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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Te Ara Tika. Guidelines for Māori research ethics: A framework for researchers and ethics committee members (Guidance and Resource Material | 2010)0

Posted by Admin in on November 16, 2016

This document outlines a framework for addressing Māori ethical issues within the context of decision-making by ethics committee members. It draws on a foundation of tikanga Māori (Māori protocols and practices) and will be useful for researchers, ethics committee members and those who engage in consultation or advice about Māori ethical issues from a local, regional, national or international perspective.

Research contributes to the broader development objectives of society. Ethics has a specific role in guiding key behaviours, processes and methodologies used in research. International codes of ethics such as the Nuremburg Code (1947)2, the Helsinki Declaration (1964)3, the Belmont Report (1979)4 and, more recently, the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005)5 shape the changing ethical standards and professional expectations for researchers.

These codes have often been developed in response to examples of research that resulted in adverse outcomes and/or experiences for participants and their communities. Despite formal processes and codes of ethics there is ongoing evidence of unethical research practice which highlights the importance of the researcher’s own credibility, trust, honesty and integrity vis-à-vis6 the research project and participants.

Table of Contents
Background to the guidelines and the framework
Whakapapa – He aha te whakapapa o tēnei kaupapa?
Tika – Me pehea e tika ai tēnei kaupapa?
Manaakitanga – Mā wai e manaaki tēnei kaupapa?
Mana – Kei a wai te mana mō tēnei kaupapa?
Glossary of Māori terms
Appendix A: Timeline of developments in Māori research ethics
Appendix B: Māori Ethical Frameworks
Appendix C: Characteristics of Māori research

Hudson M, Milne M, Reynolds P, Russell K and Smith B (2010) Te Ara Tika. Guidelines for Māori research ethics: A framework for researchers and ethics committee members. Final Draft. Available at:

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Trust, Access and Sensitive Boundaries Between ‘Public’ and ‘Private’: A Returning Insider’s Experience of Research in Bulgaria (Papers: Milena I. Kremakova, 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on November 13, 2016

The article argues that social researchers need a critical, locally situated and historically informed understanding of the categories of ‘public’ and ‘private’, in particular when carrying out research in post-socialist Eastern Europe. Drawing on an ethnographic study of the working lives of Bulgarian maritime workers, the article discusses a range of ethical fieldwork dilemmas encountered while negotiating field access, maintaining relations with gatekeepers, recruiting participants, establishing rapport, interviewing, gaining access to documentary evidence and exiting the field. The analysis focuses on the conceptual and practical boundaries between the ‘public’ and the ‘private’ and highlights the entanglement of the public and private spheres. The notion of ‘returning insider’ is developed and the implications of the returning insider’s positionality are discussed in Bulgarian post-socialist context.

Keywords: Bulgaria, Eastern Europe, Ethnography, Maritime Labour, Post-Socialist, Research Ethics, ‘returning Insider’

Kremakova MI  (2014) Trust, Access and Sensitive Boundaries Between ‘Public’ and ‘Private’: A Returning Insider’s Experience of Research in Bulgaria. Sociological Research Online, 19(4). Article number 12. ISSN 1360-7804

Peer review: the benefits of leaving it open – Biomed Central Blog (Francesca Martin: September 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 11, 2016

In this podcast, we talk to Professor Ian Cree, section editor for BMC Cancer, about open peer review and recognition for those participating in it.

Not all reviewers hide behind a cloak of anonymity. If given the chance, many choose to be highly critical and not always kind. With open peer review, reviewers tend to be more respectful and constructive when passing judgement which helps the overall situation.

Professor Cree believes that it’s important to treat authors with respect as you would if they were presenting data in front of you at a scientific meeting. Constructive criticism encourages authors to take on board productive comments and improve their work accordingly.

Access the podcast

Seeking consent for research with indigenous communities: a systematic review (Papers: Emily F. M. Fitzpatrick, et al 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on November 8, 2016


When conducting research with Indigenous populations consent should be sought from both individual participants and the local community. We aimed to search and summarise the literature about methods for seeking consent for research with Indigenous populations.

A systematic literature search was conducted for articles that describe or evaluate the process of seeking informed consent for research with Indigenous participants. Guidelines for ethical research and for seeking consent with Indigenous people are also included in our review.

With thanks to Shara Close (CDU) for letting us know about this great paper

Of 1447 articles found 1391 were excluded (duplicates, irrelevant, not in English); 56 were relevant and included. Articles were categorised into original research that evaluated the consent process (n = 5) or publications detailing the process of seeking consent (n = 13) and guidelines for ethical research (n = 38). Guidelines were categorised into international (n = 8); national (n = 20) and state/regional/local guidelines (n = 10). In five studies based in Australia, Canada and The United States of America the consent process with Indigenous people was objectively evaluated. In 13 other studies interpreters, voice recording, videos, pictures, flipcharts and “plain language” forms were used to assist in seeking consent but these processes were not evaluated. Some Indigenous organisations provide examples of community-designed resources for seeking consent and describe methods of community engagement, but none are evaluated. International, national and local ethical guidelines stress the importance of upholding Indigenous values but fail to specify methods for engaging communities or obtaining individual consent. In the ‘Grey literature’ concerns about the consent process are identified but no solutions are offered.

Consultation with Indigenous communities is needed to determine how consent should be sought from the community and the individual, and how to evaluate this process.


Ethics Informed consent Research Indigenous Aboriginal Oceanic ancestry group

Fitzpatrick EFM, Martiniuk ALC, D’Antoine H, Oscar J, Carter M and Elliott EJ (2016) Seeking consent for research with indigenous communities: a systematic review. BMC Medical Ethics 17:65 DOI 10.1186/s12910-016-0139-8
(Publisher open access):