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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The ethics of New Development Economics: is the Experimental Approach to Development Economics morally wrong? (Papers: Stéphane J. Baele)0

Posted by Admin in on May 21, 2019
 

Abstract:
The 2000s have witnessed the arrival and growing popularity of randomized controlled experiments (RCTs) in Development Economics. Whilst this new way of conducting research on development has unfolded important insights, the ethical challenge it provokes has not yet been systematically examined. The present article aims at filling this gap by providing the first ad hoc discussion of the moral issues that accompany the use of RCTs in Development Economics. Claiming that this new research agenda needs its own, specific set of ethical guidelines, we expose the six ethical problems that these experiments potentially provoke and that should therefore be carefully assessed by ethics committees before an RCT is launched and by scholarly journals before its results are published.

Keywords:
Development Economics, ethics, RCTs, experiments

Baele, Stéphane J. (2013) ‘The ethics of New Development Economics: is the Experimental Approach to Development Economics morally wrong?’, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, VII:1
Publisher (Open Access): https://jpe.ro/?id=revista&p=291&cuprins=vizibil

Australian Mental Health Consumer and Carer Perspectives on Ethics in Adult Mental Health Research (Papers: Alyssa R. Morse, et al | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 5, 2019
 

Abstract
Barriers to research arise when national ethical guidelines governing the inclusion of consumers in mental health research are implemented at the local level. Equivalent guidelines for research involving carers are not available. A social science investigation of Australian mental health consumer and carer perspectives on research ethics procedures was conducted in two interlinked stages: (a) a discussion forum with consumers, carers, and lived-experience researchers and (b) in-depth interviews with consumers and carers. Data collection and analysis drew strongly on methodological features of grounded theory. Privacy, confidentiality, and stigmatizing ethics procedures were key issues for consumer and carer participants. Recommendations for research practice include the following: considering the impact of information sharing on participants’ relationships and adopting individual-focused approaches to managing research risks.

Keywords:
caregiver; carer involvement; consumer involvement; mental health; research ethics; service user

Morse, A. R., Forbes, O., Jones, B. A., Gulliver, A., & Banfield, M. (2019). Australian Mental Health Consumer and Carer Perspectives on Ethics in Adult Mental Health Research. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1177/1556264619844396
Publisher: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1556264619844396

(US) Safeguards for human studies can’t cope with big data – Nature (Nathaniel Raymond | April 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 19, 2019
 

Forty years on from a foundational report on how to protect people participating in research, cracks are showing, warns Nathaniel Raymond.

One of the primary documents aiming to protect human research participants was published in the US Federal Register 40 years ago this week. The Belmont Report was commissioned by Congress in the wake of the notorious Tuskegee syphilis study, in which researchers withheld treatment from African American men for years and observed how the disease caused blindness, heart disease, dementia and, in some cases, death.

This item obviously relates very specifically to the origins of the US human research ethics arrangements and the operation of IRBs, but the questions it poses are salient to Australasia.  The oft repeated statement: “But the information is already published and so is in the public domain and so is exempt”.  Is no longer helpful. We have provided a list of related items.

The Belmont Report lays out core principles now generally required for human research to be considered ethical. Although technically governing only US federally supported research, its influence reverberates across academia and industry globally. Before academics with US government funding can begin research involving humans, their institutional review boards (IRBs) must determine that the studies comply with regulation largely derived from a document that was written more than a decade before the World Wide Web and nearly a quarter of a century before Facebook.
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It is past time for a Belmont 2.0. We should not be asking those tasked with protecting human participants to single-handedly identify and contend with the implications of the digital revolution. Technological progress, including machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence, has altered the potential risks of research in ways that the authors of the first Belmont report could not have predicted. For example, Muslim cab drivers can be identified from patterns indicating that they stop to pray; the Ugandan government can try to identify gay men from their social-media habits; and researchers can monitor and influence individuals’ behaviour online without enrolling them in a study.
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Read the rest of this discussion piece

The Ethics of Learning Analytics in Australian Higher Education. A Discussion Paper (The University of Melbourne | March 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on April 11, 2019
 

Overview

This project brought together learning analytics experts from across Australia to explore key ethical issues relating to the development and use of learning analytics in higher education. The result of these discussions was a discussion paper that provides an outline of seven ethical principles as well as practical considerations associated with the use of learning analytics.

Objective

The ever-increasing availability of data about student activities in educational environments presents many opportunities for the improvement of learning and teaching through the use of learning analytics. In applying analytics, there is an obligation that educators and institutions ensure that data and analysis techniques are used appropriately. The range of ethical considerations that educational institutions must face is complex, and many institutions are still formulating their approach to ensuring ethical practice in this field.

The objective of this project was to draw together contemporary research and current practice in the area of ethics and learning analytics, and use this to produce a discussion paper that provides guidance to a range of higher education stakeholders including students, educators, researchers, and senior leaders.

Corrin, L., Kennedy, G., French, S., Buckingham Shum S., Kitto, K., Pardo, A., West, D., Mirriahi, N., & Colvin, C. (2019). The Ethics of Learning Analytics in Australian Higher Education. A Discussion Paper. https://melbourne-cshe.unimelb.edu.au/research/research-projects/edutech/the-ethical-use-of-learning-analytics

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