ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

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

The Ethics Application Repository0

Posted by Admin in on June 13, 2015


TEAR is an open-access, online repository of exemplary ethics applications using open source software (D-Space). It’s available to anyone to use – novice researchers, researchers exploring new methodologies and IRB members wanting to do the same. As it grows, we expect that researchers exploring ethical practice will also find it interesting as a source information.

The founders of TEAR believe that by sharing exemplary ethics applications, knowledge sharing occurs. This is something readily acknowledged and supported within disciplines generally, but overlooked when considering ethical practice specifically, as part of a researchers expertise and skills.  TEAR sets out from the premise that there is value in reading well put together applications of others and being able to see examples of safe and good ethical practice in a variety of situations.  Current entries in the archive cover a range of research settings from those with challenging contexts (such as illegal or unsafe behavior) to those with tricky relationships (within family auto-ethnographies). By providing these examples, researchers are able to explore how others have addressed various issues within their research and consider how to apply them to their own setting. 

TEAR is a relatively new initiative and as such has relatively small number of collections and items, but this collection packs some outstanding examples of ethical thinking for Photovoice projects, educational research, research with vulnerable populations, etc. TEAR is currently in a period of transition having been adopted by Oxford University and the UK’s Social Research Association.  As it moves to this new setting, it is expected that new collections and the size of collections themselves will grow adding more depth and breadth to the collection.

TEAR provides a unique and valuable resource to those applying for ethics and exploring ethical practice within a philosophical framework that supports knowledge and resource sharing.

For more information see: