This section features information, articles, and announcements that are of interest to the ARIO community, specifically related to research integrity and especially research misconduct. We recognize that many RIOs and RIO staff wear multiple hats. Listed entries will not target news items involving specific institutions.
Communications from the DHHS ORI re: COVID-19
ORI Operations Status during Public Health Emergency for United States for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruption to the businesses and research institutions that receive funding from the Public
Health Services (PHS). During this period, ORI continues to perform mission critical functions and operations with ORI
staff working with maximum telework flexibilities. ORI is doing everything possible to accommodate the needs of the research community.
We will provide updates on the ORI website as information becomes available.
The ORI has additionally provided time sensitive information on the physical delivery (e.g., mail, packages, etc.) of materials to their offices.
In brief (and starting immediately):
- Hold all materials not already mailed to the ORI (e.g., do not mail materials at this time).
- If you know you have materials already in transit contact Tracy Morgan at Tracy.Morgan@hhs.gov and Ray Fisher at Raymond.Fisher@hhs.gov
to provide information about estimated delivery date, contents, or anything else relevant.
For additional information read Elisabeth Handley’s communication regarding the status of ORI operations:
- ORI Guidance to Institutions Concerning Sequestration during Closure of Institutions due to COVID-19
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic is interrupting and delaying regular operations at institutions, including research misconduct (RM) proceedings.
Since the regulation at 42 C.F.R. Part 93.305 requires institutions to “promptly take all reasonable and practical steps” to sequester evidence in a RM proceeding, institutions should take those steps that are reasonable and practical under the current circumstances. If is not possible to access records on-site due to office or building closures, the institution: (1) should promptly begin sequestering electronic evidence remotely to the extent that it has the technological capability to do so (i.e., data and emails on network computers, servers, and cloud environments); and (2) may postpone sequestering physical and other electronic evidence (i.e., laboratory notebooks, blots/films, other research records, and evidence on non-networked computers and devices) until it becomes reasonable and practical to sequester such evidence. Click above link for more.
How will NIH support a recipient’s need to limit in-person meetings for the sole purpose of instruction/training due to COVID-19?
NIH will allow for special circumstances for trainings and instruction that typically require in-person attendance, such as training in the responsible conduct of research (NIH GPS 184.108.40.206). Training can be completed online during this declared public health emergency. Prior approval is not required in these specific cases.
ORI announces DEI Director
Karen Wehner, Ph.D., has joined ORI as the new Director of the Division of Education and Integrity (DEI).
Prior to joining ORI, Dr. Wehner served as the Associate Director of the Division of Research Integrity at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHU SOM). In
this role, Dr. Wehner was responsible for overseeing, developing, and delivering Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for faculty, postdocs, and staff at
JHU SOM as well as consulting on and supporting RCR training for graduate students. Dr. Wehner also functioned as Assistant Research Integrity Officer (RIO), providing
comprehensive support for the institution’s response to allegations of research misconduct, and she handled other research integrity matters, such as authorship disputes
and professional misconduct occurring in the research space.
In addition to her efforts in the RCR education space, Dr. Wehner also spent time as an Adjunct Professor at Stevenson University where she taught an introductory biochemistry
course and a laboratory course on molecular biology techniques. Dr. Wehner earned her Ph.D. in Genetics at Yale University, completed postdoctoral work at Stanford University School of Medicine, and conducted basic biomedical research JHU SOM. Dr. Wehner’s research employed the use of molecular, genetic, and biochemical techniques and focused on the assembly, regulation, and activity of ribosomes.
Conferences: future & past
June 8-9, 2020: A first ever NSF-OIG Research Integrity Administrator (RIA) Meeting being held June 8-9 in Alexandria, VA at National Science Foundation headquarters. See flyer ria_flyer-mod.pdf
for more information. This meeting has been postponed.
September 14-16, 2020: ARIO 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Agenda is under development. An announcement will be sent to all ARIO contacts when the agenda is ready. Conference registration is pending. Conference location is The Little America Hotel. Hotel registration is open. See online updates at: https://www.ariohq.org/page/Conference_Homepage
RISE pre-conference at the APPE annual meeting in Atlanta, GA (held February 20, 2020)
The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
is a comprehensive, international organization advancing scholarship, education, and practice in practical and professional ethics.
The Research Integrity Scholars-Educators (RISE)
Consortium conducted a workshop with various presentations on research integrity, research ethics, and pedagogical approaches to promoting integrity. Many presentations
dealt with RCR and research misconduct.
APPE’s 2021 Annual Meeting – celebrating its 30th
Anniversary – will be held in Cincinnati, OH on February 25-28, 2021.
Papers, Reports of Note, and Books
September 13, 2019: The Hong Kong Principles
for Assessing Researchers: Fostering Research Integrity.
DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/m9abx Authors: DMoher, LBouter, SKleinert, et. al.
From abstract: We have developed the Hong Kong Principles (HKP) as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity with a specific focus on the need to drive research improvement through ensuring that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded (i.e., their careers are advanced) for behavior that leads to trustworthy research.
January 31, 2020: Measuring Research Transparency (Inside Higher Ed) A new ranking system for academic journals measuring their commitment to research transparency will be launched next month -- providing what many believe will be a useful alternative to journal impact scores. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/01/31/new-system-will-measure-journals-research-transparency
(credit to COGR News Digest)
February 27, 2020: A single ‘paper mill’ appears to have churned out 400 papers, sleuths find (Science) Online sleuths have discovered what they suspect is a paper mill that has produced more than 400 scientific papers
with potentially fabricated images. Some journals are now investigating the papers. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/single-paper-mill-appears-have-churned-out-400-papers-sleuths-find
(credit to COGR News Digest)
March 13, 2020: Labs go quiet as researchers brace for long-term coronavirus disruptions (Science)
Measures to control the spread of the virus vary by university and often reflect the local severity of the outbreak. Many researchers told ScienceInsider that none of the disruptions to their work compare to the human toll of the pandemic. Some institutions are allowing researchers lab access while aiming to minimize the number of people gathering in buildings. Others are discouraging all in-lab research. Harvard University’s college of arts and sciences shifted from the former category to the latter yesterday. Its dean called for a “ramp-down of research activities” by 18 March, followed by a 6- to 8-week period of “suspended lab access.” https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/labs-go-quiet-researchers-brace-long-term-coronavirus-disruptions
(credit to COGR News Digest)
JASON report, Fundamental Research Security
, JSR-19-21, December 2019 – charged by NSF to study issues primarily related to undue foreign influence. See
for the report. This excerpt may be of particular interest to the ARIO community:
JASON finds that failing to disclose any aspect of a foreign engagement, either a foreign scholar coming to the United States or a U.S. researcher conducting funded research in a foreign country, compromises the integrity of the U.S. research enterprise. A failure to make the proper disclosure must then be treated as a violation of research integrity and should be investigated and adjudicated in the same way as, for example, falsification of data or plagiarism (i.e., research misconduct) (pp. 31-32).
Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research
Edited by Mario Biagioli
and Alexandra Lippman
; MIT Press, January 2020, 306 pp.
How the increasing reliance on metrics to evaluate scholarly publications has produced new forms of academic fraud and misconduct. Open Access at: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/gaming-metrics
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