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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Call for better ethical standards in social media research – Research (Jane Bainbridge 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on November 22, 2015

Interesting report from the UK discussing the research use of social media, other personal information and metadata.

UK — Ipsos MORI and Demos have released a report urging an improvement in the ethical standards of social media research, amid public concern about how researchers are using social media data.

“A new report #SocialEthics found low public awareness that information on social media can be mined for research compared with other uses of social media data such as to target advertising. So while just 38% of the public are aware their social media posts are potentially being analysed for research projects, 57% are aware of it being used for ad targeting and 54% that it can be used to personalise the content they see on that network.

“Last year the Samaritans pulled its Radar app, which was designed to detect when people on Twitter appeared to be suicidal by analysing accounts for phrases such as ‘tired of being alone’, ‘depressed’ and ‘need someone to talk to’, after criticism including that it hadn’t taken into account people’s privacy sufficiently.”

The Research news item (…/call-for-bet…/4014180.article) includes a link to the report.

Access a copy of the news report
Download a PDF copy of the IPSOS MORI report

More Time on Transparency: Political scientists debate standards adopted by leading publications – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on November 19, 2015

“Last fall, 27 political science journal editors signed on to a new Data Access and Research Transparency Guidelines (DA-RT)statement promoting openness in academic research. The guidelines would require authors to make available much more of the raw data and methodologies used to analyze that data than would typically appear in many journal articles. And the past year has seen various research scandals and other news that arguably bolster the case for increased transparency in the social sciences. But now, just two months before the new openness guidelines are supposed to take effect, more than 1,000 political scientists are expressing serious doubts about them.

“We write as concerned members of the American Political Science Association to urge an important amendment to the statement ‘Data Access and Research Transparency (DA-RT): A Joint Statement by Political Science Journal Editors,’” reads a circulating petition signed by about 1,200 scholars as of Friday. Among them are 10 former presidents of the political science association.” (2015). More Time on Transparency: Political scientists debate standards adopted by leading publications | InsideHigherEd. Retrieved 20 November 2015, from

Reform of Clinical Research Regulations, Finally (PAPERS: E. J. Emanuel, M.D. 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on November 18, 2015

“In 1972, Jean Heller of the Associated Press reported on a 40-year-old research study that had followed black Alabama sharecroppers, some of whom had syphilis. The revelation of deception, withholding of appropriate treatment, and other unethical practices exploded into the Tuskegee scandal. Tuskegee led to the National Research Act of 1974, which authorized the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]) to augment government policies for protecting human research subjects.1 The protections, ultimately codified as 45 Code of Federal Regulations 46 (45 CFR 46), specify requirements for valid institutional review board (IRB) assessment of most human-subjects research and informed consent by research participants.2

In the decade after 1974, specific safeguards were added for pregnant women, fetuses, neonates, children, and prisoners. For instance, research involving prisoners, such as commonly conducted early-phase drug studies, was severely restricted; only research on “possible causes, effects, and processes of incarceration, and of criminal behavior, prisoners as incarcerated persons, [and] . . . conditions particularly affecting prisoners as a class” was permitted. In 1991, many other (though not all) federal departments and agencies adopted the main part of 45 CFR 46 for their human-subjects research, which became known as the Common Rule.”

Emanuel, E. J. (2015). Reform of Clinical Research Regulations, Finally. New England Journal of Medicine.
Retrieved from

What are Qualitative Research Ethics? (Books: R Wiles, 2013)0

Posted by Admin in on November 14, 2015

“There has been an increasing interest in research ethics over the last decade given the increasing ethical regulation of social research. ‘Ethical literacy’ encourages researchers to understand and engage with the ethical issues that emerge in the process of research. This book provides a short, succinct and accessible overview of the field, highlighting the key issues and everyday ethical dilemmas that researchers are likely to face in different contexts. Covering a range of methods, the book provides clear guidance for researchers on how to identify an approach that fits with their moral and intellectual framework. It explores ethical issues relating to ‘traditional’ research methods as well as to new and emerging methods and approaches – particularly visual and online methods.

Illustrated throughout with real-world examples, this book also includes an annotated bibliography of key texts and other helpful resources. What are Qualitative Research Ethics? will be a vital resource for social science researchers across a range of disciplines.”

Wiles, R. (2013). What are Qualitative Research Ethics? (The ‘What is?’ Research Methods Series). London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved November 14, 2015, from
(Available free – Open Access)