Monday, June 3, 2019

WCRI 2019 - Day 1a

Day 0 - Day 1a - Day 1b - Day 2 - Day 3

It was the first full day of the WCRI conference 2019, and oh my, it was full!

It was pouring rain this morning, so I was glad I had the umbrella from the conference swag and my light poncho. I tried the shortcut someone told me about - just walk through the HKU subway station and take all the elevators and escalators. It worked! So now it's a nice walk up to the university.

Charlie Day (CEO, Office of Innovation and Science, Australia) opened the day with a talk on "Research, risk and trust: translating ideas for impact". The talk was dedicated to Paul Taylor, who worked with the thesis that good management of research integrity is an enabler of technological progress and not a blocker. 

He sketched the typical challenges that occur when translating research into economic success and noted that the most innovative people tend to be the ones who are the most difficult to work with. His suggested responses include
  • Having policies and processes for research and translation, that create trust
  • Researcher education – access to training osvital
  • Encouraging researcher mobility

Maura Hiney (Head of Post-Award and Evaluation at the Health Research Board, Ireland) spoke in an extremely fast manner about "Integrity challenges in evaluating the path to impact". She insisted that we need to move from what we currently measure as research success to somehow measuring how we are bringing better services to the citizenry, improved health and well-being, better GNP returns, more or smarter jobs, safer environment, better quality of life, food security, etc. 

She listed a number of plans and documents that would be useful and discussed some DORA (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment) principles.

I found it interesting that she was encouraging citizen science, enabling people from all walks of life to participate in the scientific review process. In Ireland they have trained 150 randomly selected public reviewers to evaluate research.  

Tracey Bretag managed to get a photo of her comparison of Research Integrity vs. Resposible Research and innovation:
Maura noted that we can't talk about translation of research into products without discussing Open Science. As part of the controversial Plan S, she noted that in Ireland all publications resulting from public funding must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms; Only OA publications will be considered in applications for funding; and there exists a cap on the cost of OA publications (APCs). A bit of discussion ensued about Plan S :)

A reference was made to the Open Science Partnership Toolkit, I found it here:
Maria Leptin (EMBO director, Genetics professor at University of Cologne, Germany) then spoke on "What innovation can tell us about responsible conduct of researchers." She quoted Nobel prize winner Andre Geim: "It is better to be wrong that to be boring" and noted that many of his experiments were not exactly ethical (see a description of how one of the experiments came to be).

She feels that the speed of discovery would increase if experimental failures were publishable.

In speaking with young researchers at EMBO she has found these major contributing factors to the discoveries theymade:
  • Stable, longer term (5 years +) funding, flexibility
  • Ability to make ad hoc decisions and the freedom to follow new ideas
  • Intellectual environment with critical and stimulating colleagues, good scientific culture,
  • high-level core facilities as infrastructure.

Sounds good!

After coffee I attended the Plagiarism session, as I was speaking there myself.

Nannan Yi (University of Leuven, Southeast University, China)
spoke about "Perceptions of plagiarism by biomedical researchers: an online survey in Europe and China" She conducted a survey by email and had over 1000 responses from Europe and China. A comparison of the answers showed quite a difference in perception in some instances, for example more Europeans reported being unsure if they were plagiarizing than Chinese researchers. More Chinese than Europeans had a perception of ghostwriting as plagiarism. 

Lisa Winstanley (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) looked at extending the traditional definition of plagiarism to include images and art. The problem is that in art there are techniques that might be considered copying: Pastiche, homage, parody. But if they are done on purpose, then it is not academic misconduct. Thus, she insists that students submit a reflection on how they came about to create their artwork that can include statement such as "I decided to create a parody of ....". 

There is not much research on visual plagiarism. Due to the ambiguous boundaries and inadequate adressing in policy documents they do not sufficiently address visual arts educational needs.

She listed some tools useful in finding image sources:
TinEye, iTrace, Google reverse image search, and the Blob filter and showed examples of the various grey areas. I was surprised to learn that in marketing companies will brazenly copy the ad of a competitor, but hiring their own actors and making their own pictures. There were some plagiarism pictures on boredpanda that I picked out from her slides.

She also noted that there is a site, Steal like an Artist, that very nicely explains what is permissable and what is not. 

We had a good discussion on the difference between copyright and plagiarism, a lawyer in the audience noted that he would always go with copyright, as he will probably have more luck with that in court. 

Jerry Hoffman (Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill, New Zealand) spoke on
"Managing plagiarism and academic fraud in higher degree programmes"
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (2017) noted that tertiary eucation providers need to have good processes in place to ensure that cheating is detected and will not allow students to pass assessments where they have not met the required standard.

His university has started to offer a two-hour referencing workshop and dissertation workshops where issues of plagiarism and academic fraud are discussed in detail.
The topic is also Addressed in all taught classes to varying degrees, and supervisors discuss plagiarism issues with student. They use Safe-Assign to test for plagiarism, but that usually only finds copies from previous student work, not necessarily things copied from the internet. But using Google can be useful here.

An oral defence is held when there is some suspicion of plgiarism. If serious plagiarism or academic fraud is detected, the result will usually be a failing grade. 

Then I spoke on "A breakdown in communication: journal reactions to information about plagiarism and duplicate publications"
The room was full (maybe 60 people) and we had a very good discussion session.

I got some lunch and tried to visit the poster session but the room was sooooo cramped and there were so many people that I pretty much just managed to visit 3 posters. One I had already photographed yesterday:

This poster from Indonesia was printed with batik on cloth dyed red. The text was put on with wax before the dying! Unfortunately, there had to be a correction, so it is printed on photo paper and stuck on with velcro :)

Matt Hodgkinson had a very nice poster discussing his frustrations as a research integrity person at Hindawi getting universities or national integrity bodies to answer his emails. I sympathize! I can't get Blogger to upload the picture tonight, his tweet links to a picture [that will only show up if I download it and then upload to Google]:

The third poster was about the Contributor Roles Taxonomy CRediT. It's a brilliant idea, but there was no way to get a picture without poking my elbow into someone's eye.

That's just half of Monday, I'm exhausted and heading to bed. More tomorrow!

Update to include another image.

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