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Qualitative Research Ethics in the Big Data Era (Papers: Arielle Hesse, et al | 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on November 11, 2018
 

Abstract
This article examines the developments that have motivated this special issue on Qualitative Research Ethics in the Big Data Era. The article offers a broad overview of many pressing challenges and opportunities that the Big Data era raises particularly for qualitative research. Big Data has introduced to the social sciences new data sources, new research methods, new researchers, and new forms of data storage that have immediate and potential effects on the ethics and practice of qualitative research. Drawing from a literature review and insights gathered at a National Science Foundation-funded workshop in 2016, we present five principles for qualitative researchers and their institutions to consider in navigating these emerging research landscapes. These principles include (a) valuing methodological diversity; (b) encouraging research that accounts for and retains context, specificity, and marginalized and overlooked populations; (c) pushing beyond legal concerns to address often messy ethical dilemmas; (d) attending to regional and disciplinary differences; and (e) considering the entire lifecycle of research, including the data afterlife in archives or in open-data facilities.

Keywords Big Data, qualitative research, research ethics

Hesse, A., Glenna, L., Hinrichs, C., Chiles, R., & Sachs, C. (2018). Qualitative Research Ethics in the Big Data Era. American Behavioral Scientist. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764218805806

The ‘problem’ of undesigned relationality: Ethnographic fieldwork, dual roles and research ethics (Papers: Kirsten Bell | 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 28, 2018
 

Abstract

This October 2018 paper reflects on an area of research which continues to be a source of tension between at least some researchers* and research ethics reviewers: Is it a problem, or an advantage or in fact sometimes a necessity that there be an existing connection between participant and researcher. *Especially for ethnographers and anthropologists who might feel they are being held to a biomedical standard that is irrelevant and useless for their work. We have included links to a trove of related items in the Resource Library.

Perhaps the most unique feature of ethnographic fieldwork is the distinctive form of relationality it entails, where the ethnographer’s identity as a researcher is not fixed in the way typical of most other forms of research. In this paper, I explore how this ‘undesigned relationality’ is understood, both in procedural ethics frameworks and by the different disciplines that have come to claim a stake in the ‘method’ itself. Demonstrating that the ethical issues it entails are primarily conceptualized via the lens of the ‘dual role’, I use this as a means of exploring the ideal relationship between researcher and subject that procedural ethics frameworks are premised upon. I go on to explore the epistemological differences in ways that ethnographers themselves understand and respond to the multiple forms of relationality that characterize fieldwork and the challenge this poses to the possibility of a pan-disciplinary consensus on ethnographic research ethics.
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Keywords
ethnography, research ethics, dual roles, disciplinarity, relationality
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Bell, K. (2018). The ‘problem’ of undesigned relationality: Ethnographic fieldwork, dual roles and research ethics. Ethnography. https://doi.org/10.1177/1466138118807236

Research with former refugees: Moving towards an ethics in practice (Nisha Thapliyal and Sally Baker | September 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 14, 2018
 

Abstract:
Research into issues relating to people from refugee backgrounds has proliferated in line with the explosion in the numbers of people seeking refuge globally. In this think piece, we reflect on what it means to research with former refugees in contexts of resettlement in an academic and social climate dominated by audit culture and austerity politics. Drawing on an interdisciplinary literature and existing institutional ethics standards, we discuss key, often unaddressed, ethical issues which manifest throughout research processes of recruitment, data collection and dissemination. Specifically, we problematise static and decontextualised approaches to engaging with issues of vulnerability, fair selection, informed consent and the burdens and benefits of participation, and point towards the benefits of taking an ethics in practice approach. In doing so, we hope to make a useful contribution to our collective strategic repertoires to carry out ethical research in practice with former refugees.

Thapliyal, Nisha and Baker, Sally. (2018) Research with former refugees: Moving towards an ethics in practice [online]. The Australian Universities’ Review, Vol. 60, No. 2, Sep 2018: 49-56. ISSN: 0818-8068
https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=818725514655109;res=IELHSS 

Clinical Trials – More Blinding, Less Worry! – Statistically Funny (Hilda Bastian | August 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on October 11, 2018
 

She’s right to be worried! There are so many possible cracks that bias can seep through, nudging clinical trial results off course. Some of the biggest come from people knowing which comparison group a participant will be, or has been, in. Allocation concealment and blinding are strategies to reduce this risk.

Blinding and randomisation are often held up as best practice for clinical trials, but the reality is a lot less certain than many people realise and the ethical challenges aren’t trivial. We’ve included links to a long list of items reflecting on the ethics of trials.

Before we get to that, let’s look at the source of the problems we’re aiming at here: people! They bring subjectivity to the mix, even if they are committed to the trial – and not everyone who plays a role will be supportive, anyway. On top of that, randomizing people – leaving their fate to pure chance – can be the rational and absolutely vital thing to do. But it’s also “anathema to the human spirit”, so it can be awfully hard to play totally by the rules.
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And we’re counting on a lot of people here, aren’t we? There are the ones who enter an individual into one of the comparison groups in the trial. There are those individual participants themselves, and the ones dealing with them during the trial – healthcare practitioners who treat them, for example. And then there are the people measuring outcomes – like looking at an x-ray and deciding if it’s showing improvement or not.
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Read the rest of this discussion piece

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