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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

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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Indigenous Data Sovereignty (Books: Edited by Tahu Kukutai and John Taylor | November 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on August 2, 2018

As the global ‘data revolution’ accelerates, how can the data rights and interests of indigenous peoples be secured? Premised on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, this book argues that indigenous peoples have inherent and inalienable rights relating to the collection, ownership and application of data about them, and about their lifeways and territories. As the first book to focus on indigenous data sovereignty, it asks: what does data sovereignty mean for indigenous peoples, and how is it being used in their pursuit of self-determination?

The varied group of mostly indigenous contributors theorise and conceptualise this fast-emerging field and present case studies that illustrate the challenges and opportunities involved. These range from indigenous communities grappling with issues of identity, governance and development, to national governments and NGOs seeking to formulate a response to indigenous demands for data ownership. While the book is focused on the CANZUS states of Canada, Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand and the United States, much of the content and discussion will be of interest and practical value to a broader global audience.

‘A debate-shaping book … it speaks to a fast-emerging field; it has a lot of important things to say; and the timing is right.’ 
— Stephen Cornell, Professor of Sociology and Faculty Chair of the Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona

‘The effort … in this book to theorise and conceptualise data sovereignty and its links to the realisation of the rights of indigenous peoples is pioneering and laudable.’ 
— Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Baguio City, Philippines

Kukutai, T and Taylor, J (2016) Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Toward an agenda. ANU Press.

Publisher (Free to download):

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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The Ethics of Research on Leaked Data: Ashley Madison – Discover (Neuroskeptic | July 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on July 22, 2018

A paper just published reports that Republicans are more likely to have used the adultery website Ashley Madison than Democrats, while Libertarians were even more likely to do so.

Institutional and national research ethics review arrangements often exempt data that is already on the public record. Are you local arrangements nuanced enough to treat hacked and leaked data differently? An observation about the Ashley Madison data, which has been made before, is that while it’s a huge set of international data set in an area where data is notoriously hard to collect (infidelity) it actually has numerous flaws that probably makes it useless. We’ve included links to nine related items.

That’s a claim that could ruffle some feathers, but the way in which the researchers conducted this study might be even more controversial. That’s because this paper is based on the 2015 Ashley Madison data leak, which exposed the personal data, including names and credit-card details, of millions of registered users.
For this study, the authors, Kodi B. Arfer and Jason J. Jones, took the leaked data and matched it up against voter registration records for five U.S. states. They considered a voter to be an active Ashley Madison user if they had ever paid money to the website. About 1 in 500 voters met these criteria.
Those voters registered as Libertarians were most likely to be active users, even controlling for age, gender and state. Registered Republicans came next and Democrats were least likely.

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