Talk:Monash University Accident Research Centre

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I have again removed the material below from the article, but I have moved it here so we can discuss the issues in detail.

"The MUARC was founded in 1992 for the purpose of softening up the public to accept the use of speed and red light cameras. It was funded by VicRoads, and Tenix, manufacturer of the cameras. As yet it has not produced any research that show either of these devices reduce mortality or morbidity. The millions of dollars extorted from Australian motorists justified by the shonky reports from the MUARC has cast a dark cloud over Monash university's reputation."

While I entirely agree that a NPOV demands that we give both the good and the bad about this institution, there are a number of problems with this entry. First, it in itself, is not written from a NPOV. Words such "for the purpose of softening up the public", "shonky reports" and "has cast a dark cloud" are really not encyclopedic. Importantly, such phrases such never be used unless they are fully referenced to reliable sources that clearly state these opinions. Otherwise they are just original research. OK, if the point of this paragraph is to be made in the article, it needs to be toned down and it needs to be properly sourced. Please try to do that here, not in an edit war. --Bduke (talk) 22:39, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Expanding the article[edit]

I have begun to include more information on the centre and its activities in an attempt to expand the article. I understand that there has been some discussion over the article and whether the centre is portrayed in a positive of negative light. Most of the information I have contributed to this article does not reflect badly on the centre, but this is not because my opinion is biased. Rather, it is because all of the external sources I have found which discuss the centre do not criticise it. I will be happy to see any further contributions - positive or negative - so long as they cite sources and do not represent personal opinion or original research. --Profb21

I am continuing the expansion. I wish to reiterate that any negative comments about the centre will be welcome, so long as they can be supported by references. It is clear that at least one user objects to MUARC's research on red light cameras. Currently, the article makes no assertions whatsoever as to any benefits or disadvantages of MUARC. Until it does, I believe that material should not be removed from the page on the basis of personal objections to red light cameras. This is not to say that this is not an important issue, it is simply not one which is currently dealt with by the article. The most logical content for the article to contain is information on the activities, history and notability of the centre.

Please raise any objections to the article on the discussion page. --Profb21

I have referenced the paucity of RCT research undertaken by the MUARC with respect to reducing the road toll. I have referenced the MUARC's multiple reports into public acceptance of advertising and enforcement campaigns. I have referenced the MUARC's association with Tenix and commentary on the ethics of accepting money from commercial interests in these circumstances. I will add more material as time permits. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nickcoop (talkcontribs) 09:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the additions. I have made some changes to ensure that it complies with Wikipedia standards, including the nature of the referencing to ensure that all references appear on the reference list. I need to make one point clearer about criticism of the centre and refereces. Any comments which criticise the centre must cite references which criticise the centre, just as any positive comments must cite references which make positive statements about the centre. It is insufficient to reference the studies done by the centre, and personally make critical allusions to this being a flaw in the centre's research. It is extremely serious to allege that the centre's research is biased, and so any comments included in an encyclopaedia on the matter must make reference to reliable sources. This is not simply to maintain the credibility of Wikipedia, but also for legal reasons. Allegations which protray an organisation or person in a negative way which cannot be supported by reliable sources can make a person liable for defamation in most jurisdictions. There is no problem pointing out that the centre receives funding from a company which makes red light cameras, but to suggest that this has compromised the research of the centre is very risky if proper referencing is not done.--Profb21


The MUARC page version [[1]] written by Profb21 is advertorial puffery with 3 of its 4 references being to the MUARC and the 4th not working. The working references that Profb21 lists link to MUARC propaganda, not to any RCT study. Removing my contributions because they link to MUARC studies is contradicted by Profb21's own written version of the MUARC page. The MUARC states it is an accident research centre. Since its inception the MUARC hasn't undertaken any RCT to determine which if any intervention reduces road accidents. It has published several studies stating whether or not there is public acceptance of advertising campaigns and police enforcement of government road safety policies. If Profb21 feels that this shows that the MUARC is biased I am not surprised. Profb21 threats of legal action are a joke. That the MUARC doesn't disclose the obvious conflict of interest posed by Tenix's funding is so ethically unsound any libel action would be laughed out of any courtroom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nickcoop (talkcontribs) 04:34, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

The relationship between Vicroads, and Tenix [[2]] and their undisclosed financing of the MUARC to produce reports that support the Victorian government's screwing drivers with red light cameras and speed cameras reflects badly on all of Monash University. If Victoria had any reputation for honesty Monash University might scrape through. Unfortunately the Victoria police and bureaucrats have a long history of corruption. [[3]][[4][5]]. What positive can you say about an organisation whose stated values are

   * Focus on and engage with major injury issues, both current and emerging
   * Provide evidence-based advice independent of current orthodoxy and vested interests
   * See that research informs policy and translates into safer practice
   * Ensure that our collective effort results in fewer fatalities, and a reduction in both the number and the severity of injuries

and yet in twenty years hasn't produced one bit of useful research on how to reduce the road toll but instead has pandered to a corrupted government bureaucracy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nickcoop (talkcontribs) 09:08, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Current arguments[edit]

The recent edit war has to stop. I have fully protected the article. Discussion has to come to this talk page to reach consensus. Both Nickcoop and Profb21 are behaving in a less than ideal way here. First, both of you please sign your contributions here correctly - sign with ~~~~ . Second, can both of you recognise that while few editors are actually looking at this argument, the real argument is whether this article should be merged to the main Monash University article. You have a major disagreement. Put it into perspective as to whether any of this is notable enough for a separate article and then discuss it here. Note that my freezing the article by protection is not making a judgment as to whether the last edit in the edit war was better than the one before. Just discuss it here. --Bduke (talk) 12:06, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

It is disappointing that the editors would were fighting so hard about content in April have not chosen to try to resolve their differences here. I have looked into this in some detail and have removed two criticisms of the Unit. This is because both were based entirely on original research. There is no independent source that makes these criticisms. The first, that the unit "hasn't undertaken any randomized controlled trials" has a reference to a long list of reports. The reader is expected to read all of these to not find something. The second, is the implication that there is a conflict of interest about Tenix with the unit receiving money from them and researching their speed cameras. Again this is original research. The references to the receipt of funds are also suspect. The second is about a different unit at Monash. Note, that this is not to say that these criticisms would be important and would be included in the article if there was an independent source that made the criticisms. --Bduke (talk) 22:56, 14 July 2008 (UTC)