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Publication and Research Integrity in Medical Research (PRIMeR)

Improving the reliability of the medical research literature
Our group leads research and advocacy to improve the reliability of the research literature and reduce research waste. We advocate for transformed research publication standards and error correction capacity.

Based at the NSW Health Statewide Biobank in Camperdown, the PRIMeR group forms part of Molecular Biomedicine theme of the School of Medical Sciences.

We are also part of the Truth Decay node of the Charles Perkins Centre.

Research areas include:

  • Prevalence of problematic biomedical research papers across research fields and journal types
  • Impact of problematic papers through citation analysis
  • Textual analysis of problematic papers
  • NHMRC Ideas Grant APP1184263, “Prevalence and impact of fraudulent cancer research publications targeting the functions of human genes", JA Byrne, C Labbé, A Capes-Davis, 2020-2022
  • Park Y, West RA, Pathmendra P, Favier B, Stoeger T, Capes-Davis A, Cabanac G, Labbé C, Byrne JA (2022). Identification of human gene research articles with wrongly identified nucleotide sequences. Life Science Alliance. 5: e202101203.
  • Scott AM, Bryant EA, Byrne JA, Taylor N, Barnett AG (2022). “No country bureaucratised its way to excellence”: a content analysis of comments on a petition to streamline Australian research ethics and governance processes. J Empirical Res Human Res Ethics. 17:102-113.
  • Byrne JA, Park Y, West RA, Capes-Davis A, Cabanac G, Labbé C (2021). The thin ret(raction) line: biomedical journal responses to reports of incorrect non-targeting nucleotide sequence reagents in human gene knockdown publications. Scientometrics. 126: 3513-3534.
  • Weissgerber T, Riedel N, Kilicoglu H, Labbé C, Eckmann P, ter Riet G, Byrne J, Cabanac G, Capes-Davis A, Favier B, Saladi S, Grabitz P, Bannach-Brown A, Schulz R, McCann S, Bernard R, Bandrowski A (2021). Automated screening of COVID-19 preprints: Can we help authors to improve transparency & reproducibility? Nature Med. 27: 6-7.
  • Parker L, Byrne JA, Goldwater M, Enfield E (2021). Misinformation: an empirical study with scientists and communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Open Science 5: e100188.
  • Byrne JA, Christopher J (2020). Digital magic, or the dark arts of the 21st century- how can journals and peer reviewers detect manuscripts and publications from paper mills? FEBS Lett. 594: 583-589.
  • Labbé C, Grima N, Gautier T, Favier B, Byrne JA (2019). Semi-automated fact-checking of nucleotide sequence reagents in biomedical research publications: the Seek & Blastn tool. PLOS ONE. 14: e0213266.
  • Byrne JA, Grima N, Capes-Davis A, Labbé C (2019). The possibility of systematic research fraud targeting under-studied human genes: causes, consequences and potential solutions. Biomarker Insights. 14: 1-12.
  • Byrne J (2019). We need to talk about systematic fraud. Nature. 566: 9-10.
  • Byrne JA, Labbé C (2017). Striking similarities between publications from China describing single gene knockdown experiments in human cancer cell lines. Scientometrics. 110:1471-93.

The PRIMeR group collaborates with publication and research integrity experts and organizations across Sydney, Australia and internationally. Some of our partners include:

  • Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS)
  • Northwestern University, USA
  • Queensland University of Technology, Qld
  • Retraction Watch, USA
  • ScreenIT group, Germany
  • Univ. Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Professor Jennifer Byrne: Research group leader
  • Mr Yasunori Park: Research associate
  • Mr Pranjuan Pathmendra: PhD candidate

Group Leader

Professor Jennifer Byrne
Professor Jennifer Byrne
Academic profile


  • NSW Health Statewide Biobank Professor Marie Bashir Centre Missenden Road Camperdown