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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

National Human Research Ethics: A Preliminary Comparative Case Study of Germany, Great Britain, Romania and Sweden (Papers: Bernard Gallagher et al 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on January 20, 2016

Abstract: Although international research is increasing in volume and importance, there remains a dearth of knowledge on similarities and differences in “national human research ethics” (NHREs), that is, national ethical guidelines (NEGs), Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), and research stakeholder’ ethical attitudes and behaviors (EABs). We begin to address this situation by reporting upon our experiences in conducting a multinational study into the mental health of children who had a parent/carer in prison. The study was conducted in 4 countries: Germany, Great Britain, Romania, and Sweden. Data on NHREs were gathered via a questionnaire survey, two ethics-related seminars, and ongoing contact between members of the research consortium. There was correspondence but even more so divergence between countries in the availability of NEGs and IRBs and in researcher’ EABs. Differences in NHREs have implications particularly in terms of harmonization but also for ethical philosophy and practice and for research integrity.

Bernard Gallagher · Anne H. Berman · Justyna Bieganski · Adele D. Jones · Liliana Foca · Ben Raikes · Johanna Schiratzki ·Mirjam Urban · Sara Ullman (2015) National Human Research Ethics: A Preliminary Comparative Case Study of Germany, Great Britain, Romania and Sweden Nov 2015 · Ethics & Behavior
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How does voluntary ethics improve research?: introducing a community research development initiative (Papers: Flanagan, Tumilty 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on January 19, 2016

Abstract: Until recently, community organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) have not had any avenue for ethical review of research involving human participants unless they were connected to researchers involved with health and disability research (narrowly-defined), or tertiary education institutions. The New Zealand Ethics Committee (NZEC), a recent community research development initiative, has invited organisations to submit their proposals for voluntary ethics review and provides research methodology support where sought. This paper introduces this initiative, describing both its make-up and processes. It also explores the relationship between reviewer-applicant in the NZEC as distinctive to the relationship of reviewer-applicant in traditional ethical review settings, explaining this difference of power relations and philosophy. Those in the community see research ethics review as something to be learned along with research methodology/practice.

Flanagan, P. and Tumilty, E. (2015) How does voluntary ethics improve research? Introducing a community research development initiative, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 1(2), 14-23

Credit where it’s due – Campus Review (Brian Martin 1997)0

Posted by Admin in on January 14, 2016

“Getting appropriate credit for one’s work sometimes can be a difficult, drawn-out affair. This has special significance for junior or marginal researchers, such as PhD students, research assistants and junior research fellows.

In 1943, Albert Schatz was a young PhD student consumed with finding a drug that could be used against the deadly disease tuberculosis. He discovered the antibiotic streptomycin and was first author of publications reporting it. The head of the lab where Schatz worked, Selman Waksman, then began to take more of the credit, highlighting his own role to reporters while not mentioning that Schatz was in the same building. Schatz and Waksman jointly signed the patent for streptomycin. Schatz found out a few years later that Waksman had a secret agreement to provide information to a pharmaceutical company and was receiving large royalties from the patent. Schatz sued and was declared co-discoverer with a small share of the royalties. Waksman’s self-promotion paid off not just in money but also in scientific fame when he–but not Schatz–received the 1952 Nobel Prize for medicine. It turned out that the Nobel committee had never heard of Schatz. Only in the past decade have historians begun recognising his role.[1]

In day-to-day research the stakes are seldom as high as this, but the passions aroused by claims over credit are just as acute. Credit is, after all, the basis for getting recognition, jobs, promotions and awards.”

Brian Martin. Academic credit where it’s due. Campus Review, Vol. 7, No. 21, 4-10 June 1997, p. 11.

Exploring ethical issues associated with using online surveys in educational research (Papers: Roberts and Allen 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on January 10, 2016

Abstract: Online surveys are increasingly used in educational research, yet little attention has focused on ethical issues associated with their use in educational settings. Here, we draw on the broader literature to discuss 5 key ethical issues in the context of educational survey research: dual teacher/researcher roles; informed consent; use of incentives; privacy, anonymity, and confidentiality; and data quality. We illustrate methods of addressing these issues with our experiences conducing online surveys in educational contexts. Moving beyond the procedural ethics approach commonly adopted in quantitative educational research, we recommend adopting a situated/process ethics approach to identify and respond to ethical issues that may arise during the conduct, analysis, and reporting of online survey research. The benefits of online surveying in comparison to traditional survey methods are highlighted, including the potential for online surveys to provide ethically defensible methods of conducting research that would not be feasible in offline education research settings.

Roberts L D, and Allen P J (2015) Exploring ethical issues associated with using online surveys in educational research. Educational Research and Evaluation 21 (2): 95-108.

(Additional reading list item from the updated Booklet 37 of the Griffith University Research Ethics Manual. Perpetual licences are available for use by all researchers within an institution. Institutions have used the GUREM as the basis for producing their own research ethics manual, as a professional development resource and a teaching and learning materials for HDR candidates.)