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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Ethics assessment in different fields: Social sciences (SATORI Deliverable 1.1)0

Posted by Admin in on April 23, 2016
 

Excerpt: This report on ethical assessment of research and innovation in social sciences is a part of a comparative study across scientific fields and disciplines within a wider analysis of EU and
international practices of ethical assessment, made by the SATORI project. Ethical assessment in this analysis covers any kind of review or evaluation of research and innovation based on ethical principles. The report will focus on academic traditions of ethics assessment in the field, various types of (national and international) organisations involved in assessment and relevant legislation.

Social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that take human society as the object of their study, attempting to understand human behaviour, relationships and institutions within
society. Traditionally, the group includes sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, law and political science, although there is no outright consensus on which disciplines should
be included. A large number of subfields have and keep emerging, including human geography, cultural studies, business studies, communication studies, development studies, criminology, etc.

A wide range of ethical issues is discussed in the social sciences. Informed consent, confidentiality, avoiding harm, doing good, relations to peers and research integrity are all part of standard ethical guidelines in many of its disciplines. Even though this list may seem similar to issues in other scientific fields, especially in biomedicine, it is important to acknowledge that the nature and methodologies of social science research imply different kinds of ethical risks, especially concerning research participants. Potential for harm resides less in health and injury risks and rather in psychological distress and the danger of stigmatisation if sensitive private information is disclosed. Social scientists often emphasise the need to reflect the proper nature of these risks in ethical assessment protocols.

Gurzawska, A., & R. Benčin, “Ethics assessment in different fields: Social sciences”, Annex 2.d, Ethical Assessment of Research and Innovation: A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Institutions in the EU and selected other countries, SATORI Deliverable 1.1, June 2015. http://satoriproject.eu/media/2.d-Social-Sciences.pdf

Stakeholders Acting Together On the ­ethical impact assessment of ­Research and Innovation (SATORI 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 20, 2016
 

“SATORI aims to develop a common European framework for ethical assessment of research and innovation

SATORI is a platform for the consolidation and advancement of ethical assessment in research and innovation. The 4-year project aims to develop a common framework of ethical principles and practical approaches so as to strengthen shared understandings among actors involved in the design and implementation of research ethics.

To achieve this aim, the project will gather private and public stakeholders from Europe and beyond in an intensive 4-year process of research and dialogue. Ultimately, the project seeks to establish a permanent platform around the framework to secure ongoing learning and attunement among stakeholders in ethical assessment.”

Click here to go to the SATORI web site

When it takes a village to write a paper, what does it mean to be an author? – Retraction Watch commentary (Alison McCook 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on April 13, 2016
 

Excerpt: We have seen plenty of projects unravel due to disputes over authorship, so we know this is a crucial issue in publishing. And the more authors are involved, the more issues can arise. So what happens when there are hundreds – or even thousands of authors on a single paper? Spencer Klein, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Research Physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, offers some suggestions for how mega-collaborations could think differently about authorship.

Over the past few years, Retraction Watch has hosted a number of interesting discussions about the meaning of authorship. Those discussions have, so far, missed one important issue: What should one do in mega-collaborations, with memberships the size of a large village? In my field (astro/nuclear/particle physics), papers with hundreds of authors are common, with recent papers by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations, the two large experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, having 2,870 and 2,270 authors respectively. One 2015 joint paper appears to have broken an authorship record with more than 5100 authors. (It’s also an increasing issue in other fields, such as genetics – one 2015 paper listed 1,000 authors.)

The usual techniques for assembling author lists fail here; a 2,500-person negotiation is a non-starter. Instead, authorship is determined by a set of criteria based on time in the collaboration and/or ‘service work’ – jobs like hardware upgrades, detector calibration, data-taking shifts, and the like, overseen by a hierarchy of institutional leads and, for the largest collaborations, national leads. People join the author list after meeting these criteria, and usually stay on until a certain amount of time (typically six months or one year) after they leave the collaboration. Authors are listed in alphabetical order; G. Aad is a prolific first author.

Click here to read this discussion item.

Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges (Papers: George C. Alter Mary Vardigan 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 7, 2016
 

Abstract: This issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics highlights the ethical issues that arise when researchers conducting projects in low- and middle-income countries seek to share the data they produce. Although sharing data is considered a best practice, the barriers to doing so are considerable and there is a need for guidance and examples. To that end, the authors of this article reviewed the articles in this special issue to identify challenges common to the five countries and to offer some practical advice to assist researchers in navigating this “uncharted territory,” as some termed it. Concerns around informed consent, data management, data dissemination, and validation of research contributions were cited frequently as particularly challenging areas, so the authors focused on these four topics with the goal of providing specific resources to consult as well as examples of successful projects attempting to solve many of the problems raised.

Keywords: Data sharing; Informed consent; Open science; Privacy of human subjects; Data repositorie

Alter GC and Vardigan M (2015) Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. Vol. 10(3) 317–323 DOI 10.1177/1556264615591561
Publisher (Free access): http://jre.sagepub.com/content/10/3/317
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281195278_Addressing_Global_Data_Sharing_Challenges

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