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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

What’s the Harm? The Coverage of Ethics and Harm Avoidance in Research Methods Textbooks (Books | Shane Dixon & Linda Quirke | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 18, 2018

Methods textbooks play a role in socializing a new generation of researchers about ethical research. How do undergraduate social research methods textbooks portray harm, its prevalence, and ways to mitigate harm to participants? We conducted a content analysis of ethics chapters in the 18 highest-selling undergraduate textbooks used in sociology research methods courses in the United States and Canada in 2013. We found that experiments are portrayed as the research design most likely to harm participants. Textbooks overwhelmingly referred to high-profile, well-known examples of harmful research. Chapters primarily characterize participants as at risk for psychological and physical harm. Textbooks engage in detailed discussions of how to avoid harm; informed consent figures prominently as an essential way to mitigate risk of harm. We conclude that textbooks promote a procedural rather than nuanced approach to ethics and that content in ethics chapters is out of step with scholarly research in research ethics.

ethics, research methods, textbooks, harm, participants

Shane, D. and Q. Linda (2017). “What’s the Harm? The Coverage of Ethics and Harm Avoidance in Research Methods Textbooks.” Teaching Sociology 46(1): 12-24.

Dropped manslaughter probe of former Karolinska surgeon Macchiarini to be reviewed – The Local SE (December 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 14, 2018

The Swedish Public Prosecution Authority is to re-examine manslaughter and related charges against former Karolinska surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, following a new appeal by plaintiffs.

The Public Prosecution Authority in Gothenburg will inspect four cases even though only two plaintiffs made an appeal.

In October, public prosecutor Jennie Nordin dropped the case following the conclusion that Macchiarini’s failed plastic trachea operations did not directly cause the death of three patients operated on at the Stockholm-based Karolinska University Hospital.

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Also see
(19/12/2017) – Dropped manslaughter probe of former Karolinska surgeon Macchiarini… – The Local SE
(29/09/2016) – Macchiarini scandal: overstepping the research ethics mark – Euroscientist
(01/09/2017) – Dr Con Man: the rise and fall of a celebrity scientist who fooled… – The Guardian


7 Things You Should Know About How Learning Data Impacts Privacy – ELI (Kent Wada, et al | May 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on January 11, 2018

Institutional programs and third-party vendors provide an expanding number of instructional tools and services that generate copious amounts of learning data. These data can be combined and shared to improve learning and increase student success, but these opportunities complicate the privacy landscape. Higher education may need new and perhaps more nuanced practices and policies concerning learning data usage and privacy. Although the answers are far from clear, institutions should initiate discussions and governance conversations if they haven’t already done so—the only real mistake is to do nothing.

The 7 Things You Should Know About… series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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Also see
The AHRECS resource booklets for SoTL research

Ethical issues concerning the recruitment of university students as research subjects (Papers: Albert F.G. Leentjens & James L. Levenson | 2013)0

Posted by Admin in on January 9, 2018

To discuss the ethical issues in the recruitment of university students as research subjects.

Narrative review and discussion.

The recruitment and inclusion of students in university research projects raise ethical issues specific to this population. Students may be required or coerced to participate, receive course credits for their participation, and their privacy may be violated. Some ethically questionable procedures are standard practice at some universities, and endorsed by their institutional review boards and faculties. Some changes will not be easy to achieve because this implies a change of organization of research and will affect funding and output.

The authors call for international standards to be set for research with students, that are in line with applicable standards in research with other subjects, such as medically ill patients, on which researchers, members of institutional review boards and editors can base their policies, opinions and decisions.

Ethics; Recruitment; University students

Leentjens, A. F., & Levenson, J. L. (2013). Ethical issues concerning the recruitment of university students as research subjects. Journal of psychosomatic research, 75(4), 394‐398.
Publisher (Open Access):

Also see:
The SoTL research ethics resource booklets produced by AHRECs