英文編修, 論文校對, 論文修改, 論文翻譯, 期刊發表, 摘要翻譯
意得輯觀點 Editage Insights - Spotting ethical misconduct in scholarly research: The STAP case
首頁 » 意得輯觀點 »從STAP細胞論文事件看違反學術倫理行為
Dr. Eddy 將在此專欄與您分享他身為一名研究員多年來累積的【論文投稿發表】經驗。請閱讀 Dr. Eddy 分享成功發表論文的技巧與國際期刊研究趨勢。


熱門話題
從STAP細胞論文事件看違反學術倫理行為

近期STAP幹細胞事件引來學術界關注,尤其在業界活躍的研究人員,一些像PubPeer這樣的研究平台和知名部落客Paul Knoepfler不斷討論此議題,Nature與RIKEN都已表示將對此事進行調查,STAP細胞論文的部分作者已經在3月5日公佈了實驗方法文件(Protocol Exchange)供大眾閱覽。

現階段對於評估科學的有效性並沒有太多共識,然而STAP研究爭議事件的發生則突顯了發表後審查的重要性。然而,依賴發表後的審查來找出造假研究是正確的嗎?證實研究實驗需要時間及資源,我們不能總是等待透過別人驗證研究結果。並非所有研究領域都能引起這麼多人注目,萬一這份研究無關幹細胞呢?如果是比較冷門的學科,還會有這麼多人關注嗎?



有人認為STAP論文具有爭議的主要原因跟實驗方法能否成功複製無關,即使成功,研究誠信仍受質疑,因為文中疑似有抄襲的文字和複製的圖片。抄襲與圖片造假的問題在研究發表前就該被發現,尤其是相較十年前,現在要偵測抄襲文字簡單多了。而且,如果像Nature這樣的頂尖期刊都無法在投稿稿件中抓出抄襲問題,那麼其他名氣沒那麼高的期刊該如何找出抄襲與圖片造假的研究呢?

顯然在研究進入發表過程前,需要經過一些檢查,這些檢查可以減少期刊編輯額外工作及審閱員發表前工作,且還可以減少浪費學術資源及政府經費在造假的研究上。

學術發表產業界需要發起和執行這樣的檢查。在意得輯,我們在發表協助的過程中,幫助作者檢查論文抄襲,並告知作者重複或相似的內容。檢查圖片造假是較困難的,目前我們遵守一些準則(如ElsevierNature),來找出是否有重複或造假的圖片。規劃更全面的檢查準則供審閱者使用,任何審閱者皆可以運用這個準則來驗證圖片的完整性。沒有任何一項行動能保證完全杜絕違反學術倫理,但若沒有這些行動我們將在實踐科學誠信目標時面臨更大的風險。

註:歡迎觀賞由美國研究誠信辦公室(The Office of Research Integrity)所製作關於保護研究主題及避免違反研究倫理的相關影片The Research Clinic
Contributors
Spotting ethical misconduct in scholarly research: The STAP case


The STAP stem cells situation, as I write this down, represents a can of worms whose lid has been pried open by scores of scholarly commentators, most of them active researchers in the field, on social media over the last few weeks. Researcher forums like PubPeer and blogs like that of Paul Knoepfler are rife with chatter on the minutiae of the case, Nature and RIKEN have announced investigations into the matter, and some of the STAP authors have released a protocol exchange document (on March 5th) for public perusal.



It is arguable that the STAP story is a shot in the arm for post-publication review—there’s no such thing as too many heads when it comes to assessing the validity of science. In this case, it may very well be that riding on a string of successful replications by independent labs worldwide, proof of the findings is incontrovertibly established. This is not entirely unthinkable. However, is it good practice to rely on post-publication correction to right the wrong? Authenticating experimental protocol needs time and resources. We cannot always wait for such exercises to run their course. What if it wasn’t about stem cells? Not all research domains draw scientific attention on this scale. What if the study pertained to a field with a lesser appeal?

There is a view emerging from industry quarters that the main concern with the STAP articles may not pertain to the replicability of the methods after all. Even if the results are reproduced elsewhere, questions on the integrity of the research will remain because of issues of textual similarity and image duplication. Now plagiarism and image manipulation are practices that are best identified and flagged before research enters the public domain. It is much easier to spot textual borrowing today than it was a decade ago. Yet if a journal of the stature and means of Nature cannot police plagiarism in all its submissions, what does it say about the chances that lesser titles will pick out instances of textual borrowing and image manipulation?

Evidently, there have to be checkpoints before a research article enters the publication cycle. Such checks can lessen the burden on overworked journal editors and reviewers pre-publication, not to mention save expenditure of intellectual resources and public money on fraudulent science post-publication.

It is for outlining and implementing these checkpoints that the industry needs to show initiative. At Editage, we run plagiarism checks on manuscripts opting for publication support and notify authors in cases of textual similarity. Detecting image manipulation, however, has not proved to be as straightforward a process. Currently, we follow available guidelines, like those of Elsevier and Nature, to spot instances where images could have been more than just cleaned up for clarity. Plans are afoot to curate a comprehensive set of guidelines that any reviewer can use to verify image integrity. None of these steps guarantee comprehensive protection against ethical misconduct, yet without them we run the risk of being labeled careless and callous to the cause of science.

PS: Here’s a dramatized take on the issue of protecting research subjects and avoiding research misconduct by The Office of Research Integrity. The free video, called The Research Clinic, is expected to be out on March 28th.
Contributors