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Research with former refugees: Moving towards an ethics in practice (Nisha Thapliyal and Sally Baker | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 14, 2018

Research into issues relating to people from refugee backgrounds has proliferated in line with the explosion in the numbers of people seeking refuge globally. In this think piece, we reflect on what it means to research with former refugees in contexts of resettlement in an academic and social climate dominated by audit culture and austerity politics. Drawing on an interdisciplinary literature and existing institutional ethics standards, we discuss key, often unaddressed, ethical issues which manifest throughout research processes of recruitment, data collection and dissemination. Specifically, we problematise static and decontextualised approaches to engaging with issues of vulnerability, fair selection, informed consent and the burdens and benefits of participation, and point towards the benefits of taking an ethics in practice approach. In doing so, we hope to make a useful contribution to our collective strategic repertoires to carry out ethical research in practice with former refugees.

Thapliyal, Nisha and Baker, Sally. (2018) Research with former refugees: Moving towards an ethics in practice [online]. The Australian Universities’ Review, Vol. 60, No. 2, Sep 2018: 49-56. ISSN: 0818-8068;dn=818725514655109;res=IELHSS 

What information and the extent of information research participants need in informed consent forms: a multi-country survey (Juntra Karbwang, et al | 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 7, 2018


The use of lengthy, detailed, and complex informed consent forms (ICFs) is of paramount concern in biomedical research as it may not truly promote the rights and interests of research participants. The extent of information in ICFs has been the subject of debates for decades; however, no clear guidance is given. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the perspectives of research participants about the type and extent of information they need when they are invited to participate in biomedical research.

This multi-center, cross-sectional, descriptive survey was conducted at 54 study sites in seven Asia-Pacific countries. A modified Likert-scale questionnaire was used to determine the importance of each element in the ICF among research participants of a biomedical study, with an anchored rating scale from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important).

Of the 2484 questionnaires distributed, 2113 (85.1%) were returned. The majority of respondents considered most elements required in the ICF to be ‘moderately important’ to ‘very important’ for their decision making (mean score, ranging from 3.58 to 4.47). Major foreseeable risk, direct benefit, and common adverse effects of the intervention were considered to be of most concerned elements in the ICF (mean score = 4.47, 4.47, and 4.45, respectively).

Research participants would like to be informed of the ICF elements required by ethical guidelines and regulations; however, the importance of each element varied, e.g., risk and benefit associated with research participants were considered to be more important than the general nature or technical details of research. Using a participant-oriented approach by providing more details of the participant-interested elements while avoiding unnecessarily lengthy details of other less important elements would enhance the quality of the ICF.

Consent forms, Informed consent, Disclosure, Information, Ethics, Research subjects

Karbwang, J., et al. (2018). “What information and the extent of information research participants need in informed consent forms: a multi-country survey.” BMC Medical Ethics 19(1): 79.
Publisher (Open Access):

Current Perspectives on Research Ethics in Qualitative Research (Wolff-Michael Roth, Hella von Unger | 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 4, 2018


In this article, we provide a brief introduction to the special issue on research ethics in qualitative research. We describe the general context within which our idea emerged to organize a special issue and present its design and, for purposes of transparency, some particulars with respect to the selection and review process. We sketch some of the common themes that are shared across parts of the paper set, including critical analysis of ethics codes and ethics reviews, the intricacies of informed consent, confidentiality and anonymity in qualitative research and questions of vulnerability.

anonymity; confidentiality; ethics codes; ethics reviews; informed consent; knowledge/power; vulnerability

Roth, W., & von Unger, H. (2018). Current Perspectives on Research Ethics in Qualitative Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(3). doi:
Publisher (Open Access):

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Privacy in User Research: Can You? – Scholarly Kitchen (Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on September 23, 2018

We may live in the age of privacy nihilism but recognizing one’s reality does not have to mean agreeing to do your own work by its terms. This post is for those publishers, academic and research librarians, and others who conduct research on user behavior in library information systems, who — whether for personal and/or professional ethical reasons or policies — want to do so in ways that prioritize privacy.

Situating Myself and Academic Librarianship

This paper will most obviously be of interest to librarien researchers who are reflecting on the ethics of the use of user data. But its discussion will be of interest to anyone interested in research ethics in quality assurance and service delivery where user data is collected. The piece’s discussion about the important differences between privacy, confidentiality and anonymity are likely to be helpful to anyone thinking about the ethical design, conduct and the reporting of human research.

A bit of my own background is probably useful to contextualize this discussion. My own attention to this topic of privacy and user data came into focus when I led the launch of the Value of Academic Libraries Initiative as President of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2010-2011. Grounded in The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report, my work that year and since then has been heavily focused on advocating for the profession to move to evidence-based claims for library value and for the collection and analysis of individual user data in order to do so. This work has been heavily criticized for its focus on collecting user data and, at times, for facilitating the neoliberal transformation of higher education.
Given that, I have also had to confront hard questions about how gathering and analyzing user data aligns with the values of my profession. Specifically, the value of privacy as expressed in the ALA Code of Ethics statement that: “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.” These questions have not had easy or straightforward answers, particularly as the value of privacy can be in tension with another principle in the ALA Code of Ethics: “We provide the highest level of service to all library users.” I’m grateful to Andrew Asher who joined me in a series of public presentations exploring these issues (e.g., CNI Fall 2014).

Read the rest of this discussion piece

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