Category / Research Integritiy

The Concordat to Support Research Integrity

The Concordat to Support Research Integrity provides a comprehensive national framework for good research conduct and its governance. It outlines five commitments which the University must be compliant with as recipients of HEFCE funding.

HEFCE’s letter to all the heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions explains the requirement for institutions to comply with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity. It sets out HEFCE’s view of compliance with the Concordat, and provides advice for institutions on finding further information. The five commitments are:

  1. Maintain the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research;
  2. Ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards;
  3. Support a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers;
  4. Use transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise;
  5. Work together to strengthen the integrity of research and to review process regularly and openly.

Each commitment outlines the responsibilities of the researcher, the employers of researchers and the funders of research.

Bournemouth University is committed to ensuring that the research conducted at the Univeristy follows appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks and obligations.

A link to the Concordat can be found here:

http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/highereducation/Documents/2012/TheConcordatToSupportResearchIntegrity.pdf

Seminar, Prof Edwin van Teijlingen, ‘Maternal Mortality in Nepal’, Wed 20th April, Royal London House, R303, 13:00-13:50.

Maternal Mortality in Nepal
Abstract: The session links various social and political factors that affect maternal mortality. Women dying in pregnancy and childbirth is very much a problem of and in low-income countries. This talk focuses on Nepal, one of the poorer countries of the world, to highlight a range of maternal health issues and wider influencing factors including globalisation and the influence of global organisations such as the World Health Organisation.

For further information regarding the Social Science seminar series, get in touch with Dr Mastoureh Fathi (mfathi@boutnemouth.ac.uk).

Pritchard & Harding paper cited in top journal, but there’s a ‘but…’

cloudAs an ECR I am delighted to see that a research paper that Prof. Pritchard and myself wrote in 2014 has been cited in one of the most well regarded journals in the field.

Our paper on the occupational backgrounds of Non-executive directors at NHS acute trusts, published in the Journal for the Royal Society of Medicine Open, was also the subject of an article in the now defunct Independent  newspaper and a post on this blog in May 2014.

Last year, in 2015, it was cited by a paper published in the Journal for Health Services Research and Policy. I won’t name which edition or paper because there is a ‘but…’, and it concerns the carelessness of the authors who cited our work.

There is a ‘but…’ because the authors got my name wrong – both in the in text citation and in the bibliography. The good news is that it still links on citation tracking systems (such as the function on Google Scholar) as a paper that I co-wrote. Yet as an ECR, who is trying to make his way in the ‘publish or perish’ world of academia, I can’t help but feel a bit frustrated. Here’s my name in a top journal, but it’s incorrect.

So I took action, I emailed the editors. To their credit I got a response within minutes, with an apology for the carelessness of the authors and that contact with the publisher had been initiated to see if it could be corrected. Yet, due to the inflexibility of doi, apparently this is unlikely.

This then got me thinking about my first publication. I have to admit I did not check the final galley proof thoroughly enough. Indeed, when it was published, it became apparent that I had not corrected some basic incorrect spelling of names in the bibliography. In other words, some very respected authors’ names were wrong! I can happily report that this was corrected, and no offence caused (I hope!).

But the lesson here – check final galley proofs. If you cite an article, I think the very least you can do, out of respect for colleagues, is to get the authors name right. I have made this mistake, and so have authors who have cited me, so it would scream hypocrisy if I was too mad! But it does show that it might be a relatively common problem, so again – check final galley proofs!

However, once the relative pain bypassed, one our papers has still been cited in a top journal – and that is very satisfying indeed.

 

Concordat on Open Research Data

open dataAs mentioned by Emily in her August HE Policy post, a draft concordat has been published which seeks to make research data in the UK more openly accessible for use.

The concordat has been drafted under the auspices of the UK Open Research Data Forum [Note 1] by a multi-stakeholder working group, which includes HEFCE, Research Councils UK (RCUK), Jisc, the Wellcome Trust and Universities UK.  It aims to help ensure that the research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible, in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks and norms.

The concordat aims to establish a set of expectations of good practice, with the intention of making open research data the standard for publicly funded research over the long term.  It recognises the different responsibilities of researchers, their employers and the funders of research, although the intention is not to mandate, codify or require specific activities.

The full draft concordat can be found here – http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/opendata/

Key principals are outlined below:

Definition of Research Data used:

“Research Data are quantitative information or qualitative statements collected by researchers in the course of their work by experimentation, observation, interview or other methods. Data may be raw or primary (e.g. direct from measurement or collection) or derived from primary data for subsequent analysis or interpretation (e.g. cleaned up or as an extract from a larger data set). The purpose of open research data is to provide the information necessary to support or validate a research project’s observations, findings or outputs. Data may include, for example, statistics, collections of digital images, sound recordings, transcripts of interviews, survey data and fieldwork observations with appropriate annotations.”

Principle #1

Open access to research data is an enabler of high quality research, a facilitator of innovation and safeguards good research practice.

Principle #2

Good data management is fundamental to all stages of the research process and should be established at the outset.

Principle #3

Data must be curated so that they are accessible, discoverable and useable.

Principle #4

Open access to research data carries a significant cost, which should be respected by all parties.

Principle #5

There are sound reasons why the openness of research data may need to be restricted but any restrictions must be justified and justifiable.

Principle #6

The right of the creators of research data to reasonable first use is recognised.

Principle #7

Use of others’ data should always conform to legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks including appropriate acknowledgement.

Principle #8

Data supporting publications should be accessible by the publication date and should be in a citeable form.

Principle #9

Support for the development of appropriate data skills is recognised as a responsibility for all stakeholders.

Principle #10

Regular reviews of progress towards open access to research data should be undertaken.

Research ethics updated forms

ethicsNew academic year, New forms!

New versions of the ethics forms available now, have a look at the research ethics page for the full details, under useful documents.

The new forms are the Participant Info Sheet and the previously titled Consent form, now titled Participant Agreement Form.

Please make sure you start using the new versions from now on, and please do let us know how you find them.

BU Ethics team

Paper by BU academics used as example in Dutch university newsletter

The March 2015 newsletter of the Dutch University of Groningen’s School for Behavioural & Cognitive Neurosciences dedicated two pages to the question: ‘How to pick the right journal?’    The author of the English-language newsletter contribution, Liwen Zhang, offer its readers a brief introduction on journal selection for a scientific manuscript.  The newsletter piece is based on two papers which both share their submission stories and suggestions of journal selection.  We were pleased to see that one of these two papers is by two Bournemouth University professors: Hundley and van Teijlingen.  Their paper which gives advice on one specific aspect of academic publishing is called ‘Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper’ [1].  It was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2002.

 

 

Reference:

  1.  vanTeijlingen, E., Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, Journal of Advanced Nursing 37(6): 506-511.

We regret to inform you ….

It is always disappointing for an academic author to receive a rejection letter.   Today I received yet another one from Midwifery (published by Elsevier).   Sometimes I think academic publishing in good journal is not getting any easier over time.  Neither does the experience of having  over two hundred peer-reviewed academic papers make a rejection easier to deal with.  This was my third paper in a row that got rejected by Midwifery.  All three papers were rejected on resubmission, so a lot of extra work had gone into these papers after the initial peer review and the editor’s feedback.  These three papers where led by three different postgraduate students (Sharma, Baral & Burton) as first authors, and in each case co-authored by myself and different BU academics and/or from other universities.

Midwifery is the journal in which I have published more papers than any other journal (see top blue piece of pie in ‘Documents by source’) as reported on SCOPUS today (26 April 2015).  Moreover, I am co-author of one of the top five most downloaded papers in Midwifery for 2014 (see recent BU Research Blog), and this paper is also the most cited Midwifery paper since 2010!   Still I manage to have three papers rejected in a row.

What is does show to me is that the journal’s peer review system is robust (i.e. blind and impartial) because I am also a member of Midwifery’s editorial committee.  I think it is back to the drawing board and discuss with each set of authors what the next step should be for our papers.  To be fair we had a paper published already this year in Midwifery, namely:  Grylka-Baeschlin, S., van Teijlingen, E.R., Stoll, K., Gross, M.M. (2015) Translation and validation of the German version of the Mother-Generated Index and its application during the postnatal period. Midwifery 31(1): 47–53.

As an editorial board we try continuously to maintain a high quality of papers to be published in our journal, and we would like to encourage potential authors to keep submitting their papers to Midwifery.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Impact of fatigue management research in Multiple Sclerosis – FACETS, IMSPIRE and beyond

Lunchtime Seminar with Peter Thomas, Wednesday 15th April 1-1.50pm, R303

Please come to listen to Professor Peter Thomas present on the impact that his research into fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis is having, noting the importance of research with strong potential for patient benefit, and the importance of the research funder.

Further information on this Seminar series can be found by clicking on the link below.

Impact Seminar dates 2015

There is no need to book – just turn up. Contact Zoe on zsheppard@bournemouth.ac.uk for more information.

We look forward to seeing you there.

The editor is a *!@#*!

Editors of academic journals are regularly cursed by academics worldwide.  At universities across the globe we can regularly hear expression such as “Who does the editor think he is rejecting my paper?” or “Why does it have to take six months (or more) to find out my paper is rejected?” or “Why does the editor not understand how good/novel/innovative/… our paper is?  These kinds of expression of dismay may or may not be accompanied by an expletive.  Being both busy editors and well published authors we thought timely to put pen to paper and explain the work (role and limitations) of the typical editor of an international academic journal.

First, being an editor is not all bad, and is actually a privilege. It is an opportunity to nurture new authors, be at the forefront of your discipline and it is part of being a ‘serious’ scholar. However, we have been at the receiving end of the wrath of authors dissatisfied with something we did or didn’t do as an editor AND we have been disappointed as authors with what we perceived to be, poor editorial decisions!

We wrote a short outline of the proposed paper and send it to the editor of Women and Birth.  The idea was readily accepted and resulted in a paper published this week in the scientific journal.

The paper includes little snippets of insight and advice to authors.  For example, a reminder that the average editor of an academic journalist an unpaid volunteer, usually a full-time lecturer and/or researcher with a busy day job, who does most of her editorial work on Sunday morning when the kids are still in bed or Tuesday night after the second-year marking has been completed. We hope that knowledge of the editors’ role will help authors (a) understand the submission process better; and (b) be a little bit more patience with the editors.  And, last but not least, we hope our article helps the development of editors of the future.

 

Jenny Hall, Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Reference:

Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The Journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth (accepted). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519215000104