Good Research Practices

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Should you peer review an article written by a former colleague?

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Karen is asked by a journal to review an article written by a former colleague. They have not co-authored together, though they did discuss doing so once. They are both in the same very narrow field of specialisation and have found themselves repeatedly competing for the same jobs around the world. This article appears to be covering similar ground to the work Karen recently

Is peer review confidentiality overridden when the author is suspected of misconduct?

The following case study was published by the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics): Editor A wrote to editor B, indicating that one of the reviewers of a paper submitted to Journal A contained material that had been submitted at about the same time to Journal B. Editor A requested a copy of the paper submitted to Journal B. Editor B responded, confirming that the paper in question had been submitted to Journal B (submission date two weeks earlier than the paper submitted to Journal A),

What is ‘salami-slicing’ and is it acceptable?

The Office of Research Integrity's Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research (which is referred to in Section 2 of the HKU Policy on Research Integrity) explains the phenomenon commonly known as 'salami-slicing' as follows: "Salami publication (sometimes called bologna or trivial publication) is the practice of dividing one significant piece of research into a number of small experiments (least publishable units or LPUs), simply to increase the number of publications. This practice may distort the value of the work by increasing the number of studies

How to decide whether to accept sponsorship funding: PERIL analysis

In an article published in 2007, Peter Adams proposed a decision-making framework known as 'PERIL'. Peter Miller summarises Adams' PERIL framework as follows: Purpose refers to the degree to which purposes are divergent between funder and recipient. For example, if the primary purpose of the recipient is the advancement of public good, receiving funds from dangerous consumption industries such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling will probably conflict with this purpose. Similarly, the risk is mitigated partially if the funder has a clear public good role.

Does your CV have research integrity?

According to the HKU Policy on Research Integrity (Section 2.2, 'Publication-related conduct'): "Publication of the same (or substantial parts of the same) work in different journals is acceptable only with the consent of the editors of the journals and where proper reference is made to the first publication. In the author's CV such related articles must be indicated as such and not give the impression that they are distinct research outputs when they are in fact the same. Articles published in special/symposium issues should be

ICMJE Recommendations: Overlapping publications

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has published detailed Recommendations on the issue of overlapping publications: 1. Duplicate Submission Authors should not submit the same manuscript, in the same or different languages, simultaneously to more than one journal. The rationale for this standard is the potential for disagreement when two (or more) journals claim the right to publish a manuscript that has been submitted simultaneously to more than one journal, and the possibility that two or more journals will unknowingly and unnecessarily undertake

Should you publish new articles similar to previous ones?

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Mark is seen as an expert in his field of research ethics and research integerity. He is repeatedly invited to write chapters for edited research collections. The requests often ask him to draft similar articles to ones he has already published, albeit with changes to the jurisdiction or disciplinary mix. How should he plan his publication strategy? Commentary (by Dexter Leung) In the HKU

CityU researcher convicted after failure to disclose interest

Facts The researcher was an associate professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU). She was also Associate Director of the Southeast Asian Research Centre (SARC) at CityU. In 2006, SARC obtained a grant of HK$53 million from the British Government to conduct a research project, 'Women's Empowerment in Muslim Contexts'. The Defendant (D) was the main person responsible for the project. D requested quotations from four service providers for the supply of IT services for the project,

Should students offer co-authorship to their supervisors?

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Wing Hong is a PhD student. Following a suggestion from his supervisor, Maggy, he writes an article for publication. Maggy provides extensive comments. The article is accepted subject to revision and, again, Maggy provides comments and hands over a draft of an article she is writing. Wing Hong uses material from this article and offers Maggy co-authorship. Should she accept? Wing Hong's second supervisor,

How do you avoid conflicts between academic and other commitments?

Prof. Mark Israel (Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services) has kindly given permission for this hypothetical case study to be reproduced. Nolan has a number of commercial clients who have interests in international trusts. In his position as an academic, he has been asked to advise the Hong Kong government on whether or how these should be subject to anti-avoidance rules. He has been asked to avoid any conflicts of interest over this period. What activities might be incompatible with this position? See: Conflict of