Author : Sameer Kumar
Increasing specialization, changes in the institutional incentives for publication, and a host of other reasons have brought about a marked trend towards co-authored articles among researchers.
These changes have impacted Science and Technology (S&T) policies worldwide. Co-authorship is often considered to be a reliable proxy for assessing research collaborations at micro, meso, and macro levels.
Although co-authorship in a scholarly publication brings numerous benefits to the participating authors, it has also given rise to issues of publication integrity, such as ghost authorships and honorary authorships.
The code of conduct of bodies such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) make it clear that only those who have significantly contributed to the study should be on the authorship list.
Those who have contributed little have to be appropriately “acknowledged” in footnotes or in the acknowledgement section. However, these principles are sometimes transgressed, and a complete solution still remains elusive.
URL : Ethical Concerns in the Rise of Co-Authorship and Its Role as a Proxy of Research Collaborations
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/publications6030037
Authors: Stefan Eriksson, Tove Godskesen, Lars Andersson, Gert Helgesson
The average number of authors listed on contributions to scientific journals has increased considerably over time. While this may be accounted for by the increased complexity of much research and a corresponding need for extended collaboration, several studies suggest that the prevalence of non-deserving authors on research papers is alarming.
In this paper a combined qualitative and quantitative approach is suggested to reduce the number of undeserving authors on academic papers: 1) ask scholars who apply for positions to explain the basics of a random selection of their co-authored papers, and 2) in bibliometric measurements, divide publications and citations by the number of authors.
URL : How to counter undeserving authorship
DOI : http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.395
Author : Cinzia Daraio
This paper proposes a holistic framework for the development of models for the assessment of research activities and their impacts. It distinguishes three dimensions, including in an original way, data as a main dimension, together with theory and methodology.
Each dimension of the framework is further characterized by three main building blocks: education, research, and innovation (theory); efficiency, effectiveness, and impact (methodology); and availability, interoperability, and “unit-free” property (data).
The different dimensions and their nine constituent building blocks are attributes of an overarching concept, denoted as “quality.” Three additional quality attributes are identified as implementation factors (tailorability, transparency, and openness) and three “enabling” conditions (convergence, mixed methods, and knowledge infrastructures) complete the framework.
A framework is required to develop models of metrics. Models of metrics are necessary to assess the meaning, validity, and robustness of metrics. The proposed framework can be a useful reference for the development of the ethics of research evaluation.
It can act as a common denominator for different analytical levels and relevant aspects and is able to embrace many different and heterogeneous streams of literature. Directions for future research are provided.
URL : A Framework for the Assessment of Research and Its Impacts
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1515/jdis-2017-0018
Author : Richard H. McCuen
The goal of this paper is to assess the journal publication process from value and ethical perspectives.
The specific objectives are: (1) To define fundamental values relevant to scientific journal publication; (2) To identify stakeholders involved in professional journals and their value rights and responsibilities; (3) To discuss the steps of the journal publication process where ethical dilemmas arise and the potential influences of such dilemmas on the advancement of knowledge; and (4) To summarize actions that can minimize unethical practices throughout the steps of the publication process.
Values such as honesty, efficiency, accountability, and fairness will be discussed. Issues related to the various stakeholders such as self-citation, plagiarism, dual publication, a lack of timeliness, and issues related to authorship will be a primary focus.
URL : Advancing Scientific Knowledge: Ethical Issues in the Journal Publication Process
Authors : Catherine Heeney, Shona M. Kerr
Issues of balancing data accessibility with ethical considerations and governance of a genomics research biobank, Generation Scotland, are explored within the evolving policy landscape of the past ten years. During this time data sharing and open data access have become increasingly important topics in biomedical research.
Decisions around data access are influenced by local arrangements for governance and practices such as linkage to health records, and the global through policies for biobanking and the sharing of data with large-scale biomedical research data resources and consortia.
We use a literature review of policy relevant documents which apply to the conduct of biobanks in two areas: support for open access and the protection of data subjects and researchers managing a bioresource.
We present examples of decision making within a biobank based upon observations of the Generation Scotland Access Committee. We reflect upon how the drive towards open access raises ethical dilemmas for established biorepositories containing data and samples from human subjects.
Despite much discussion in science policy literature about standardisation, the contextual aspects of biobanking are often overlooked. Using our engagement with GS we demonstrate the importance of local arrangements in the creation of a responsive ethical approach to biorepository governance.
We argue that governance decisions regarding access to the biobank are intertwined with considerations about maintenance and viability at the local level. We show that in addition to the focus upon ever more universal and standardised practices, the local expertise gained in the management of such repositories must be supported.
A commitment to open access in genomics research has found almost universal backing in science and health policy circles, but repositories of data and samples from human subjects may have to operate under managed access, to protect privacy, align with participant consent and ensure that the resource can be managed in a sustainable way.
Data access committees need to be reflexive and flexible, to cope with changing technology and opportunities and threats from the wider data sharing environment. To understand these interactions also involves nurturing what is particular about the biobank in its local context.
URL : Balancing the local and the universal in maintaining ethical access to a genomics biobank
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-017-0240-7
Authors : Liz Lyon, Wei Jeng, Eleanor Mattern
This paper describes a preliminary study of research transparency, which draws on the findings from four focus group sessions with faculty in chemistry, law, urban and social studies, and civil and environmental engineering.
The multi-faceted nature of transparency is highlighted by the broad ways in which the faculty conceptualised the concept (data sharing, ethics, replicability) and the vocabulary they used with common core terms identified (data, methods, full disclosure).
The associated concepts of reproducibility and trust are noted. The research lifecycle stages are used as a foundation to identify the action verbs and software tools associated with transparency.
A range of transparency drivers and motivations are listed. The role of libraries and data scientists is discussed in the context of the provision of transparency services for researchers.
URL : Research Transparency: A Preliminary Study of Disciplinary Conceptualisation, Drivers, Tools and Support Services
DOI : https://doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v12i1.530
Authors : Heidi Carmen Howard, Deborah Mascalzoni, Laurence Mabile, Gry Houeland, Emmanuelle Rial-Sebbag, Anne Cambon-Thomsen
Currently, a great deal of biomedical research in fields such as epidemiology, clinical trials and genetics is reliant on vast amounts of biological and phenotypic information collected and assembled in biobanks.
While many resources are being invested to ensure that comprehensive and well-organised biobanks are able to provide increased access to, and sharing of biomedical samples and information, many barriers and challenges remain to such responsible and extensive sharing.
Germane to the discussion herein is the barrier to collecting and sharing bioresources related to the lack of proper recognition of researchers and clinicians who developed the bioresource. Indeed, the efforts and resources invested to set up and sustain a bioresource can be enormous and such work should be easily traced and properly recognised.
However, there is currently no such system that systematically and accurately traces and attributes recognition to those doing this work or the bioresource institution itself. As a beginning of a solution to the “recognition problem”, the Bioresource Research Impact Factor/Framework (BRIF) initiative was proposed almost a decade and a half ago and is currently under further development.
With the ultimate aim of increasing awareness and understanding of the BRIF, in this article, we contribute the following: (1) a review of the objectives and functions of the BRIF including the description of two tools that will help in the deployment of the BRIF, the CoBRA (Citation of BioResources in journal Articles) guideline, and the Open Journal of Bioresources (OJB); (2) the results of a small empirical study on stakeholder awareness of the BRIF and (3) a brief analysis of the ethical dimensions of the BRIF which allow it to be a positive contribution to responsible biobanking.
URL : How to responsibly acknowledge research work in the era of big data and biobanks: ethical aspects of the Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF)
Alternative locaton : https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12687-017-0332-6