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

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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Reflections on ethical dilemmas in working with so-called ‘vulnerable’ and ‘hard-to-reach’ groups: experiences from the Foodways and Futures project (Papers: Karolina Gombert et al 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 27, 2016

Abstract: This article reflects on ethical limitations and dilemmas encountered during fieldwork of the Foodways and Futures project (2013–2016). Foodways and Futures is a qualitative action research project aimed at exploring the food choices of former homeless young people (aged 16–25) in Aberdeenshire. In Scotland, where over 13,000 young people become homeless every year, Foodways and Futures aims to address social injustices as well as the implications of malnutrition in young people. Four interrelated main themes surrounding ethics became apparent during fieldwork: issues of communication, trust, issues with consent forms and power relations. Reflecting on these themes makes it clear that ethical guidelines are not necessarily beneficial for researchers as well as participants, especially if they are part of so-called vulnerable groups.

Keywords: Ethics, vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, action research, young people, food choices, power, trust, consent forms

Gombert K, Douglas F, McArdle K & Carlisle S. Reflections on ethical dilemmas in working with so-called ‘vulnerable’ and ‘hard-to-reach’ groups: experiences from the Foodways and Futures project. Educational Action Research. DOI:10.1080/09650792.2015.1106958


Best Practices in Psychobiographical Research: Ethical Considerations and Publishing – Supplemental Materials (Papers: J. G. Ponterotto)0

Posted by Admin in on April 25, 2016

Abstract: The purpose of this brief report is to supplement the main article “Best Practices in Psychobiographical Research” with a brief discussion on ethics in psychobiographical research and on the process of publishing psychobiographies. Two ethics best practices discussed are 1) Multidisciplinary Knowledge of Ethical Research Practice, which includes coverage of Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, informed consent, and highly personal, previously unknown information in the psychobiographical report; and 2) Psychobiographer as Ethical Decision-Maker, which presents a six-step ethical decision-making model to guide researchers. Finally, this Supplemental Report closes with suggestions for publishing one’s psychobiographical report in both journal and book form.

Keywords: psychobiography, ethics, qualitative research, publishing psychobiography

Ponterotto JG (2014) Best Practices in Psychobiographical Research: Ethical Considerations and Publishing. Qualitative Psychology, 1(1), pp77-90.
Supplementary notes

Ethics assessment in different fields: Social sciences (SATORI Deliverable 1.1)0

Posted by Admin in on April 23, 2016

Excerpt: This report on ethical assessment of research and innovation in social sciences is a part of a comparative study across scientific fields and disciplines within a wider analysis of EU and
international practices of ethical assessment, made by the SATORI project. Ethical assessment in this analysis covers any kind of review or evaluation of research and innovation based on ethical principles. The report will focus on academic traditions of ethics assessment in the field, various types of (national and international) organisations involved in assessment and relevant legislation.

Social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that take human society as the object of their study, attempting to understand human behaviour, relationships and institutions within
society. Traditionally, the group includes sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, law and political science, although there is no outright consensus on which disciplines should
be included. A large number of subfields have and keep emerging, including human geography, cultural studies, business studies, communication studies, development studies, criminology, etc.

A wide range of ethical issues is discussed in the social sciences. Informed consent, confidentiality, avoiding harm, doing good, relations to peers and research integrity are all part of standard ethical guidelines in many of its disciplines. Even though this list may seem similar to issues in other scientific fields, especially in biomedicine, it is important to acknowledge that the nature and methodologies of social science research imply different kinds of ethical risks, especially concerning research participants. Potential for harm resides less in health and injury risks and rather in psychological distress and the danger of stigmatisation if sensitive private information is disclosed. Social scientists often emphasise the need to reflect the proper nature of these risks in ethical assessment protocols.

Gurzawska, A., & R. Benčin, “Ethics assessment in different fields: Social sciences”, Annex 2.d, Ethical Assessment of Research and Innovation: A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Institutions in the EU and selected other countries, SATORI Deliverable 1.1, June 2015.

Stakeholders Acting Together On the ­ethical impact assessment of ­Research and Innovation (SATORI 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 20, 2016

“SATORI aims to develop a common European framework for ethical assessment of research and innovation

SATORI is a platform for the consolidation and advancement of ethical assessment in research and innovation. The 4-year project aims to develop a common framework of ethical principles and practical approaches so as to strengthen shared understandings among actors involved in the design and implementation of research ethics.

To achieve this aim, the project will gather private and public stakeholders from Europe and beyond in an intensive 4-year process of research and dialogue. Ultimately, the project seeks to establish a permanent platform around the framework to secure ongoing learning and attunement among stakeholders in ethical assessment.”

Click here to go to the SATORI web site