia Tech, sees a larger public issue bubbling just under the surface and he’s speaking out about it. Marc Edwards is concerned about lead in America’s water, but he’s even more worried about scientific ethics and how government responds, or doesn’t, when whistle blowers speak truth to power.

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Repressive Experiences ‘Rare but Real’ in China Studies – INSIDE Higher Ed (Elizabeth Redden | September 2018)

Published/Released on September 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

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First-of-its-kind survey of China scholars seeks to quantify just how frequently they encounter repressive actions by the Chinese state intended to stop or circumscribe their research. A majority say self-censorship is a problem. Anecdotes abound of scholars who write on controversial subjects being denied visas to enter China, having difficulty accessing archives on the mainland or being “taken for tea” by Chinese police or security officials during the course of their fieldwork. But just how common are these kinds of experiences? A survey of more than 500 China scholars discussed Saturday at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting in Boston finds that such “repressive research experiences are a rare but real phenomenon” in the China studies field and “collectively present a barrier to the conduct of research in China.” Researchers found that about 9 percent of China scholars report having been “taken for tea” by Chinese government authorities within the past 10 years, to be interviewed or warned about their research; 26 percent of scholars who conduct archival research report being denied access; and 5 percent report difficulties obtaining a visa. A majority of researchers believe their research is either somewhat sensitive (53 percent) or very sensitive (14 percent). Sixty-eight percent of scholars say that self-censorship is a problem for the China studies field.

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Financial Ties That Bind: Studies Often Fall Short On Conflict-Of-Interest Disclosures – KHN (Rachel Bluth | August 2018)

Papers in medical journals go through rigorous peer review and meticulous data analysis. Yet many of these articles are missing a key piece of information: the financial ties of the authors. Nearly two-thirds of the 100 physicians who rake in the most money from 10 device manufacturers failed to disclose a... More

Papers in medical journals go through rigorous peer review and meticulous data analysis. Yet many of these articles are missing a key piece of information: the financial ties of the authors. Nearly two-thirds of the 100 physicians who rake in the most money from 10 device manufacturers failed to disclose a conflict of interest in their academic writing in 2016, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.

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The ethics of computer science: this researcher has a controversial proposal – Nature (Elizabeth Gibney | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 3, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Nature talks to Brent Hecht, who says peer reviewers must ensure that researchers consider negative societal consequences of their work. In the midst of growing public concern over artificial intelligence (AI), privacy and the use of data, Brent Hecht has a controversial proposal: the computer-science community... More

Nature talks to Brent Hecht, who says peer reviewers must ensure that researchers consider negative societal consequences of their work. In the midst of growing public concern over artificial intelligence (AI), privacy and the use of data, Brent Hecht has a controversial proposal: the computer-science community should change its peer-review process to ensure that researchers disclose any possible negative societal consequences of their work in papers, or risk rejection. Hecht, a computer scientist, chairs the Future of Computing Academy (FCA), a group of young leaders in the field that pitched the policy in March. Without such measures, he says, computer scientists will blindly develop products without considering their impacts, and the field risks joining oil and tobacco as industries whose researchers history judges unfavourably. The FCA is part of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in New York City, the world’s largest computing society. It, too, is making changes to encourage researchers to consider societal impacts: on 17 July, it published an updated version of its ethics code, last redrafted in 1992. The guidelines call on researchers to be alert to how their work can influence society, take steps to protect privacy and continually reassess technologies whose impact will change over time, such as those based in machine learning.

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(EU) Dutch publishing giant cuts off researchers in Germany and Sweden – Nature (Holly Else | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 19, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 3, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Negotiations with Elsevier have stalled over open-access deals.

Elsevier last week stopped thousands of scientists in Germany from reading its recent journal articles, as a row escalates over the cost of a nationwide open-access agreement. The move comes just two weeks after researchers in Sweden lost access to the most recent Elsevier research papers, when negotiations on its contract broke down over the same issue. Negotiators on both sides in Germany now seem to be waiting for the other to blink, says Joseph Esposito, a publishing consultant in New York City. The highly public nature of the stand-off means that "any deal Elsevier does with them becomes the de facto deal for the entire world," he adds.

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(US) Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns – Science (Charles Piller & Jia You | July 2018)

Published/Released on September 05, 2018 | Posted by Admin on September 2, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

On a sweltering July day in 2010, seven medical researchers and one patient advocate gathered in a plush Marriott hotel in College Park, Maryland, to review a promising drug designed to prevent heart attacks and strokes by limiting blood clotting. The panel is one of dozens of advisory committees... More

On a sweltering July day in 2010, seven medical researchers and one patient advocate gathered in a plush Marriott hotel in College Park, Maryland, to review a promising drug designed to prevent heart attacks and strokes by limiting blood clotting. The panel is one of dozens of advisory committees that vote each year on whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should approve a therapy for the U.S. market. That day, panel members heard presentations on the drug's preclinical and clinical data from agency staff and AstraZeneca in Cambridge, U.K., its maker and one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. The occasion sparked little drama. In the cool refuge of the conference room, advisers politely questioned company scientists and complimented their work. By day's end, the panel voted seven to one to approve. FDA, as usual, later signed off. The drug, ticagrelor, marketed under the name Brilinta, sold rapidly, emerging as a billion-dollar blockbuster. It cuts risk of death from vascular causes, heart attacks, and strokes modestly more than its chief competitor—and currently costs 25 times as much. FDA, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, uses a well-established system to identify possible conflicts of interest before such advisory panels meet. Before the Brilinta vote, the agency mentioned no financial conflicts among the voting panelists, who included four physicians. As Brilinta's sales took off later, however, AstraZeneca and firms selling or developing similar cardiovascular therapies showered the four with money for travel and advice. For example, those companies paid or reimbursed cardiologist Jonathan Halperin of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City more than $200,000 for accommodations, honoraria, and consulting from 2013 to 2016. During that period, Halperin got $7500 from AstraZeneca to study Brilinta, and the company separately declared nearly $2 million in "associated research" payments tied to him. Brilinta fits a pattern of what might be called pay-later conflicts of interest, which have gone largely unnoticed—and entirely unpoliced. In examining compensation records from drug companies to physicians who advised FDA on whether to approve 28 psychopharmacologic, arthritis, and cardiac or renal drugs between 2008 and 2014, Science found widespread after-the-fact payments or research support to panel members. The agency's safeguards against potential conflicts of interest are not designed to prevent such future financial ties.

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Publish peer reviews – Nature (Jessica K. Polka, et al | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 31, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Jessica K. Polka and colleagues call on journals to sign a pledge to make reviewers’ anonymous comments part of the official scientific record. Long shrouded in secrecy, the contents of peer review are coming into the open. In the past decade, outlets such as eLife, F1000Research,... More

Jessica K. Polka and colleagues call on journals to sign a pledge to make reviewers’ anonymous comments part of the official scientific record. Long shrouded in secrecy, the contents of peer review are coming into the open. In the past decade, outlets such as eLife, F1000Research, Royal Society Open Science, Annals of Anatomy, Nature Communications, PeerJand EMBO Press have begun to publish referee reports. Publishers including Copernicus, BMJ and BMC (the latter is owned by Springer Nature) have been doing so for even longer (see ‘Revealing peer review’). Last year, the organizers of Peer Review Week embraced the topic in a broader discussion of transparency. We are representatives of two biomedical funders — the UK Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Maryland — and ASAPbio, a non-profit organization that encourages innovation in life-sciences publishing. We are convinced that publishing referee reports would better inform authors and readers, improve review practices and boost trust in science. Right now, less than 3% of scientific journals allow peer reviews to be published (see go.nature.com/2weh6vn). To increase these numbers, our organizations held a meeting in February this year of around 90 invitees from the life sciences, predominantly from North America and Europe. Scientific authors, reviewers and readers participated, along with journal editors and leaders of granting agencies. We took care to include conservative voices, but the nature of the meeting attracted people ready for change. The ideas in this article were honed at that event, with later assistance from HHMI president Erin O’Shea; molecular biologist Needhi Bhalla at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Kenneth Gibbs, director of postgraduate training at the US National Institute of General Medical Sciences; and researcher Tony Ross-Hellauer at Know-Center in Graz, Austria.

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Dropping the Hammer – Predatory Publishers Get Pounded by Regulators and the Press – Scholarly Kitchen (July 2018)

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(China) New policy aims to free scientists to focus on research, avoid jumping through hoops – ECNS.CN (Li Yan | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 19, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 29, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Chinese scientific researchers are to be evaluated on the valuable contributions they make to their field rather than their number of published papers or academic credentials, according to a new policy issued by China's top officials. [colored_box]The new policy is considered by experts to be the first volley of China's... More

Chinese scientific researchers are to be evaluated on the valuable contributions they make to their field rather than their number of published papers or academic credentials, according to a new policy issued by China's top officials. [colored_box]The new policy is considered by experts to be the first volley of China's resistance to efforts by the U.S. to suppress its high-tech development. . The policy is aimed at stimulating innovation and vitality, and building a positive environment for scientists so they can better focus on their research and pursue excellence. . The policy was issued jointly by the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the General Office of the State Council. . It is the highest-profile policy ever issued about scientific research, He Defang, director of the policy division of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said during a press conference earlier this month. . The evaluation of researchers will mainly depend on the actual influence of their scientific achievements, while other factors such as the number of published research papers and educational achievements will serve as less important performance indicators, the policy said. .

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Australian researchers ‘vulnerable’ under new code of conduct – Nature INDEX (Smriti Mallapaty | June 2018)

Published/Released on June 20, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 27, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Australian academics say the country’s new research code of conduct is open to abuse by institutions, which are expected to investigate themselves. The code removes the requirement for an independent inquiry into serious cases of misconduct. Academics are concerned that without an independent body holding institutions accountable, researchers will be... More

Australian academics say the country’s new research code of conduct is open to abuse by institutions, which are expected to investigate themselves. The code removes the requirement for an independent inquiry into serious cases of misconduct. Academics are concerned that without an independent body holding institutions accountable, researchers will be denied a fair investigation and public confidence in research could suffer. “Self-regulation just doesn’t work; conflicts of interests are bound to occur,” says cell biologist, David Vaux, deputy director of science integrity and ethics at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Researchers can request the Australian Research Integrity Committee to conduct reviews of investigations and make recommendations to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC), but the committee lacks transparency and authority, says Vaux. Its focus will be on processes, not outcomes, he says.

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Mallapaty, S (2018) Australian researchers ‘vulnerable’ under new code of conduct: Lack of independent oversight in examining alleged breaches leaves academics at the whim of institutions. Nature Index. 20 June 2018 https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/australian-researchers-vulnerable-under-new-code-of-conduct Less

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(UK) British universities fail at research integrity self-regulation – Nature INDEX (Dalmeet Singh Chawla | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 26, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

One-quarter of surveyed institutions admit to not complying with guidelines.

The United Kingdom should establish a committee to monitor efforts by the nation’s universities to properly conduct misconduct investigations, a parliamentary inquiry recommends. [colored_box]The guidance follows a new report... More

One-quarter of surveyed institutions admit to not complying with guidelines.

The United Kingdom should establish a committee to monitor efforts by the nation’s universities to properly conduct misconduct investigations, a parliamentary inquiry recommends. [colored_box]The guidance follows a new report released on 11 July, revealing that one in four UK universities does not comply with research integrity guidelines released six years ago. Their failure to adhere makes it difficult to determine the scale of the problem. . “Establishing a new national Research Integrity Committee is crucial,” says committee chairman and member of parliament, Norman Lamb. “It’s not a good look for the research community to be dragging its heels on this, particularly given research fraud can quite literally become a matter of life and death.” .

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Denialism on the Rocks: It Just Got a Lot Harder to Pretend that Predatory Publishing Doesn’t Matter – Scholarly Kitchen (Rick Anderson | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 23, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

If you don’t want *predatory publishing to tarnish the open access (OA) movement, you basically have two choices: an easy but ineffective one, and a difficult but more effective one. The easy but ineffective strategy is to deny that predatory publishing is a real issue and try to stop people... More

If you don’t want *predatory publishing to tarnish the open access (OA) movement, you basically have two choices: an easy but ineffective one, and a difficult but more effective one. The easy but ineffective strategy is to deny that predatory publishing is a real issue and try to stop people talking about it. The difficult but (at least potentially) effective strategy is to do something about the problem of predatory publishing.

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Medical ethicist: “I now understand that I should not have been re-using material” – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 20, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 20, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

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Are you liable for misconduct by scientific collaborators? What a recent court decision could mean for scientists – Retraction Watch (Richard Goldstein | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 13, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 19, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Retraction Watch readers may have followed our coverage of the case of Christian Kreipke, a former Wayne State researcher who was recently barred from U.S. Federal funding for five years. That punishment followed years of allegations and court cases, along with half a... More

Retraction Watch readers may have followed our coverage of the case of Christian Kreipke, a former Wayne State researcher who was recently barred from U.S. Federal funding for five years. That punishment followed years of allegations and court cases, along with half a dozen retractions. The case has been complicated, to say the least, and led to a 126-page decision by a judge last month. Here, Boston-based attorney Richard Goldstein, who represented the scientist in Bois v. HHS, the first case to overturn a funding ban by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), tries to explain what it could all mean. [colored_box]Can you commit research misconduct if you fail to detect false data from another scientist? . The answer is yes and here’s how it can happen. . You work in a well-regarded laboratory that receives government funding. You are frequently a principal investigator (PI) and a lead author. The lab suffered from some disorganization so when you took over, you demanded quality work and hired a new lab administrator. . Things are generally good but life in the laboratory is demanding.  The size of the lab makes it impossible for you to validate every piece of data.  So, you often have to trust that a colleague’s work is reliable and truthful, including from collaborators at other facilities.  Funding, as always, is a problem, which means you can’t buy enough equipment and data security software; tracking who did what is difficult.  Some lab employees (inherited from your predecessor) have professional or ‘personnel’ issues and you suspect some will leave the laboratory. And of course, there is growing pressure to publish, attend conferences, make new findings, and to keep the funding stream going.  There is never enough time. .

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Douglas Todd: B.C. economist in grim battle against deceptive scholarship – Vancouver Sun (Douglas Todd | August 2018)

Derek Pyne, a Thompson Rivers University economist, is among the global academics determined to expose deceptive academic journals, sometimes at a risk to their careers.

We’ve all heard about fake news. Now we have deceptive scholarship.

A determined B.C.... More

Derek Pyne, a Thompson Rivers University economist, is among the global academics determined to expose deceptive academic journals, sometimes at a risk to their careers.

We’ve all heard about fake news. Now we have deceptive scholarship.

A determined B.C. economics professor has journeyed into the heart of a dark world where academics seeking to advance their careers have had hundreds of thousands of their articles published for a fee in journals that either deserve suspicion or are outright phoney. In academia, where the admonition to “publish or perish” is not an empty threat, it is often difficult for scholars to have their research published in legitimate journals, let alone top ones. But it’s becoming increasingly common for academics to get articles produced in questionable journals, just by forking over $100 to $2,500 Cdn. Derek Pyne, a Thompson Rivers University economist who was granted tenure in 2015, is among the global academics who are exposing the deceptive journals, sometimes at a risk to their careers. Experts say these journals are chipping away at scientific, medical and educational credibility — and wasting the money of the taxpayers who largely finance public colleges and universities. 

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Todd, D. (2018) B.C. economist in grim battle against deceptive scholarship: Derek Pyne, a Thompson Rivers University economist, is among the global academics determined to expose deceptive academic journals, sometimes at a risk to their careers. Vancouver Sun. August 13, 2018 https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/b-c-economist-locked-in-grim-battle-against-deceptive-scholarship

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Disgraced trachea surgeon – and six co-authors – found responsible for misconduct – Science (Alison Abbott | June 2018)

Studies co-authored by Paolo Macchiarini misrepresented patients’ conditions, according to the Karolinska Institute. The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has declared seven researchers responsible for scientific misconduct in a case involving six research articles co-authored by disgraced thoracic surgeon... More

Studies co-authored by Paolo Macchiarini misrepresented patients’ conditions, according to the Karolinska Institute. The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has declared seven researchers responsible for scientific misconduct in a case involving six research articles co-authored by disgraced thoracic surgeon Paolo Macchiarini. [colored_box]It says that Macchiarini, who transplanted synthetic windpipes into three patients at the Karolinska University Hospital between 2011 and 2013, held the ultimate responsibility for the papers. The institute’s investigation found that the studies included “fabricated and distorted descriptions of the patients’ conditions”, and lacked the justification that the patients were given the treatment as a last resort. The experimental surgery failed. . The president of the Karolinska Institute, Ole Petter Ottersen, has called for the papers to be retracted. The outcome overturns a 2015 decision from an investigation under the previous president, which stated that Macchiarini had not committed misconduct in these papers. .

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Sexual misconduct in academia: reassessing the past – Times Higher Education (‘Collaborators’ | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 17, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 16, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

The #MeToo movement has cast historical behaviour and curricula in a new, shadowy light. Four writers give us their perspectives

More than six months after the Harvey Weinstein scandal catapulted sexual harassment to the top of the cultural agenda, academia is among the industries... More

The #MeToo movement has cast historical behaviour and curricula in a new, shadowy light. Four writers give us their perspectives

More than six months after the Harvey Weinstein scandal catapulted sexual harassment to the top of the cultural agenda, academia is among the industries still grappling with the extent of the problem that it faces, and what to do about it. [colored_box]The #TimesUpAcademia (https://twitter.com/hashtag/timesupacademia) Twitter campaign launched last month by the Scotland-based journalist Vonny Leclerc elicited a considerable response. An open-source document created late last year by former US academic Karen Kelsky contains nearly 2,500 reports of sexual misconduct in mostly US and Canadian universities. And a survey by the UK’s National Union of Students, published in April, found that although most students objected to sexual approaches from academics, fewer than one in 10 reported it when it occurred. . In response to the NUS survey, campaign organisation the 1752 Group, which was closely involved in the survey, said that UK universities’ current disciplinary procedures are unfit for purpose, and it called on them to “introduce professional boundaries that clearly define the expected relationship between a staff member and a student”, that “reect the complexities of power and consent in the teaching relationship” and that punish transgressors. .

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India cracks down on plagiarism at universities – Science (Shekhar Chandra | August 2018)

But some researchers say new rules don’t go far enough.

India has for the first time introduced regulations to detect and punish acts of plagiarism at universities. Punishments for researchers or students caught breaking the rules range from requiring that a manuscript be withdrawn... More

But some researchers say new rules don’t go far enough.

India has for the first time introduced regulations to detect and punish acts of plagiarism at universities. Punishments for researchers or students caught breaking the rules range from requiring that a manuscript be withdrawn to sacking or expulsion, depending on the extent of the plagiarism. The regulations define plagiarism as “taking someone else’s work or idea and passing them as one’s own”, and will apply to the 867 universities and their affiliated institutions that report to the nation’s education regulator, the University Grants Commission (UGC). The UGC announced on 3 August that the rules came into effect retroactively from 23 July. Previously, punishments for researchers caught plagiarizing were left to the discretion of the institution. The new rules also make it mandatory for institutions to use plagiarism-detection software, such as Turnitin, on students’ theses and researchers’ manuscripts. Currently, only some universities use detection software.

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Inside India’s fake research paper shops: pay, publish, profit – The Indian EXPRESS (Shyamlal Yadav | July 2018)

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Did a study of Indonesian people who spend most of their days under water violate ethical rules? – Science (Dyna Rochmyaningsih | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 14, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

In April, a paper showing why Indonesia's Bajau people are such great divers drew worldwide attention as a striking example of recent human evolution. But the study, published in Cell, has created a different kind of stir in Indonesia, where some say it... More

In April, a paper showing why Indonesia's Bajau people are such great divers drew worldwide attention as a striking example of recent human evolution. But the study, published in Cell, has created a different kind of stir in Indonesia, where some say it is an example of "helicopter research" carried out by scientists from rich countries with little consideration for local regulations and needs. [colored_box]"Too many mistakes were made here," says geneticist Herawati Sudoyo, who heads the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta. Indonesian officials say the research team failed to obtain ethical approval from a local review board and took DNA samples out of the country without the proper paperwork. And some Indonesian scientists complain that the only local researcher involved in the study had no expertise in evolution or genetics. But Eske Willerslev, director of the University of Copenhagen's (KU's) Centre for GeoGenetics, says the team he headed had a permit from the Indonesian government and worked hard to follow the rules. "I would never participate in research that I felt was unethical," Willerslev says. The government hasn't informed him about problems, he says, but, "If we have made an error that violates national or international guidelines, we would like to apologize for that." . The issue escalated in late May, when Pradiptajati Kusuma, a geneticist at the Eijkman Institute who has also studied the Bajau, suggested in a tweet that the team could have faced prosecution under strict new rules on foreign research, proposed by the Indonesian government and now under debate. "Jail? Possible," Kusuma wrote. He later deleted the tweet, but Melissa Ilardo, the Cellstudy's first author, says she was so rattled that she canceled a July trip to Indonesia during which she planned to inform the Bajau about her study. "I did everything I could to conduct this research ethically and properly, and this is breaking my heart," says Ilardo, a Ph.D. student at KU at the time of the fieldwork and now at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. .

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Deception, distrust and disrespect – Karolinska Institutet: President’s Blog (Ole Petter Ottersen | May 2018)

Recently a person with the name Lars Andersson published an article on HPV vaccination in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. The title page (now revised by the editor) stated that the author was affiliated with Karolinska Institutet. When the article was brought to our attention we quickly concluded... More

Recently a person with the name Lars Andersson published an article on HPV vaccination in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. The title page (now revised by the editor) stated that the author was affiliated with Karolinska Institutet. When the article was brought to our attention we quickly concluded that no such affiliation exists. This person is not employed by KI, nor associated with KI in any other capacity. [colored_box] At first glance this is primarily a story about deception – about a person that abuses the name and status of a leading university to get his article into a peer-reviewed journal. And yes, Lars Andersson turns out to be a pseudonym. We do not know the identity of this person that falsely claims to be a researcher at KI. . So is this just a story about a willful deception on the part of a single, yet unidentified person? .

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(UK) We need more investigations into research misconduct – The Guardian (Norman Lamb MP | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 12, 2018

Why I’m calling for watchdog to help rid research of malpractice and fraud

Last year the Guardian reported on the case of Paulo Macchiarini, an Italian surgeon working in Sweden, who was “hailed for turning... More

Why I’m calling for watchdog to help rid research of malpractice and fraud

Last year the Guardian reported on the case of Paulo Macchiarini, an Italian surgeon working in Sweden, who was “hailed for turning the dream of regenerative medicine into a reality – until he was exposed as a con artist and false prophet”. The Swedish Central Ethics Review Board concluded recently that six papers should be retracted as they falsely claimed that the artificial windpipe transplants he gave them were much more effective than they actually were. In fact, at least three of his patients died. [colored_box]The House of Commons science and technology committee, which I chair, has published its report today on research integrity. Research is how we seek to cure diseases, find ways of tackling climate change, and make the world a better place to live in. But how common is “research misconduct” – fabrication of data, dodgy uses of statistics or even outright research fraud – in the UK? . It’s painfully difficult to know for sure, because the data coming out of universities on the number of allegations they investigate each year is either inconsistent or simply non-existent. The majority of universities publish an annual report on research integrity with figures, but at least a quarter don’t. A few told me that they won’t publish information because of confidentiality. When plenty of other institutions manage to find a way of presenting the information, this just leads to suspicion that some universities are simply acting to protect their reputation. . Some universities told me that they haven’t seen a need to publish data on the number of investigations they hold simply because there haven’t been any investigations. That might sound like something to be proud of, but experts warned us that if a university consistently receives no allegations from year to year then that should actually be more of a cause for concern than those that conduct lots of investigations. .

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(US) Controversial alcohol study cancelled by US health agency – Nature (Sara Reardon | June 2018)

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has terminated a controversial US$100-million study examining whether drinking small amounts of alcohol every day can improve health. [colored_box]The agency's decision, announced on 15 June, came shortly after an NIH advisory council voted unanimously to end the trial. An More

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has terminated a controversial US$100-million study examining whether drinking small amounts of alcohol every day can improve health. [colored_box]The agency's decision, announced on 15 June, came shortly after an NIH advisory council voted unanimously to end the trial. An agency investigation had found that NIH staff and outside researchers acted inappropriately by soliciting industry funding and biasing the grant-review process to favour specific scientists. . Those findings would have undermined the study’s credibility if it had been allowed to proceed, said NIH director Francis Collins at the advisory-council meeting. “Is it even possible at this point that the results of this trial would have the credibility to influence anyone’s decision-making?” he asked. “That does in fact seem quite doubtful.” . The study, which began enrolling participants in February 2018 under the auspices of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), included $67 million from 5 alcohol companies over 10 years. It came under fire in March after the New York Times reported that the study’s lead investigator — cardiovascular researcher Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts — and his collaborators had directly courted funding from the liquor industry in 2013 and 2014, before the study’s launch. .

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Report harassment or risk losing funding, says top UK science funder – Nature (Holly Else | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 03, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

The Wellcome Trust vows to pull grants if researchers or institutions do not abide by its new misconduct policy.

One of the world’s largest research-funding charities is cracking down on harassment and bullying. Scientists who have been sanctioned by their institutions could lose out... More

The Wellcome Trust vows to pull grants if researchers or institutions do not abide by its new misconduct policy.

One of the world’s largest research-funding charities is cracking down on harassment and bullying. Scientists who have been sanctioned by their institutions could lose out on funding from the Wellcome Trust, under rules announced on 3 May. It is the first major UK research funder to institute such a policy; the US National Science Foundation introduced a similar rules earlier this year. Wellcome’s policy will come into force for new grant applications on 1 June, and will apply to anyone already associated with a grant, including those whose projects are already under way. It gives Wellcome, a biomedical-research charity in London, the right to withhold funding from a researcher or bar them from applying for future grants.

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Will U.S. academies expel sexual harassers? – Science (May 2018 | Meredith Wadman)

Published/Released on May 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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How scientific publishers can end bullying and harassment in the sciences – Forbes (Ethan Siegel | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 18, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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Geoscience society rescinds award to top seismologist after ethics investigation – Nature (Sara Reardon | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 16, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 10, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

The American Geophysical Union says it received a ‘conduct-related complaint’ against Thomas Jordan.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has quietly reversed a decision it made in 2017 to award its highest honour, the William Bowie Medal, to seismologist Thomas Jordan. The action came after... More

The American Geophysical Union says it received a ‘conduct-related complaint’ against Thomas Jordan.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has quietly reversed a decision it made in 2017 to award its highest honour, the William Bowie Medal, to seismologist Thomas Jordan. The action came after an AGU investigation determined that Jordan, the former director of the Southern California Earthquake Center in Los Angeles, had violated the AGU’s ethics policy — which he disputes. “Last fall AGU received a formal ethics complaint regarding the 2017 named Bowie Medalist’s fitness for AGU’s highest honor,” chief executive Christine McEntee wrote in an e-mail to the AGU Council on 3 May. “This was a conduct-related complaint.” According to the e-mail, obtained by Nature, the AGU Ethics Committee investigated the complaint and recommended that the organization’s board of directors not award the medal to Jordan; the board agreed. Jordan appealed against the decision, as allowed by the AGU ethics policy, but the board ultimately decided in late April not to give him the award.

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Message from Professor Colin Thomson AM

Published/Released on August 10, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 10, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Dear Colleague, I hope this finds you well and my apologies for this unsolicited email. Hopefully you already know about Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS - https://www.ahrecs.com) and that I am one of its three senior consultants (along... More

Dear Colleague, I hope this finds you well and my apologies for this unsolicited email. Hopefully you already know about Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS - https://www.ahrecs.com) and that I am one of its three senior consultants (along with Prof. Mark Israel and Dr Gary Allen). If you don’t already know, the AHRECS site includes a freely available Resource Library of over 1200 papers, books, news and other resources relating to both human research ethics and to research integrity (https://www.ahrecs.com/resources) and is also home to the free Research Ethics Monthly (https://www.ahrecs.com/blog). We are currently finalising plans for two web-based 30-minute panel discussions to be held in November covering:

  1. implementing the 2018 edition of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and
  2. the updated National Statement.
The panels will both be moderated by one of AHRECS’ senior consultants and will include a nominee of the NHMRC.  We plan to also include a researcher, a research office staff member and a HREC Chair.  These live activities will be accessible free of charge and information on dates, times and how to join either or both of them will be available on the AHRECS website before the end of October. We are using these live panel discussions to introduce and promote a subscription service designed to raise revenue to cover our costs for more of these activities. Modelled on the idea of patronage, where patrons choose the level of support with which they are comfortable, our new service will allow Australian subscriber/patrons to download vignettes and other material for use in their in-house professional development activities. We expect to be adding at least one item to this area every month together with commentary on major breaking news and publications, as well as other exclusive information. We will put video copies of the panel discussions into the subscribers' area. We invite you to join this service.  Subscriptions start at USD1/month and USD15/month* grants access to all the material. This can be paid for using a credit card or PayPal account. After each payment we can provide an invoice showing it as paid (for accounting purposes) Please consider visiting https://www.patreon.com/ahrecs to subscribe. Kind regards, Prof. Colin Thomson AM * The amount is in US dollars because we are using a US service provider to host our subscribers’ area. On current exchange rates this equate to just over $20 per month. Less

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These Professors Don’t Work for a Predatory Publisher. It Keeps Claiming They Do – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Emma Pettit | August 2018)

Published/Released on August 01, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

The emails came often enough for Thomas L. Traynor to save a generic response on his computer: Dear _______, your suspicions are correct. The journal to which you’ve submitted is a fraud. [colored_box]Years ago, Traynor, an interim dean and economics professor at Wright State University, learned that a journal... More

The emails came often enough for Thomas L. Traynor to save a generic response on his computer: Dear _______, your suspicions are correct. The journal to which you’ve submitted is a fraud. [colored_box]Years ago, Traynor, an interim dean and economics professor at Wright State University, learned that a journal was misusing his name online. On its website, the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science lists a range of scholars, including Traynor, on its editorial and international advisory boards. But Traynor and other supposed board members contacted by The Chronicle said they’ve never been associated with the publication, nor did they grant it permission to use their names. A few have spent years attempting and failing to correct it. All the while, emails have trickled in to their inboxes from disgruntled submitters of papers, asking where their money went or why the edits were so paltry.

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Also see the purported Editor-in-Chief of the predatory journal created a website: https://jsabrinamimscox.weebly.com/j-sabrina-mims-cox-has-no-affiliation-with-the-international-journal-of-humanities-and-social-science-she-is-not-the-editor-in-chief-of-this-journal-nor-does-she-review-any-manuscripts-that-are-submitted-to-the-journal-she-has-never-sent-out-letters1.html

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Repeat Offenders: When Scientific Fraudsters Slip Through the Cracks – Undark (Alison McCook | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 6, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Balancing due process with the academic community’s right to know is no easy task, but critics say more could be done to weed out bad actors.

SOMETIME AFTER 2010 — he isn’t exactly sure when — Richard Miller, a professor of pathology... More

Balancing due process with the academic community’s right to know is no easy task, but critics say more could be done to weed out bad actors.

SOMETIME AFTER 2010 — he isn’t exactly sure when — Richard Miller, a professor of pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, looked up a former faculty member who had worked in his lab on the popular government research database, Medline. When he saw that the researcher, Ricky Malhotra, was publishing new work out of the University of Chicago, Miller said he was “surprised and upset.” That’s because he knew something about Malhotra that he bet Malhotra’s new employers didn’t. [colored_box]If someone had called Miller to discuss his former mentee, he could have told them Malhotra left his lab — which focuses on the genetics of aging — after confessing to fabricating data. It wasn’t a minor case: In 2007, Malhotra admitted to performing 60 percent or less of the approximately 80 experiments expected from him, among other infractions. But no one called Miller, and now that he knew Malhotra was conducting research at another institution, he was torn. On the one hand, he thought “it would be good for the scientific community to call the University of Chicago and tell them what was going on,” Miller said. At the same time, the University of Michigan was still conducting an investigation of Malhotra’s misdeeds there, and that investigation was confidential. “I wasn’t sure,” Miller said, “how to reconcile those two separate obligations.”

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Vulnerable patients – easy targets for companies willing to sacrifice ethics for profits – The Hill (Jody Lyneé Madeira | May 2018)

A small medical device has just become embroiled in a large controversy, suggesting violations of fundamental ethical norms and settled principles of scientific research. [colored_box] At first glance, the Bridge — a neuro-modulation device that attaches behind the ear — resembles a hearing aid with wires. The Bridge received Food... More

A small medical device has just become embroiled in a large controversy, suggesting violations of fundamental ethical norms and settled principles of scientific research. [colored_box] At first glance, the Bridge — a neuro-modulation device that attaches behind the ear — resembles a hearing aid with wires. The Bridge received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in November 2017 for easing opioid withdrawal symptoms during detoxification; before, it was approved only for acupuncture. . This device is supposed to help patients get through the difficult opioid withdrawal process. It’s used in pilot programs in several states, available in at least one major Indiana hospital chain, and is starting to be covered by insurance. .

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(US) FDA’s revolving door: Companies often hire agency staffers who managed their successful drug reviews – Science (Charles Piller | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 05, 2018 | Posted by Admin on August 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says its rules, along with federal laws, stop employees from improperly cashing in on their government service. But how adequate are those revolving door controls? Science has found that much like outside advisers, regular employees at the agency, headquartered in... More

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says its rules, along with federal laws, stop employees from improperly cashing in on their government service. But how adequate are those revolving door controls? Science has found that much like outside advisers, regular employees at the agency, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, often reap later rewards—jobs or consulting work—from the makers of the drugs they previously regulated. FDA staffers play a pivotal role in drug approvals, presenting evidence to the agency's advisory panels and influencing or making approval decisions. They are free to move to jobs in pharma, and many do; in a 2016 study in The BMJ, researchers examined the job histories of 55 FDA staff who had conducted drug reviews over a 9-year period in the hematologyoncology field. They found that 15 of the 26 employees who left the agency later worked or consulted for the biopharmaceutical industry. FDA's safeguards are supposed to keep the prospect of industry employment from affecting employees' decisions while at the agency, and to discourage them from exploiting relationships with former colleagues after they depart. For example, former high-level employees can't appear before the agency on the precise issues they regulated—sometimes permanently, in other cases for a year or two.

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Consulting research stakeholders in Kenya on fair practice in research data sharing: Findings and policy implications – KEMRI Wellcome Trust Programme (Dr Vicki Marsh | 2015)

Published/Released on June 17, 2015 | Posted by Admin on August 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

With a background in Medicine and General Practice in the UK, Vicki has been working at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi since 1990 and on Health Systems Research and Research Ethics since 1995. Prior to this, between 1982 and 1985, she worked at the UK MRC laboratories... More

With a background in Medicine and General Practice in the UK, Vicki has been working at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi since 1990 and on Health Systems Research and Research Ethics since 1995. Prior to this, between 1982 and 1985, she worked at the UK MRC laboratories in The Gambia. She holds an appointment as a University Research Lecturer in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, and is a Research Associate of the Ethox Centre (Centre for Ethics) in the Public Health Department, at Oxford University. Broadly, Vicki's current research and operational interests concern understanding, and strengthening policy around, social and ethical aspects of international collaborative health research conducted in low-income settings. Specific areas of focus include community engagement, informed consent, benefit sharing, provider-patient communication, ancillary care responsibilities and data sharing. This, and other, video seminars can be accessed on The Global Health Network's Training Centre: https://globalhealthtrainingcentre.tg...

Watch the YouTube video

Marsh, V (2015) Consulting research stakeholders in Kenya on fair practice in research data sharing: Findings and policy implications. https://youtu.be/wruNPQh5SAY

Dr Vicki Marsh, Senior Researcher in Social Science and Public Health at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya, Associate Professor at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health in NDM and Research Associate at the Ethox Centre in NDPH at Oxford. Less

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Why Internet Scholars Are Calling Out Facebook for Restricting Access to Its Data – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Nell Gluckman | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 09, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 31, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

After news broke in March that a scholar had harvested data about millions of Facebook users and shared it with Cambridge Analytica, a political-consulting firm that advised the Trump campaign, the social-media company made some changes. [colored_box]Facebook announced plans to restrict outsiders’ access to user information. It also... More

After news broke in March that a scholar had harvested data about millions of Facebook users and shared it with Cambridge Analytica, a political-consulting firm that advised the Trump campaign, the social-media company made some changes. [colored_box]Facebook announced plans to restrict outsiders’ access to user information. It also said that a select group of scholars would be granted unprecedented access to its data in a project that will be partly overseen by the Social Science Research Council. . The scholars will not be able to publish that information, but they will learn what the company will and won’t share with outside researchers and, presumably, why. They will then serve as a filter, meting out the data to researchers whose projects will seek to answer one question: How have social media influenced democracy? . Those announcements may sound like welcome changes to social-media users worried about their privacy. User data will be less accessible to outside companies and researchers who may have nefarious intentions, but trustworthy scholars will still be able to tap into the endless trove of information. . That’s the theory, at least. But some scholars of the internet say the new restrictions are actually a problem. A group of those scholars last month published an open letter sounding the alarm. They also created a document listing research papers that would not exist, they say, under the new restrictions Facebook has imposed on the use of its data.  

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(Australia) Face off: technology leaves regulators scrambling – Crickey (Elise Thomas | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 29, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

From airline lounges to cricket matches, our faces are already being read everywhere. But what's protecting us from misuse of that data?

If you feel like facial recognition technology is suddenly everywhere you look — or rather, facial recognition is everywhere looking at you... More

From airline lounges to cricket matches, our faces are already being read everywhere. But what's protecting us from misuse of that data?

If you feel like facial recognition technology is suddenly everywhere you look — or rather, facial recognition is everywhere looking at you — you’re not alone. Not only do many of us carry the technology with us everywhere on our smartphones, it’s also increasingly present in the spaces we move through and the interactions we have in our daily lives, whether we know it or not. [colored_box]Most people walking into the public library in Toowoomba last year, for example, were probably not aware that they were taking part in a controversial trial of facial recognition technology by the local council. Likewise the 45,000 visitors to the SCG for the final Ashes test this year were probably mostly unaware that their faces were being run through newly installed facial recognition cameras. . Certain people walking around the streets of the Northern Territory in 2015, on the other hand, suddenly found themselves very aware of facial recognition when police used the technology to identify 300 wanted individuals via CCTV footage. .

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Systems Matter: Research Environments and Institutional Integrity – Harvard Law (Petrie-Flom Center | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 21, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 25, 2018 | Keywords: , ,

This post is part of a series on emerging research challenges and solutions. The introduction to the series is available here, and all posts in the series are available here. By CK Gu¬nsalus, Director, National Center for Professional and Research... More

This post is part of a series on emerging research challenges and solutions. The introduction to the series is available here, and all posts in the series are available here. By CK Gu¬nsalus, Director, National Center for Professional and Research Ethics (NCPRE), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign [colored_box]We know what it takes for institutions and scholars to produce high-quality, high-integrity research, and yet we do not always act upon that knowledge. As far back as 1988, Paul J. Friedman described both the roots of systemic shortcoming and approaches for conducting trustworthy research. Despite a clear understanding of the issues and steps that would improve our research and educational environments, the academy continues to be dogged by those same systemic issues. A recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine consensus study, Fostering Integrity in Research, in which I participated as a panel member, explores that same disconnect and makes recommendations. The bottom line is this: we must shift our attention and energy away from individual bad actors—though they exist and must be addressed—and toward the highly complex ecosystem within which research is conducted. . An update of an earlier appraisal published 1992, the 2017 NASEM report describes the transformation of research through advances in technology, globalization, increased interdisciplinarity, growing competition, and multiplying policy applications. It identifies six core values underlying research integrity—objectivity, openness, accountability, honesty, fairness and stewardship—and outlines best practices, including checklists, for all aspects of the research enterprise. I encourage you to read it and use these tools in your own work. . All the reports in the world won’t improve research integrity, however, if we don’t do the work in our institutions, departments, and research groups. There are many components to this effort, some of which are discussed in separate posts by my colleagues John P.A. Ioannidis and Barbara A. Spellman elsewhere in this symposium. Let’s focus here on institutional infrastructure. .

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Te Mana Raraunga Statement on 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings: A Call for Action on Māori Census Data

Published/Released on July 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 24, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

The five-yearly Census of Population and Dwellings is the flagship of the Official Statistics System (OSS) and is essential for many of the functions that underpin democracy. Te Mana Raraunga, the Māori Data Sovereignty Network, is concerned that Census 2018 may fail to deliver high quality Māori and iwi... More

The five-yearly Census of Population and Dwellings is the flagship of the Official Statistics System (OSS) and is essential for many of the functions that underpin democracy. Te Mana Raraunga, the Māori Data Sovereignty Network, is concerned that Census 2018 may fail to deliver high quality Māori and iwi data. Te Mana Raraunga supports a comprehensive independent review of Census 2018 and calls for Māori governance of Māori data across the entire Official Statistics System. [colored_box]Problems with the 2018 Census and Stats NZ response . Interim figures for the 2018 Census released by Stats NZ indicate that full or partial information has only been received for about 90 percent of individuals, compared with 94.5 percent for the 2013 Census1. Given that a key goal of the census is to count all usual residents in the country on census night2, commentators are rightly concerned that up to ten percent of the population may be missing3. For Māori, the extent of the problem will inevitably be worse. Census 2018 may yet turn out to be the poorest quality enumeration of Māori in recent history. . But how poor? Stats NZ will not have a definitive answer for some months yet but the early signs are not positive. Let’s begin with the ‘full or partial’ information received by 90 percent of individuals. One might have the impression that ‘partial’ information means incomplete information on an individual’s census form. However, as used by Stats NZ, ‘partial’ information appears to mean a partial-response dwelling where there is no individual form but the dwelling form or household summary page has a list of people at the dwelling on census night4. We do not yet know what share of the 90 percent comprises partial-response dwellings, however we can gain some insight by considering the 2013 results. While recent Stats NZ releases report full or partial informaton was received for 94.5 percent5 of individuals for the 2013 Census, the total (or achieved) response rate was 92.9 percent6. The lower, and more informative, figure excludes all individuals in partly and completely missing households in 2013, as well as the 2.4 percent estimated national net undercount (coverage level) determined by the Post Enumeration Survey7 undertaken after the 2013 Census. Stats NZ has also noted that for Census 2018 ‘there are more households where no one has responded to the census than previous censuses’. . What does all of this mean for Census 2018? It means that the total response rate will inevitably be below 90 per cent. For Māori, the 2018 total response rate will be be significantly below 90 per cent. The crucial question is, how much lower? And at what point does this seriously compromise the quality and usefulness of the census data? To date Stats NZ has not provided any guidance on these important questions but needs to. . Constitutional and other implications for Māori . Recently Stats NZ announced that: ‘New Zealanders can be confident the 2018 Census will produce accurate and high-quality data which can be relied on by communities and decision-makers’9. We question whether this will be the case for Māori communities, iwi and Māori decision-makers. .

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Peer Review – Authors and Reviewers – our “North Star” – Scholarly Kitchen (Robert Harington | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 16, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 23, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Ask a researcher what matters most to them in their work, and effective peer review will always be among their top three. At the recent STM conference in Philadelphia, Judy Verses, Senior Vice President, Research at Wiley, clearly articulated a vision for publishers. She focused on... More

Ask a researcher what matters most to them in their work, and effective peer review will always be among their top three. At the recent STM conference in Philadelphia, Judy Verses, Senior Vice President, Research at Wiley, clearly articulated a vision for publishers. She focused on the need for publishers to recognize who we are in business to serve. She exhorted us to consider the researcher as our “North Star”, and that everything we do be directed to serve their needs. Publishers recognize that peer review is a paramount concern for researchers, and yet have not addressed some of the key concerns that authors and reviewers face. In this post, I suggest that publishers need to do more for researchers to help authors, and to help reviewers understand their role as a reviewer and be recognized for their work. We need to focus on our “North Star”. Perhaps a good place to start is to ask the question, why is peer review so important to a researcher? Peer review is a key mechanism for ensuring rigor and establishing community standards on quality. Peer review in itself does not merely exist to filter good papers from bad. Peer review is a valuable service researchers provide on behalf of other researchers that allows for possible improvement of a paper. Peer review that leads to rejection is still valuable for the insights provided to an author. The ecosystem of review, in other words, allows the community to discuss research, and depending on the model (something we will get into later), allows for opinions to be shared without judgement or fear of retribution. A reviewer who participates in peer review gains mightily from this ecosystem, participating in the evolution of the research itself, playing role in encouraging the career path of their colleagues, and stimulating their own development in their field. A reviewer will tell you though that their role can sometimes be quite confusing, and — depending on the expectations put upon a reviewer and how their work is treated — may decide not to participate in the review process. Publishers can do better here. Journals vary in their expectations for a reviewer. A journal that is perceived to be of high quality will likely expect its reviewers to take a much tougher approach than a journal that is looking for good research, but is not as selective. Publishers and Journal editors would do well to think about how to guide their reviewers. A reviewer may well take an entirely different approach depending on the level of review required. What would be wonderful is if a journal articulated expectations to reviewers, perhaps even providing a series of parameters and types of question a reviewer could tackle when acting as a reviewer for their journal.

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Interested in joining COPE Council?

Published/Released on July 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 23, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

We are seeking applications for a position on COPE Council. We have six vacancies. In line with COPE’s strategic goals and our obligations to meet the needs of all our members, we have highlighted gaps on Council which we are keen to fill. *On this occasion, we are not seeking... More

We are seeking applications for a position on COPE Council. We have six vacancies. In line with COPE’s strategic goals and our obligations to meet the needs of all our members, we have highlighted gaps on Council which we are keen to fill. *On this occasion, we are not seeking to elect candidates from North America. In addition, we will not consider applications from candidates whose discipline is primarily medicine, science, technology, engineering or mathematics. We are specifically seeking:

(1) candidates with a background in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, including, but not limited to, anthropology, business administration/management, communication studies, economics, education, history, human geography, jurisprudence, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health and sociology. Candidates from the UK are especially welcome to apply.*

(2) candidates from China. We will consider all applications from China, regardless of discipline.

In accordance with COPE’s constitution, the candidate, or the organisation they represent, must have been an ordinary member of COPE for at least 1 year.

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The Ethics of Research on Leaked Data: Ashley Madison – Discover (Neuroskeptic | July 2018)

Published/Released on July 14, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 22, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

A paper just published reports that Republicans are more likely to have used the adultery website Ashley Madison than Democrats, while Libertarians were even more likely to do so. [colored_box]That’s a claim that could ruffle some feathers, but the way in which the researchers conducted this study might be... More

A paper just published reports that Republicans are more likely to have used the adultery website Ashley Madison than Democrats, while Libertarians were even more likely to do so. [colored_box]That’s a claim that could ruffle some feathers, but the way in which the researchers conducted this study might be even more controversial. That’s because this paper is based on the 2015 Ashley Madison data leak, which exposed the personal data, including names and credit-card details, of millions of registered users. . For this study, the authors, Kodi B. Arfer and Jason J. Jones, took the leaked data and matched it up against voter registration records for five U.S. states. They considered a voter to be an active Ashley Madison user if they had ever paid money to the website. About 1 in 500 voters met these criteria. . Those voters registered as Libertarians were most likely to be active users, even controlling for age, gender and state. Registered Republicans came next and Democrats were least likely. .

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Science needs clarity on Europe’s data-protection law – Nature (May 2018 | Editorial)

As a commendable European law on personal data comes into force, the research community must not let excessive caution about data sharing, however understandable, become the default position.

European policymakers have been discussing new rules on data protection for years, and scientists and... More

As a commendable European law on personal data comes into force, the research community must not let excessive caution about data sharing, however understandable, become the default position.

European policymakers have been discussing new rules on data protection for years, and scientists and universities — like everyone else across the continent — are about to see the results. Entering into force on 25 May, a new law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is designed to protect the personal privacy of citizens and will overhaul how personal data are collected, handled, processed and stored. It’s a welcome move to safeguard individuals and is the biggest shake-up of data protection in more than 20 years. [colored_box]However, as this journal has noted before, earlier drafts of the law posed a problem for science and the research community. Of particular concern was the issue of consent — the draft language suggested researchers would be required to seek renewed consent to reuse data collected for a different purpose, which could have introduced delays and made some research impractical. But many in the research community worked relentlessly to warn policymakers of the potential harm. In response, officials put in place rules that exempt research from some of the requirements, provided the proper safeguards are in place. Universities and organizations have introduced plans to make sure they are. The bulk of the work should be done. . The passing of the final GDPR rules is, therefore, a good example of political engagement by researchers and their advocates, and a sensible and informed reaction from policymakers. Those involved, on both sides, deserve great credit. Harmonization of how data can be sourced, stored and used would, in theory, be good for research. It could smooth the difficulties that scientists face when they try to pool analysis of genomic data and tissue samples across national borders. Such sharing could help scientists to organize powerful trials with large numbers of participants. .

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Peter Ridd’s sacking pushes the limit of academic freedom – The Guardian (Gay Alcorn | June 2018)

James Cook University may have damaged its reputation with a heavy-handed approach to the academic with minority views on climate change and the reef

I hate to say it, but the sacking of professor Peter Ridd by James Cook University does raise... More

James Cook University may have damaged its reputation with a heavy-handed approach to the academic with minority views on climate change and the reef

I hate to say it, but the sacking of professor Peter Ridd by James Cook University does raise issues of academic freedom. Not simple issues, and ones that can be refuted as the university is doing, but ones that matter nonetheless. [colored_box]I hate to say it because we know what this is really about. The cause of Ridd has been championed by those parts of the media and certain institutes – well, the Institute of Public Affairs – that have done all they humanly can to stop serious action in this country against climate change. . They have no interest in fair-minded coverage of the weight of scientific evidence, now overwhelming, that human action is causing global warming, and that urgent action is required globally to limit its dangerous impacts. Their interest is ideological, with an endearing lack of self-awareness in their charge that the “warmists” are the ideologues. They leap on the 3% or so of scientists who argue their colleagues have got it all wrong, and would risk everything on those odds. .

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Alcorn, G. (2018) Peter Ridd's sacking pushes the limit of academic freedom. The Guardian. 5 June. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/05/peter-ridds-sacking-pushes-the-limit-of-academic-freedom

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A frustrated former editor asked a publishing group for help. He didn’t like what they said – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 18, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

When the former editor of a public health journal didn’t get a straight answer about why the journal retracted his paper that was critical of corporate-sponsored research, he brought his concerns to an organization dedicated to promoting integrity in academic publishing. He wanted the group to help resolve... More

When the former editor of a public health journal didn’t get a straight answer about why the journal retracted his paper that was critical of corporate-sponsored research, he brought his concerns to an organization dedicated to promoting integrity in academic publishing. He wanted the group to help resolve the impasse he’d reached with the publisher, but was sorely disappointed. David Egilman, the former editor of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, had been seeking answers about the paper for a year. In November, the journal’s editorial board resigned, in protest of the “apparent new direction that the journal appears to be moving towards.” They objected to the “unilateral withdraw[al]” of Egilman’s paper, with little explanation, the delay in publishing other papers that had been accepted under Egilman’s leadership, and the decision to appoint a new editor with industry ties. Amidst all that upheaval at the journal, Egilman still wasn’t getting the answers he wanted about why his paper was withdrawn. So he brought his concerns to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

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(UK) House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–19

Published/Released on July 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 16, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

Summary Research is fundamental to the process of pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding. Research helps cure diseases, tackle climate change, and understand the world around us. The UK has an... More

Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

Summary Research is fundamental to the process of pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge and understanding. Research helps cure diseases, tackle climate change, and understand the world around us. The UK has an enviable reputation for high-quality research, and researchers are among the most trusted groups of people in the eyes of the public. It is recognised that the vast majority of research undertaken in the UK is of high quality and high integrity. [colored_box]Nevertheless, error, questionable practices, and outright fraud are possible in any human endeavour, and research integrity must be taken seriously and tackled head-on. The 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity provided a set of high-level commitments in this vein, but, six years on, while all the most research intensive-universities are complying with key recommendations of the Concordat, around a quarter of universities overall are not fulfilling the basic Concordat recommendation of producing an annual report on research integrity. . Compliance with the Concordat has technically been a prerequisite for receiving funding from UK research councils and higher education funding councils since 2013, but non-compliance has not led to any hard consequences. This reflects the fact that the Concordat has only high-level commitments and recommendations, meaning that ‘compliance’ is difficult to assess in practice. More broadly, there has been a lack of co-ordinated leadership to drive the implementation of its recommendations in universities, such as transparency in declaring the number of misconduct investigations carried out each year. The Concordat should be tightened so that compliance can be more easily assessed, with a timetabled route-map to securing 100% compliance. We welcome Universities UK’s plans to convene a meeting of the Concordat signatories to discuss the issues raised in our report and look forward to seeing further action in this area .

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. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Research integrity Sixth Report of Session 2017–19 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/350/350.pdf   Less

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China gets serious about research integrity – NatureIndex (Hepeng Jia | June)

The country’s highest executive body issues clear guidelines for dealing with scientific misconduct.

China has escalated efforts to police scientific integrity with new regulations coming from the highest echelons introducing potential criminal punishments for serious academic misconduct, such as fraud. [colored_box]Government research agencies already have... More

The country’s highest executive body issues clear guidelines for dealing with scientific misconduct.

China has escalated efforts to police scientific integrity with new regulations coming from the highest echelons introducing potential criminal punishments for serious academic misconduct, such as fraud. [colored_box]Government research agencies already have tough rules claiming a zero-tolerance policy against severe academic dishonesty, including the stipulation that scientists’ integrity records are checked when reviewing their grant applications, but sanctions are seldom enforced, scientists in the country say. . The regulations released on 30 May by the Communist Party of China and the State Council, the highest executive branch of government, have made it the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to investigate, punish and regulate cases of misconduct in the natural sciences. In the social science, the same onus will be on the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). .

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“Ethical shades of gray:” 90% of researchers in new health field admit to questionable practices – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)

It’s always interesting to know how many researchers in any given field engage in so-called questionable research practices that don’t rise to the level of out-and-out fraud: honorary authorship, citing articles they don’t read, choosing reference lists that would please editors or reviewers, for instance. And when the researchers... More

It’s always interesting to know how many researchers in any given field engage in so-called questionable research practices that don’t rise to the level of out-and-out fraud: honorary authorship, citing articles they don’t read, choosing reference lists that would please editors or reviewers, for instance. And when the researchers work in a field with potential health implications, the findings are even more compelling. Lauren Maggio and Anthony R. Artino, Jr. from the Uniformed Services University spoke to us recently about the findings from their survey (posted in bioarXiv) of health professions education researchers, a relatively new field that studies how future health professionals are trained. [colored_box]Retraction Watch: You note that 90% of the people who volunteered to complete the survey admitted to at least one questionable research practice. Was that surprising? . Lauren Maggio and Anthony R. Artino, Jr.: Yes, we were quite surprised! We had an idea that many of these practices were happening, but we didn’t know the extent of the problem and weren’t sure if respondents would be honest about their practices. For example, one of our survey respondents said he was happy we were doing the survey, but he cautioned that respondents would not admit to these practices, even if they were doing them. It seems he was wrong, and we suspect that he too would be quite surprised by our findings. .

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Europe’s biggest research fund cracks down on ‘ethics dumping’ – Nature (Linda Nordling | July 2018)

The practice of conducting ethically dubious research in foreign countries is under fresh scrutiny.

Ethics dumping — doing research deemed unethical in a scientist’s home country in a foreign setting with laxer ethical rules — will be rooted out in research funded by the... More

The practice of conducting ethically dubious research in foreign countries is under fresh scrutiny.

Ethics dumping — doing research deemed unethical in a scientist’s home country in a foreign setting with laxer ethical rules — will be rooted out in research funded by the European Union, officials announced last week. [colored_box]Applications to the EU’s €80-billion (US$93-billion) Horizon 2020 research fund will face fresh levels of scrutiny to make sure that research practices deemed unethical in Europe are not exported to other parts of the world. Wolfgang Burtscher, the European Commission’s deputy director-general for research, made the announcement at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29 June. . Burtscher said that a new code of conduct developed to curb ethics dumping will soon be applied to all EU-funded research projects. That means applicants will be referred to the code when they submit their proposals, and ethics committees will use the document when considering grant applications. .

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Peer Review Fails to Prevent Publication of Paper with Unsupported Claims About Peer Review – Scholarly Kitchen (Tim Vines | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 15, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 6, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

While there is a steady stream of journal articles criticizing peer review, a recent publication, “Comparing published scientific journal articles to their pre-print versions”, has a number of major problems. It’s perhaps ironic that a paper finding no value in peer review is so flawed that... More

While there is a steady stream of journal articles criticizing peer review, a recent publication, “Comparing published scientific journal articles to their pre-print versions”, has a number of major problems. It’s perhaps ironic that a paper finding no value in peer review is so flawed that its conclusions are untenable, yet its publication in a journal is itself an indictment of peer review. [colored_box]The article’s premise: journal peer review is meant to improve manuscripts, thereby justifying the cost of APCs and subscriptions. The authors hypothesize that those improvements should lead to measurable changes in the article text. They obtained preprints from arXiv and bioRxiv and located their published equivalents, then used a suite of text divergence metrics to compare them. . There are three serious problems right away: .

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The pros and cons of publishing peer reviews – Crosstalk (Deborah Sweet | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 08, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

At the ASAPBio/HHMI meeting on peer review in February, the topic of "open peer review" came up several times, and it's been aired recently on social media as well. We've been mulling this subject at Cell Press for a while now too, and we'd like add... More

At the ASAPBio/HHMI meeting on peer review in February, the topic of "open peer review" came up several times, and it's been aired recently on social media as well. We've been mulling this subject at Cell Press for a while now too, and we'd like add our thoughts to the overall discussion. [colored_box]Openness in peer review can take various forms, and some people at the ASAPBio/HHMI meeting argued strongly that all peer review should take place entirely in the open, with names attached, at all times. However, given the various legitimate concerns about requiring everyone to review non-anonymously, most people took a more pragmatic view by focusing on the idea of journals posting the reviews they obtain for published papers, retaining reviewer anonymity, in a way that some journals already do. This is the type of approach that we have also been discussing. . We can see arguments in favor of publishing reviews but also a number of caveats and questions that give us pause. Some of these points have already come up in other coverage about the meeting, posts about the overall topic, and even pilots, but for completeness we are including them here as well, as they have formed part of our discussion. Some are also fairly clear, while others are more hypothetical, but we think they all merit consideration and airing, along with broader points related to defining the underlying goal. .

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If ResearchGate is Where Authors Connect and Collaborate … – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 02, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 3, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

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Can soil science research dig itself out from a citation stacking scandal? – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 04, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 2, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

Last year, the soil science community was rocked by reports that an editor, Artemi Cerdà, was accused of citation stacking — asking authors to cite particular papers — boosting his profile, and that of journals where he worked. (Cerdà has denied the allegations.)... More

Last year, the soil science community was rocked by reports that an editor, Artemi Cerdà, was accused of citation stacking — asking authors to cite particular papers — boosting his profile, and that of journals where he worked. (Cerdà has denied the allegations.) The case had some major fallout: Cerdà resigned from two journals and the editorial board of Geoderma, additional editors resigned from their posts, and a university launched an investigation. In the midst of the mess, a group of early career scientists in the field released an open letter, urging the leaders of the community “to establish a clear road map as to how this crisis will be handled and which actions will be taken to avoid future misconducts.” Today, Jan Willem van Groenigen, Chair of the Editors in Chief of Geoderma, along with other editors at the journal, published a response to those letter-writers — including a list of the 13 papers that added 83 citations the journal has deemed “unwarranted.” The editorial includes a list of “actions we have taken to prevent citation stacking from recurring and to further strengthen the transparency of the review process” — including monitoring editors and showing authors how to report suspicious conduct. [colored_box]Retraction Watch: It’s been nine months since the young researchers released their open letter — why respond now?. . Jan Willem van Groenigen: This is not our first response. We already responded early March 2017 to this case by online publishing a “letter to the Geoderma community” in which we stated that citation stacking had taken place in our journal. We also stated the number of affected articles and the approximate number of unwarranted citations, although we did not provide details on them like we do in our current editorial. We also announced that Prof. Cerda had withdrawn as member of our Editorial Board. I think that, after the [European Geosciences Union] journals who detected and published this misconduct first, we might have been the first journal to respond. .

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The Lifespan of a Lie – Medium (Ben Blum | June 2018)

The most famous psychology study of all time was a sham. Why can’t we escape the Stanford Prison Experiment?

It was late in the evening of August 16th, 1971, and twenty-two-year-old Douglas Korpi, a slim, short-statured Berkeley graduate with a mop of pale, shaggy... More

The most famous psychology study of all time was a sham. Why can’t we escape the Stanford Prison Experiment?

It was late in the evening of August 16th, 1971, and twenty-two-year-old Douglas Korpi, a slim, short-statured Berkeley graduate with a mop of pale, shaggy hair, was locked in a dark closet in the basement of the Stanford psychology department, naked beneath a thin white smock bearing the number 8612, screaming his head off. [colored_box]“I mean, Jesus Christ, I’m burning up inside!” he yelled, kicking furiously at the door. “Don’t you know? I want to get out! This is all fucked up inside! I can’t stand another night! I just can’t take it anymore!” . It was a defining moment in what has become perhaps the best-known psychology study of all time. Whether you learned about Philip Zimbardo’s famous “Stanford Prison Experiment” in an introductory psych class or just absorbed it from the cultural ether, you’ve probably heard the basic story. .

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About the AHRECS patrons’ page

Published/Released on July 01, 2018 | Posted by Admin on July 1, 2018 | Keywords: , ,

[embed]https://youtu.be/RUX6aBJdgws[/embed] Exclusive human research ethics and research integrity resources (e.g. vignettes with facilitator notes) and events (e.g. online Q&A session with a panel of AHRECS consultants) from as little as USD 1 per month) - with a recommended approach for institutions that can't make payments via Paypal. Emails patrons@ahrecs.com to discuss.

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[embed]https://youtu.be/RUX6aBJdgws[/embed] Exclusive human research ethics and research integrity resources (e.g. vignettes with facilitator notes) and events (e.g. online Q&A session with a panel of AHRECS consultants) from as little as USD 1 per month) - with a recommended approach for institutions that can't make payments via Paypal. Emails patrons@ahrecs.com to discuss.

You can access the AHRECS patrons' page at - https://www.patreon.com/ahrecs

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AHRECS team news

Published/Released on June 30, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 30, 2018 | Keywords: , ,

This is just a quick update on some changes to the AHRECS team. Assoc. Prof. Karen MartinMs Susanna Gorman and Dr Ian Pieper have joined the team. Our first intern is just about to start a 90 day internship with us, which is pretty exciting. Our old friend Assoc. Prof.... More

This is just a quick update on some changes to the AHRECS team. Assoc. Prof. Karen MartinMs Susanna Gorman and Dr Ian Pieper have joined the team. Our first intern is just about to start a 90 day internship with us, which is pretty exciting. Our old friend Assoc. Prof. Martin Tolich is moving onto his next exciting project. Martin played an important role in the conception and maturation of AHRECS so we wish him well and every success for his future endeavours. AHRECS will continue to work in New Zealand led by Dr Barry Smith. Less

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Weakened code risks Australia’s reputation for research integrity – The Conversation (David Vaux, et al | June 2018)

Published/Released on June 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 29, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

In 2018, Australia still does not have appropriate measures in place to maintain research integrity. And recent changes to our code of research conduct have weakened our already inadequate position. [colored_box]In contrast, China’s recent move to crack down on academic misconduct moves it into line with more than... More

In 2018, Australia still does not have appropriate measures in place to maintain research integrity. And recent changes to our code of research conduct have weakened our already inadequate position. [colored_box]In contrast, China’s recent move to crack down on academic misconduct moves it into line with more than twenty European countries, the UK, USA, Canada and others that have national offices for research integrity. . Australia risks its reputation by turning in the opposite direction.| . For science to progress efficiently, and to remain credible, we need good governance structures, and as transparent and open a system as possible. Measures are needed to identify and correct errors, and to rectify misbehaviour. . In Australia, one such measure is the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. But recently published revisions of this code allow research integrity to be handled internally by institutions, and investigations to be kept secret. This puts at risk the hundreds of millions of dollars provided by the taxpayer to fund research. /

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The Academy partners in €2.8 million project

The PRO-RES (PROmoting integrity in the use of RESearch results) project, coordinated by the European Science Foundation (ESF), France, aims at building a research ethics and integrity framework devised cooperatively with the full range of stakeholders. The Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) is a partner in this €2.8 million... More

The PRO-RES (PROmoting integrity in the use of RESearch results) project, coordinated by the European Science Foundation (ESF), France, aims at building a research ethics and integrity framework devised cooperatively with the full range of stakeholders. The Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) is a partner in this €2.8 million project along with 13 other European scientific institutions aiming to build an ethics/integrity framework for all non-medical research. [colored_box]This consortium of 14 scientific institutions from 10 countries will draw upon previous foundational work funded by the European Commission, and other national and international agencies: “…PRO-RES is to be as inclusive as possible when targeting the ‘non-medical’ sciences. The consortium partner composition is very diverse by design, ensuring that all relevant communities, to the extent possible, are represented.” says Dr. Jean-Claude Worms, Chief Executive of ESF, coordinator of PRO-RES. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. . Fraud or corrupt practices by researchers can lead to serious damage to society and the physical environment. Reliable and transparent research, divorced from political ideology and undeclared vested interests, produces robust evidence that benefits social wellbeing and societal progress. .

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It’s time to stand up to the academic publishing industry – UA (Adriane Macdonald & Nicole Eva | February 2018)

Published/Released on February 26, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 26, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

Academia is unique in that professionals with highly specialized expertise, who are paid by public institutions, write articles and provide peer reviews to corporations who profit greatly without giving back to the research enterprise. In any other industry, such experts would charge up to $1,500/hour for their services; in... More

Academia is unique in that professionals with highly specialized expertise, who are paid by public institutions, write articles and provide peer reviews to corporations who profit greatly without giving back to the research enterprise. In any other industry, such experts would charge up to $1,500/hour for their services; in academia, this expertise is given away to for-profit companies. Why are we willing to gift our review services and intellectual property to businesses, who then turn around and charge our institutions again for the products of our own research? Why are universities, governments and taxpayers OK paying for the labour costs of a massive multi-billion-dollar industry? Why aren’t publishers expected to pay for the production of the products that they profit greatly from? What if academics started charging publishers for their expert peer reviews? And what if the funds raised were used to help subsidize the costs of research and of building an open access system – run not by for-profit companies, but by our postsecondary institutions? Publishers are dependent on the quality of their peer-review process; if their articles are found to have poor or non-existent peer review, the credibility of their journals is called into question and won’t attract high-quality research papers for publication. Yet, as dependent as publishers are on a rigorous process, they would cease to exist without the free labour of scholars writing and reviewing the articles. Some might counter that reviewing is part of the academic’s job; that it all comes as part of their (often not insubstantial) salary. This may be true, but the benefit of academic expertise largely goes to private, not public, parties. In addition, much of the time spent reviewing is over and above the teaching, research and service that academics spend the bulk of their work-week doing. It may be giving back to the profession, but at what toll on the researchers, our public institutions, and the academy? Research is not free. It is paid for with taxpayer dollars through both academics’ salaries and government research grants; it is paid for a third time through outrageous subscription fees paid by university libraries. Depending on the institution, academic libraries pay $350,000 to $9-million annually in subscription fees. It is also paid for by academics, who spend their lives honing these skills at a great cost both financially and personally.

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Time to Dismiss the Stanford Prison Experiment? – Inside Higher Ed (Greg Toppo | June 2018)

The 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment has long been considered a window into the horrors ordinary people can inflict on one another, but new interviews with participants and reconsideration of archival records shed more light on the findings

[colored_box]Since its inception nearly 47 years ago,... More

The 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment has long been considered a window into the horrors ordinary people can inflict on one another, but new interviews with participants and reconsideration of archival records shed more light on the findings

[colored_box]Since its inception nearly 47 years ago, the Stanford Prison Experiment has become a kind of grim psychological touchstone, an object lesson in humans' hidden ability to act sadistically -- or submissively -- as social conditions permit. . Along with Yale University researcher Stanley Milgram’s 1960s experiments on human cruelty, the August 1971 experiment has captured Americans’ imaginations for nearly half a century. It is a long-standing staple of psychology and social science textbooks and has been invoked to explain horrors as wide-ranging as the Holocaust, the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib prisoner-torture scandal. . But new interviews with participants and reconsideration of archival records are shedding new light on the experiment, questioning a few of its bedrock assumptions about human behavior.

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(US) NIH rejected a study of alcohol advertising while pursuing industry funding for other research – STAT (Sharon Begley | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 02, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 23, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

It’s rare for officials at the National Institutes of Health to summon university scientists from hundreds of miles away. So when Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University and a colleague got the call to meet with the director of NIH’s Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,... More

It’s rare for officials at the National Institutes of Health to summon university scientists from hundreds of miles away. So when Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University and a colleague got the call to meet with the director of NIH’s Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, he said, “I knew we were in trouble.”

He never imagined, however, that at the 2015 meeting the director, George Koob, would leap out of his seat and scream at the scientists after their PowerPoint presentation on research the agency had eagerly funded on the association between alcohol marketing and underage drinking. “I don’t f***ing care!” Koob yelled, referring to alcohol advertising, according to the scientists.

Koob also made clear that NIAAA would pull back from such research, recalled Siegel and his colleague, David Jernigan of Johns Hopkins University, who described the previously undisclosed meeting in Bethesda, Md., in separate interviews with STAT. Shocked by the encounter, they retreated to an NIH cafeteria, asking each other what had just happened — and why.

(UPDATE - 19/06/2018 - KHN -165-Page Internal NIH Report Lays Bare Just How Cozy Scientists Were With Alcohol Industry)

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Rules for authorship must be clarified – The Ethics Blog (Pär Segerdahl | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 22, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Recently, I wrote a post on honorary authorships in the academia. When I in that post tried to render the ICMJE criteria for academic authorship, I felt dull since I could not figure out how to express in my own words the fourth criterion: [colored_box]”Agreement to be accountable for... More

Recently, I wrote a post on honorary authorships in the academia. When I in that post tried to render the ICMJE criteria for academic authorship, I felt dull since I could not figure out how to express in my own words the fourth criterion: [colored_box]”Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.” . To count as an author of an academic publication, it is not sufficient to contribute to the research, to drafting or revising the intellectual content of the text, and to approve the final version. You must also satisfy this fourth criterion, which has to do with responsibility for research misconduct. .

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The Dying Scientist and his Rogue Vaccine Trial – Wired (Amanda Schaffer | May 2018)

Bill Halford was convinced he'd found a miracle cure, but he was running out of time to prove it. So he teamed up with a Hollywood executive and recruited a band of desperate patients. IN A PHOTO from 2009, Bill Halford, who was then 40 years old, looks like... More

Bill Halford was convinced he'd found a miracle cure, but he was running out of time to prove it. So he teamed up with a Hollywood executive and recruited a band of desperate patients. IN A PHOTO from 2009, Bill Halford, who was then 40 years old, looks like a schoolboy who hasn’t quite grown into his big ears. He wears an ill-fitting red shirt tucked into belted khakis; his jawline is square and his eyes are full of wonder. The picture was taken at Southern Illinois University, where he was a respected professor. A few years before, he had made a significant discovery—one that would determine the course of his life. Halford, a microbiologist, had taken an interest in the peculiar nature of herpes—how it lies dormant in the nervous system and reactivates to cause disease. Herpes is one of the most pervasive viral infections in the world, sometimes causing painful genital blisters, and it has frustrated scientists attempting to find a cure. But in 2007, Halford realized that a weakened form of the virus he’d been studying might serve as a vaccine. He designed an experiment in which he inoculated mice with this variant, then exposed them to the wild-type form of the virus. In 2011 he published the results: Virtually all the mice survived. By contrast, animals that were not injected with his vaccine died in large numbers. It was promising science. That same year, however, Halford became seriously ill. At first he thought he had a sinus infection, but it turned out to be a rare and aggressive form of cancer, sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. Halford was 42 years old at the time, with two teenage children. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation followed by surgery, but he was told that the form of cancer he had did not usually stay at bay for long. Halford had always been determined—“a 90-hours-a-week sort of researcher,” as his wife, Melanie Halford, puts it. The cancer diagnosis only seemed to harden his focus. Others had tried, and failed, to develop a herpes vaccine, but Halford was convinced that his method—using a live, attenuated form of the virus—would succeed. He would use whatever time he had left to show he was right.

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(UK) Academics ‘must sign away authorship rights’ to recorded lectures – THE (Jack Grove | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 20, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 17, 2018 | Keywords: , ,

Copyright policy would bar staff at University of Nottingham from objecting to edited versions of their own lectures, which could be used during a strike Academics have criticised a UK university’s plan to stop them claiming authorship of their own lectures. With several British universities preparing to use More

Copyright policy would bar staff at University of Nottingham from objecting to edited versions of their own lectures, which could be used during a strike Academics have criticised a UK university’s plan to stop them claiming authorship of their own lectures. With several British universities preparing to use recorded lectures to replace teaching missed by students during the walkouts by university staff over pensions reform, lecturers at the University of Nottingham have raised concerns about a new policy that requires them to sign away their intellectual property. As part of the policy to record most lectures from 2018-19, the university is asking staff to give it an “exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable and irrevocable licence to all rights in the lecturer’s performance in [a recorded] lecture”.

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Paper Accepted…Unless the Letter Was Forged – Scholarly Kitchen (Angela Cochran | April 2018)

Predation. It’s discussed all the time. Predatory journals are scamming unsuspecting authors by promising quick publication, and low, low fees to a never-heard-of-before open access journal. Alternatively, it may be true that some authors are the ones taking advantage of low cost OA in order to... More

Predation. It’s discussed all the time. Predatory journals are scamming unsuspecting authors by promising quick publication, and low, low fees to a never-heard-of-before open access journal. Alternatively, it may be true that some authors are the ones taking advantage of low cost OA in order to push through shoddy work and get credit for it. Conferences are another headache. Researchers attend conferences to get their work published and to network. There is no shortage of conferences promising to do just that only for attendees to realize when they get there that all is not what was advertised. In fact, a new website with a familiar name is offering attendees help in identifying these conferences. Another scam seems to be taking hold in certain parts of the world. Over the last 5 years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has become aware of seven fake acceptance letters for our journals. Here’s how this goes: An author contacts us and says, “Thank you for accepting my paper. Your letter said that the paper would be in the December issue but I looked and it’s not there. Please inform me of the new publication date.”

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Advocating for publishing peer review – ASAbio (Iain Cheeseman | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 24, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 13, 2018 | Keywords: , , , ,

Journals play a critical role in the scientific process, refining research through peer review and disseminating it to appropriate communities. At its best, the publishing process is a partnership among editors, staff, authors, reviewers, and readers. Each group has a vested interest in working together to ensure a robust... More

Journals play a critical role in the scientific process, refining research through peer review and disseminating it to appropriate communities. At its best, the publishing process is a partnership among editors, staff, authors, reviewers, and readers. Each group has a vested interest in working together to ensure a robust and fair editorial evaluation, rigorous and constructive review, and the broadest visibility of the work. This process functions best when each group communicates openly with the others as we strive to refine the way that science is conducted and disseminated. [colored_box]The last few years have seen a revolution in life sciences publishing with the adoption of preprints and increasingly diverse experiments from traditional journals. A recent meeting organized by ASAPbio, HHMI, and Wellcome focused on bringing more transparency and innovation to our peer review system. One of the most important tangible recommendations to come from the meeting, in my opinion, was the proposal that journals should widely adopt more transparency in the peer review process. There was near unanimous consensus from the participants—which included scientists, representatives of journals, scientific societies, and funders—that more journals should commit to publishing the peer reviews of every paper that appears in the journal. Similar to the peer review processes offered by EMBO Journal, eLife, and others, the reviewers could still remain anonymous, but this transparency would provide much better insight into the assessment process and nature of the paper. . Make your voice heard: writing letters to the editor .

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Harassment should count as scientific misconduct – Nature (Erika Marín-Spiotta | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 09, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Scientific integrity needs to apply to how researchers treat people, not just to how they handle data, says Erika Marín-Spiotta.

In the past year, allegations of egregious sexual harassment and even assault have emerged across the spectrum of science. Nature has already run several... More

Scientific integrity needs to apply to how researchers treat people, not just to how they handle data, says Erika Marín-Spiotta.

In the past year, allegations of egregious sexual harassment and even assault have emerged across the spectrum of science. Nature has already run several stories on the topic just this quarter. [colored_box]When I talk to senior scientists, many view harassment as an injustice that happens somewhere else, not in their field or at their institution. But data suggest that the problem is ubiquitous. In separate surveys of tens of thousands of university students across Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, upwards of 40% of respondents say that they have experienced sexual harassment. A survey last year by the US National Postdoctoral Association found that 28% of respondents reported experiencing at least one instance of harassment while they were trainees; offenders were predominantly reported as being faculty or staff members (go.nature.com/2ju83ox). Neither are faculty members safe from mistreatment by colleagues. . Research culture and policies are quick to denounce plagiarism, data fabrication and mismanagement of funds, yet we have too long ignored the mistreatment of people. .

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Colin Thomson recognised in this week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Published/Released on June 11, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 11, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

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(US) NIH moves to punish researchers who violate confidentiality in proposal reviews – Science (Jeffrey Brainard | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 9, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

When a scientist sends a grant application to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and it goes through peer review, the entire process is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy. But late last year, NIH officials disclosed that they had discovered that someone involved in... More

When a scientist sends a grant application to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and it goes through peer review, the entire process is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy. But late last year, NIH officials disclosed that they had discovered that someone involved in the proposal review process had violated confidentiality rules designed to protect its integrity. As a result, the agency announced in December 2017 that it would rereview dozens of applications that might have been compromised. Now, NIH says it has completed re-evaluating 60 applications and has also begun taking disciplinary action against researchers who broke its rules. “We are beginning a process of really coming down on reviewers and applicants who do anything to break confidentiality of review,” Richard Nakamura, director of NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR), said at a meeting of the center’s advisory council earlier this week. (CSR manages most of NIH’s peer reviews.) Targets could include “applicants who try to influence reviewers … [or] try to get favors from reviewers.” “We hope that in the next few months we will have several cases” of violations that can be shared publicly, Nakamura told ScienceInsider. He said these cases are “rare, but it is very important that we make it even more rare.”

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‘Silicon Valley is ethically lost’: Google grapples with reaction to its new ‘horrifying’ and uncanny AI tech – Financial Post (Mark Bergen | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 10, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 8, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

The most talked-about, futuristic product from Google’s developer show isn’t even finished yet — and Google hasn’t agreed how to do it. [colored_box]At its I/O conference on Tuesday, Alphabet Inc.’s Google previewed Duplex, an experimental service that lets its voice-based digital assistant book appointments on its own. It was part... More

The most talked-about, futuristic product from Google’s developer show isn’t even finished yet — and Google hasn’t agreed how to do it. [colored_box]At its I/O conference on Tuesday, Alphabet Inc.’s Google previewed Duplex, an experimental service that lets its voice-based digital assistant book appointments on its own. It was part of a slate of features, such as automated writing in emails, where Google touted how its artificial intelligence technology saves people time and effort. In a demonstration on stage, the Google Assistant spoke with a hair salon receptionist, mimicking the “ums” and “hmms” pauses of human speech. In another demo, it chatted with a restaurant employee to book a table. The audience of software coders cheered. . Outside the Google technology bubble, critics pounced. The company is placing robots in conversations with humans, without those people realizing. The obvious question soon followed: Should AI software that’s smart enough to trick humans be forced to disclose itself. Google executives don’t have a clear answer yet. Duplex emerged at a sensitive time for technology companies, and the feature hasn’t helped alleviate questions about their growing power over data, automation software and the consequences for privacy and work. . .

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The Case of the Girl from La Noria: Implications for Ethics in Research with Human Remains – Etilmercurio (Por Invitado Especial | April 2018)

Published/Released on April 03, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 5, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,

A recent article describing the whole-genome sequencing of a body of alleged «extraterrestrial» origin according to UFO organisations (1), journalists (2), and other media outlets (3), has initiated an important controversy regarding adherence to scientific, legal and ethical standards for studies involving human skeletal remains. This controversy began with... More

A recent article describing the whole-genome sequencing of a body of alleged «extraterrestrial» origin according to UFO organisations (1), journalists (2), and other media outlets (3), has initiated an important controversy regarding adherence to scientific, legal and ethical standards for studies involving human skeletal remains. This controversy began with the commentary published by Etilmercurio (4), which was followed by press reports (5,6,7), public statements released by local and international scientific organisations (8,9,10), the authors of the original article (11), and the journal where it was published (12). [colored_box]The basic issues raised by researchers questioning the article are clearly summarised in a tweet by Professor Tom Higham (School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK): «Accepting a human sample sent via TV film crew from a private owner in Spain; not seen or viewed by them - without any checks for provenance or permission, let alone ethical considerations... what were they thinking?». This is exactly what the authors (Nolan and Butte) claimed in their statement, as part of their argument disavowing responsibility, without acknowledging their lack of involvement as the root of the problem. . In their statement (11), the authors attempted to rebut these claims, identifying an earlier lack of criticism or legal action from the Chilean press and authorities when these remains originally became subject to public attention in 2013. Moreover, they declare to have followed U.S. regulations in this regard, completely ignoring Chilean law. .

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Why detailed retraction notices are important (according to economists) – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 28, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 4, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

When journals retract a paper but don’t explain why, what should readers think? Was the problem as simple as an administrative error by the publisher, or more concerning, like fraud? In a recent paper in Research Policy, economists led by Adam Cox at the University of Portsmouth,... More

When journals retract a paper but don’t explain why, what should readers think? Was the problem as simple as an administrative error by the publisher, or more concerning, like fraud? In a recent paper in Research Policy, economists led by Adam Cox at the University of Portsmouth, UK, analyzed 55 retractions from hundreds of economics journals, mostly issued between 2001 and 2016. (Does that number sound low? It should — a 2012 analysis of retractions in business and economics found they are a relatively rare occurrence.) In the new paper, Cox and his colleagues analyzed how many notices failed to provide detailed information, the potential costs of these information gaps, and what journals should do about it. Retraction Watch: You used “rational crime theory” to analyze retraction notices and their consequence to offenders in economics. Could you explain briefly how rational crime theory works in this context? Adam Cox: Rational crime theory is a framework for explaining why an individual may commit a crime. This involves an (implicit) cost-benefit analysis by (prospective) perpetrators of crime, or in our case, (prospective) perpetrators of research impropriety. If the benefits exceed the costs then a rational individual may be tempted to participate in the crime.

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(US) ‘Right-to-try’ bill passes Congress – CNN (Michael Nedelman and Jacqueline Howard | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 29, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 3, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , ,

With a House of Representatives vote Tuesday, Congress passed legislation that could give terminally ill patients a way to independently seek drugs that are still experimental and not fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. [colored_box]The House voted 250-169 in favor of the bill, More

With a House of Representatives vote Tuesday, Congress passed legislation that could give terminally ill patients a way to independently seek drugs that are still experimental and not fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. [colored_box]The House voted 250-169 in favor of the bill, which the Senate passed in August. The bill will now be sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign it. . "This is an extraordinarily great day," Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, one of the original cosponsors of the bill, said in a press conference after the event. Donnelly said he met with Vice President Mike Pence a few weeks ago and urged him to push for a House vote on the bill. .

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India creates unique tiered system to punish plagiarism – Science (Pallava Bagla | April 2018)

NEW DELHI—The Indian government has adopted its first regulations on academic plagiarism—rules that some researchers say are too lenient and others fear go too far and will be difficult to implement. [colored_box]The rules take a unique approach to a problem that Indian authorities say has become widespread. They... More

NEW DELHI—The Indian government has adopted its first regulations on academic plagiarism—rules that some researchers say are too lenient and others fear go too far and will be difficult to implement. [colored_box]The rules take a unique approach to a problem that Indian authorities say has become widespread. They declare that a small amount of plagiarism—10% of a thesis, article, book, research paper, or other document—is acceptable, but that more extensive copying will result in increasingly severe punishments. The rules were accepted last month by the University Grants Commission of India (UGC India), which oversees higher education, and are binding for all universities. . The new policy creates four tiers for addressing plagiarism, which is defined by UGC India as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or idea and passing them as one’s own.” The first tier, for what it calls “similarities up to 10%,” would carry no penalty. The second tier, in which 10% to 40% of a document is plagiarized, would require students to submit a revised manuscript and force faculty members to withdraw the plagiarized paper. In cases where 40% to 60% of the document is plagiarized, a student would be suspended for a year and the faculty member would forfeit an annual pay raise and be prohibited from supervising students for 2 years. Students who plagiarize more than 60% of their thesis would be kicked out of the program, while the penalties for faculty members would be extended to a loss of 2 years of pay increases and a 3-year ban on supervising students. .

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New tool looks for signs of image doctoring – Retraction Watch interview (Alison McCook | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 01, 2018 | Posted by Admin on June 1, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , ,

One of the most common reasons for retractions is image manipulation. When searching for evidence of it, researchers often rely on what their eyes tell them. But what if screening tools could help? Last week, researchers described a new automated tool to screen images for duplication (More

One of the most common reasons for retractions is image manipulation. When searching for evidence of it, researchers often rely on what their eyes tell them. But what if screening tools could help? Last week, researchers described a new automated tool to screen images for duplication (reported by Nature News); with help from publishing giant Elsevier, another group at Harvard Medical School is developing a different approach. We spoke with creators Mary Walsh, Chief Scientific Investigator in the Office for Professional Standards and Integrity, and Daniel Wainstock, Associate Director of Research Integrity, about how the tool works, and why — unlike the other recently described automated tool — they want to make theirs freely available. Retraction Watch: What prompted you to develop this tool? Mary Walsh and Daniel Wainstock: When reviewing concerns that two published images, representing the results of different experiments, might actually be the same, we typically assess whether the images are too similar to derive from different samples. The answer is often obvious to the naked eye, but not always, and we wanted to determine if it was possible to quantify the similarities.

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The Lose-Lose Ethics of Testing Self-Driving Cars in Public – Wired (Aarian Marshall | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 23, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 30, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

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(Australia Queensland case) ‘Cult’ Universal medicine practices promoted by researchers, UQ launches investigation – ABC News (Josh Robertson | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 02, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 29, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , ,

Researchers who promoted an alleged cult and showcased its bizarre healing claims in published studies have embroiled one of Australia's top universities in an academic misconduct probe.

[colored_box]The University of Queensland (UQ) and two international medical journals are investigating alleged ethical violations in research around... More

Researchers who promoted an alleged cult and showcased its bizarre healing claims in published studies have embroiled one of Australia's top universities in an academic misconduct probe.

[colored_box]The University of Queensland (UQ) and two international medical journals are investigating alleged ethical violations in research around Universal Medicine (UM), an organisation based in Lismore in New South Wales, which touts the healing power of "esoteric breast massage" and other unproven treatments. . Founded by Serge Benhayon — a former bankrupt tennis coach with no medical qualifications who claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci — UM is a multi-million-dollar enterprise with 700 mostly female followers in 15 countries. .

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Nine pitfalls of research misconduct – Science (Aaron D. Robinson | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 16, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 28, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,

Academic leaders must audit departments for flaws and strengths, then tailor practices to build good behaviour, say C. K. Gunsalus and Aaron D. Robinson.

One of us (C.K.G.) teaches leadership skills and works with troubled departments. At almost every session, someone will sidle up,... More

Academic leaders must audit departments for flaws and strengths, then tailor practices to build good behaviour, say C. K. Gunsalus and Aaron D. Robinson.

One of us (C.K.G.) teaches leadership skills and works with troubled departments. At almost every session, someone will sidle up, curious about a case study: they want to know how what happened at their university came to be known externally. Of course, it didn’t. [colored_box]From what we’ve observed as a former university administrator and consultant (C.K.G.) and as a graduate student and working professional (A.D.R.), toxic research environments share a handful of operational flaws and cognitive biases. Researchers and institutional leaders must learn how these infiltrate their teams, and tailor solutions to keep them in check. . People who enter research generally share several values. Honesty, openness and accountability come up again and again when C.K.G. asks researchers to list what makes a good scientist. The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that these values give rise to responsibilities that “make the system cohere and make scientific knowledge reliable”1. Yet every aspect of science, from the framing of a research question through to publication of the manuscript, is susceptible to influences that can counter good intentions. .

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Is it time to nationalise academic publishers? – THE (David Matthews | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 02, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 26, 2018 | Keywords: , , , , ,

With state intervention back in vogue, and publishers’ profit margins still sky-high, journals could be the next monopoly to come under scrutiny

After decades of free-market ideological dominance on both sides of the Atlantic, nationalisation (or at least anti-monopoly state intervention) is back on... More

With state intervention back in vogue, and publishers’ profit margins still sky-high, journals could be the next monopoly to come under scrutiny

After decades of free-market ideological dominance on both sides of the Atlantic, nationalisation (or at least anti-monopoly state intervention) is back on the agenda. [colored_box]“Rail, water, energy, Royal Mail, we’re taking them back,” shadow chancellor John McDonnell (above) told a Labour Party on the brink of power last year. Even the Financial Times has run a series of investigations asking hard questions about the wisdom of past privatisations. . Meanwhile in the US, monopoly-busting, in industries ranging from health insurance to airlines, has become a rallying cry of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Critics have also taken aim at tech companies, which Warren has compared to the US oil, sugar and railroad trusts of the 19th century, accusing them of exploiting the scale of their digital networks to create natural monopolies over advertising. Eye-watering profit margins for Google and Facebook (24 per cent and 50 per cent respectively) are the result. .

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Europe’s open-access drive escalates as university stand-offs spread – Science (Holly Else | May 2018)

Published/Released on May 17, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 25, 2018 | Keywords: , , ,

Sweden is latest country to hold out on journal subscriptions, while negotiators share tactics to broker new deals with publishers. Bold efforts to push academic publishing towards an open-access model are gaining steam. Negotiators from libraries and university... More

Sweden is latest country to hold out on journal subscriptions, while negotiators share tactics to broker new deals with publishers. Bold efforts to push academic publishing towards an open-access model are gaining steam. Negotiators from libraries and university consortia across Europe are sharing tactics on how to broker new kinds of contracts that could see more arti