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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Scottish Government Social Research Ethics Guidance and Sensitivity checklist0

Posted by Admin in on September 10, 2016

Section A: Introduction

Welcome to the new and improved Ethics Guidance for Scottish Government Social Researchers. This guidance covers ethics issues for social researchers and includes details of how to fill out an ethics checklist, and the procedures for an ethics peer review. This is an amended version for external publication, as some of the original guidance refers to internal data storage/processing issues.

When to Use this guidance

scottish_sreThe Scottish Government expects that its researchers and social research contractors will follow the highest practical ethical standards in delivering research that is vital to the interests of the people of Scotland. It is mandatory for all research projects undertaken or Commissioned by Scottish Government Social Researchers. It does not replace other organisations mandatory procedures e.g. when working in the NHS. Researchers should also remain mindful of the many external ethical resources that are available to provide more advice on ethical issues when undertaking research. For example there is ethics guidance available from the following organisations (click icons for link)…”


Section A: Introduction 3
When to Use this guidance 3

Section B: Social Research Ethics Principles 4
The Principles 4
Principle 1: Sound application and conduct of social research methods and appropriate dissemination and utilisation of the findings 4
Principle 2: Participation based on valid informed consent 4
……Challenging issues for Consent 6
Principle 3: Enabling Participation 8
Principle 4: Avoidance of Personal harm 9
Principle 5 : Non-disclosure of identity and personal information 10

Section C: Scottish Government Standard Ethics Procedures 11
Ethical Sensitivity Checklist 12
Assessing Ethical Sensitivity 13
Sensitivity Rating and Sign off 14

Section D: Ethical Roles and Responsibilities of SG Researchers 15
Project Managers Ethical Responsibilities 15

Section E: The Procedure for Ethics Peer Review 16
Purpose 16
Membership of an Ethics Peer Review Group 17
Process 17

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Approval of the Resolution governing the ethics of research in social sciences, the humanities, and other disciplines that use methodologies characteristic of these areas: challenges and achievements (Iara Coelho Zito Guerriero 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on September 8, 2016


On April 6 2016, the National Board of Health (CNS) approved the Resolution governing the ethical specificities of research in social sciences and the humanities, as well as in other disciplines that use methodologies characteristic of these areas (SSH Resolution). This is the first Brazilian standard focused specifically on these areas. The text is waiting for approval from the Ministry of Health and publication in the Federal Daily Gazette (DOU).

Herein we present the Working Group in Social Sciences and the Humanities of the National Research Ethics Committee (SSH/CONEP WG), its working processes and the main progress and challenges of the SSH Resolution.

In July 2013, the National Research Ethics Committee (CONEP) organized a working group to draft the minutes of a resolution on the ethical specificities of research in social sciences and the humanities across its full range of diversity, yet keeping a focus on protecting the human rights of study participants. Creating the SSH/CONEP WG was the result of old claims on the part of CONEP members in Social and Human Sciences (SSH), and of researchers and scientific associations. This claim was also recently reiterated by the Forum on Human, Social and Applied Human Sciences. The initial result of this strong demand was recognition, in CNS Resolution 466/12, of the need to draft such a resolution…

Guerriero Iara Coelho Zito. (2016) Approval of the Resolution governing the ethics of research in social sciences, the humanities, and other disciplines that use methodologies characteristic of these areas: challenges and achievements. Ciênc. saúde coletiva. 21(8)  pp2619-2629 ISSN 1413-8123.
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Applications and secretariat workload at the University of the Witwatersrand Human Research Ethics Committee (Medical) 2002 – 2011: A case study (Papers: Peter Cleaton-Jones 2012)0

Posted by Admin in on September 6, 2016

To examine trends in the numbers of new applications for ethics clearance of health research and associated research ethics committee secretariat activity.

Data were obtained from research ethics committee secretariat databases with ethics approval.

General research applications increased from 440 in 2002 to 685 in 2011, all handled by one full-time staff member. This load is expected to increase by 250 per year for 2012, 2013 and 2014 before reaching a plateau. This new applications load per year is based on registered clinical postgraduates at the University of the Witwatersrand in a 4-year specialisation who must comply with the new Health Professions Council of South Africa requirement for completion of Master’s level research in order to register as a clinical specialist. Sponsored clinical trials have remained and should remain at approximately 100 per year but require three staff members to attend to this workload.

The increased workload is a serious challenge and has to be tackled first by increasing the administrative staff number.

Ethics screening of human research at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) began in October 1966 when John Hansen, head of the Department of Paediatrics, brought an important article in the June issue of the New England Journal of Medicine to the attention of the University authorities. In this article, Henry Beecher, Emeritus Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard University, had described instances of unethical research and recommended the establishment of committees to oversee the rights of those participating in research.1 Wits agreed to form a human research ethics committee, which has functioned ever since and is currently registered for all types of research including clinical trials.

The committee, based centrally in the Wits Research Office (WRO), was reorganised in 1998 when a secretariat for sponsored clinical trials was formed in the Wits Health Consortium Ethics Division (WHCED), a Section 21 company in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Both secretariats serve the same Human Research Ethics Committee (Medical) (HREC (Medical)).

The committee has 37 members of various disciplines, includes members from outside Wits, and meets on the last Friday of January through November. Member attendance at meetings varies from 12 to 27. The first part of the meeting deals with clinical trials through the WHCED followed by general research applications from WRO. If an application is submitted as required by the 7th of a month through either secretariat, it is discussed at the same month’s meeting January through November.

During 2011, there was an increase in complaints from applicants about delays before hearing the outcome of general research applications – this prompted the 10-year review of application numbers and workload at both secretariats reported in this article.

Cleaton-Jones P (2012) Applications and secretariat workload at the University of the Witwatersrand Human Research Ethics Committee (Medical) 2002 – 2011: A case study. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law. 5(1) pp38-44  ISSN 1999-7639
Publisher (Open access): 

Ethics Blog of the American Anthropological Association0

Posted by Admin in on September 4, 2016

“On a regular basis, we publish real-world cases that raise concrete ethical dilemmas and/or explore ethically challenging areas in the practice of anthropology. We also post news about innovative technologies, recent legislation, and current events that have ethical implications for the 21st century anthropologist. The blog keeps you up to date on the latest ethical developments in anthropology, related disciplines, and IRB land. On an occasional basis, we invite ethics experts to share their views with readers in self-authored guest posts or excerpts from an interview with the AAA Committee on Ethics Student Intern.

We aim to make this blog as interactive and useful as possible. If you have a case study or news to share or if you have a topic that you would like to see discussed, please contact us at Along with the blog posts, we offer a moderated comments section for insightful and respectful public discussion. Incriminating comments, spam, and remarks that the ethics committee deems disrespectful or inappropriate will not be posted.”

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