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Did a study of Indonesian people who spend most of their days under water violate ethical rules? – Science (Dyna Rochmyaningsih | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on August 14, 2018

In April, a paper showing why Indonesia’s Bajau people are such great divers drew worldwide attention as a striking example of recent human evolution. But the study, published in Cell, has created a different kind of stir in Indonesia, where some say it is an example of “helicopter research” carried out by scientists from rich countries with little consideration for local regulations and needs.

When conducting research in another country it is essential to rigorously determine what local research ethics arrangements and regulations apply to your planned work. While a local contact/assistant can be helpful (sometimes essential for respecting local traditions and protocols) a researcher experienced in the relevant (sub)discipline/design is more likely to be able to alert you to the jurisdiction’s ethical and legal requirements.

“Too many mistakes were made here,” says geneticist Herawati Sudoyo, who heads the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta. Indonesian officials say the research team failed to obtain ethical approval from a local review board and took DNA samples out of the country without the proper paperwork. And some Indonesian scientists complain that the only local researcher involved in the study had no expertise in evolution or genetics. But Eske Willerslev, director of the University of Copenhagen’s (KU’s) Centre for GeoGenetics, says the team he headed had a permit from the Indonesian government and worked hard to follow the rules. “I would never participate in research that I felt was unethical,” Willerslev says. The government hasn’t informed him about problems, he says, but, “If we have made an error that violates national or international guidelines, we would like to apologize for that.”

The issue escalated in late May, when Pradiptajati Kusuma, a geneticist at the Eijkman Institute who has also studied the Bajau, suggested in a tweet that the team could have faced prosecution under strict new rules on foreign research, proposed by the Indonesian government and now under debate. “Jail? Possible,” Kusuma wrote. He later deleted the tweet, but Melissa Ilardo, the Cellstudy’s first author, says she was so rattled that she canceled a July trip to Indonesia during which she planned to inform the Bajau about her study. “I did everything I could to conduct this research ethically and properly, and this is breaking my heart,” says Ilardo, a Ph.D. student at KU at the time of the fieldwork and now at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

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Sensitive Data can be Shared (Michael Martin | 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on August 9, 2018

A discussion of the legal and ethical context of publishing and sharing sensitive data with two experts who contributed to the ANDS Guide to Publishing & Sharing Sensitive Data.

Provides practical advice about sharing human data as part of ethical research practice (YouTube, 40 min) Baden Appleyard, Barrister, also offers insight into legal requirements.

Martin, M (2014) Sensitive Data can be Shared.

Keeping research on track II0

Posted by Admin in on August 2, 2018

This guideline aims to support research participants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities to:

  • Make decisions that ensure the research journey respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ and communities’ shared values, diversity, priorities, needs and aspirations.
  • Make decisions that ensure the research journey benefits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities as well as researchers and other Australians.
  • Recognise and understand their rights and responsibilities in being involved in all aspects of research.
  • Better understand the steps involved in making research ethical.

The information in this guideline comes from two key national publications which set out the requirements for the ethical conduct of research:

  • National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (the National Statement)
    The National Statement is the principal guideline setting out the requirements for the ethical design, review and conduct of all human research in Australia. The National Statement is about four main principles: respect; research merit and integrity; justice; and beneficence. The National Statement provides guidance on the ethical considerations that are relevant to the way that research is designed, reviewed and conducted.

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Why Internet Scholars Are Calling Out Facebook for Restricting Access to Its Data – The Chronicle of Higher Education (Nell Gluckman | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on July 31, 2018

After news broke in March that a scholar had harvested data about millions of Facebook users and shared it with Cambridge Analytica, a political-consulting firm that advised the Trump campaign, the social-media company made some changes.

At first brush (especially if you are a Facebook user) you might be pleased to hear the platform is making it harder for players to access information about users, but as these comments by a QUT researcher illustrate – the changes might not mean what you might have assumed from the bold statements in the press. We’ve included links to other stories around research ethics and social media? Like the work we do compiling this information? Please become an AHRECS patron for 1-15USD per month.

Facebook announced plans to restrict outsiders’ access to user information. It also said that a select group of scholars would be granted unprecedented access to its data in a project that will be partly overseen by the Social Science Research Council.

The scholars will not be able to publish that information, but they will learn what the company will and won’t share with outside researchers and, presumably, why. They will then serve as a filter, meting out the data to researchers whose projects will seek to answer one question: How have social media influenced democracy?

Those announcements may sound like welcome changes to social-media users worried about their privacy. User data will be less accessible to outside companies and researchers who may have nefarious intentions, but trustworthy scholars will still be able to tap into the endless trove of information.
That’s the theory, at least. But some scholars of the internet say the new restrictions are actually a problem.
A group of those scholars last month published an open letter sounding the alarm. They also created a document listing research papers that would not exist, they say, under the new restrictions Facebook has imposed on the use of its data.


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