AHRECS: Voice for constructive change. We provide access to some of the leading experts in human research ethics in Australia and New Zealand.
We provide expert and high quality consultancy services relating to research integrity, human research ethics, educational integrity and publication ethics for Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Over the years AHRECS has provided advice on human research ethics and research integrity matters to researchers, research ethics reviewers and ethics managers.
We are delighted with how busy AHRECS is at the moment in the human research ethics and research integrity spheres in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Our current work can be broken down into four categories:
1. Informing the practice of a research institution
2. Fostering and supporting a community of practice
3. Helping with tricky questions
4. Formulating an approach
To discuss any of the above, contact one of our senior consultants, or send an email to Enquiry AHRECS [email protected]
While our activities are focussed on Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and…
Element Zero: What’s missing from the National Statement to support Consumer and Community Involvement in health research?
In this great post, Mark, Deborah and Ciara discuss a useful new element for the National Statement that relates to genuine involvement, input and participation for consumers/community members.
Mark Israel, Deborah Hersh and Ciara Shiggins
Advocates in health research of Consumer and Community Involvement – a concept better known in the United Kingdom as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) – argue that it offers a way of building knowledge that incorporates the experiences and perspectives of a range of stakeholders, including patients and members of the public. Such involvement can improve the experience for research participants, enhance the process of informed consent, aid research impact and dissemination. It might also avoid the waste of resources on findings that have little relevance to end users or that cannot be implemented…
In this post, Dr Gary Allen reflects on the establishment and conduct of constructive audits.
Dr Gary Allen
When research with current ethics approval is periodically monitored, it is typically a passive process. Institutions, often via their research ethics administration, will ask researchers to self-report on the continued ethical acceptability of a project (and compliance with any conditions of approval). It would not be unreasonable to conclude that self-reporting is not the most effective way to identify if there have been problems with approved projects. Indeed, if things have gone wrong, it is at least possible that the most troublesome researchers might not be entirely honest about what has happened or why.
So, what is the alternative?
Conducting random audits of a small number of active projects…
Farida Fozdar responds and reflects upon the February 2021 post by Gary Allen and Mark Israel.
The Tower of Babel (Allen and Israel, 2021) is a compelling image when considering issues to do with translation and interpreting and the ethics of social research. Even when we speak the same language, we may not be ‘speaking the same language’, so to speak (excuse the triple metaphor). Talking past each other occurs in many ways but, in communicating the clear purpose and potential risks of one’s research, clarity is vital. Here, I outline a few issues from personal research experience, arguing that the communities themselves may be best placed to identify ethics issues and solutions to translation and interpreting dilemmas.
When working with those from a language different from that of the researchers, it may be the case that the idea of research is not well understood in the culture of origin…
In this post Daniel Sokol writes about a troubling research integrity/human research ethics case that relates to Poland, the UK and Australia.
When I sat on the Ministry of Defence’s Research Ethics Committee, some research projects were potentially dangerous. The risks of testing a new piece of military diving equipment, for example, are obvious. If it malfunctions, the volunteer could drown or suffer brain damage. The risks of historical research can be more subtle but they are nonetheless real, as shown by a recent case involving the University of Warwick.
Dr Anna Hájková, an associate professor of modern continental European history, researches the queer history of the Holocaust. She claimed that a Jewish prisoner may have engaged in a lesbian sexual relationship with a Nazi guard in Hamburg in 1944.
After the war, the prisoner worked as an actress and emigrated from…
In this post Gary Allen and Mark Israel discuss seeding and supporting virtual and physical Communities of Practice and their value over enforcement and policing.
Gary Allen and Mark Israel
Research ethics professionals have grown wary of researchers who talk disparagingly about the work of research ethics reviewers as the ‘ethics police’ (Klitzman, 2015; Makhoul et al., 2014). So, there is more than a little irony in our suggestion for responding constructively to such an adversarial stance (Allen & Israel, 2018) – the Community of Practice (CoP).
A CoP is characterised by a shared area of knowledge and set of practices within which experiences and insights can be shared and learning can be fostered (Wenger et al., 2002). Done well, a CoP can result in continual improvement across and…
AHRECS in Asia
AHRECS in Asia
Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services: Our work in Asia
澳大利亚和新西兰人类研究伦理咨询服务 / 澳大利亞和新西蘭人類研究倫理諮詢服務
Despite our name and our strong connections to Australia and New Zealand, for several years we have been providing advice to institutions in East and South-East Asia. In 2003, Gary Allen helped the Hanoi School of Public Health in Vietnam establish its human research ethics arrangements.
Following a period as an external examiner in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, Mark Israel advised the Faculty of Law there on research integrity.
Resourcing Reflective Practice
Individually and together we have written a fair amount (see Gary, Mark and Colin‘s profiles for references) about the inherent flaws
of the enforcement and compliance approach. A more constructive, sustainable and positive approach is one that has a resourcing
reflective practice objective. See this short whiteboard video for more about this approach.