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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

“Science advances incrementally:” Researchers who debunked gay canvassing study move field forward – Interview by Retraction Watch ( Alison McCook2016)0

Posted by Admin in on April 16, 2016

Excerpt: How easy is it to change people’s minds? In 2014, a Science study suggested that a short conversation could have a lasting impact on people’s opinions about gay marriage – but left readers disappointed when it was retracted only months later, after the first author admitted to falsifying some of the details of the study, including data collection. We found out about the problems with the paper thanks to Joshua Kalla at the University of California, Berkeley and David Broockman at Stanford University, who tried to repeat the remarkable findings. Last week, Kalla and Broockman published a Science paper suggesting what the 2014 paper showed was, in fact, correct – they found that 10-minute conversations about the struggles facing transgender people reduced prejudices against them for months afterwards. We spoke with Kalla and Broockman about the remarkable results from their paper, and the shadow of the earlier retraction.

Retraction Watch: Let’s start with your latest paper. You found that when hundreds of people had a short (average of 10 minutes) face-to-face conversation with a canvasser (some of whom were transgender), they showed more acceptance of transgender people three months later than people with the same level of “transphobia” who’d talked to the canvasser about recycling. Were you surprised by this result, given that a similar finding from Michael LaCour and Donald Green, with same-sex marriage, had been retracted last year?

Joshua Kalla and David Broockman: When Science retracted that study, it did not disprove the original hypothesis that high-quality, two-way canvass conversations about same-sex marriage could change attitudes. Retracting the study simply meant the hypothesis was unproven. With that said, it’s also important to note that that study (and our study) are not the only studies of canvassing — there’s a lot of work that’s been done on this general topic for over a decade that finds high-quality conversations can have large effects (see more below). So we had an open mind about the potential for these very in-depth conversations to have meaningful impacts on prejudice outcomes. At the same time, we also know many great ideas don’t end up working, so we weren’t sure exactly what to expect (see below). That’s why we have data!

Click here to read the full interview
About the previous retracted paper

E-recruitment based clinical research: notes for Research Ethics Committees/Institutional Review Boards (Papers: Pietro Refolo et al 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 11, 2016

Abstract: Patient recruitment is a critical point of today’s clinical research. Several proposals have been made for improving it, but the effectiveness of these measures is actually uncertain. The use of Internet (e-recruitment) could represent a great chance to improve patient enrolment, even though the effectiveness of this implementation is not so evident. E-recruitment could bring some advantages, such as better interaction between clinical research demand and clinical research supply, time and resources optimization, and reduction of data entry errors. It raises some issues too, such as sampling errors, validity of informed consent, and protection of privacy. Research Ethics Committees/Institutional Review Boards should consider these critical points. The paper deals with Internet recruitment for clinical research. It also attempts to provide Research Ethics Committees/Institutional Review Boards with notes for assessing e-recruitment based clinical protocols.

Refolo P, Sacchini D, Minacori, Dalosio V and Spagnolo A G (2015) E-recruitment based clinical research: notes for Research Ethics Committees/Institutional Review Boards. European Review for Medical & Pharmacological Sciences. Vol. 19 Issue 5, pp800-804
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Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges (Papers: George C. Alter Mary Vardigan 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 7, 2016

Abstract: This issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics highlights the ethical issues that arise when researchers conducting projects in low- and middle-income countries seek to share the data they produce. Although sharing data is considered a best practice, the barriers to doing so are considerable and there is a need for guidance and examples. To that end, the authors of this article reviewed the articles in this special issue to identify challenges common to the five countries and to offer some practical advice to assist researchers in navigating this “uncharted territory,” as some termed it. Concerns around informed consent, data management, data dissemination, and validation of research contributions were cited frequently as particularly challenging areas, so the authors focused on these four topics with the goal of providing specific resources to consult as well as examples of successful projects attempting to solve many of the problems raised.

Keywords: Data sharing; Informed consent; Open science; Privacy of human subjects; Data repositorie

Alter GC and Vardigan M (2015) Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. Vol. 10(3) 317–323 DOI 10.1177/1556264615591561
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From research integrity to researcher integrity: issues of conduct, competence and commitment (Papers: Sarah Jane Banks 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on April 6, 2016

Paper presented at Academy of Social Sciences and British Sociological Association event, Virtue Ethics in the Practice and Review of Social Science Research, London, 1st May 2015

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the concept of researcher integrity in the context of the rapidly growing concern with research integrity. I will explore researcher integrity as a complex quality of character or ‘virtue’, which has a focus on the motivations and commitments of the researcher as a practitioner in the research community. This contrasts with the common focus on research integrity, which usually considers the integrity of the research practice – although clearly the integrity of the researcher and of the research organisation influence the conduct of research. I will discuss what is meant by researcher integrity, including weak and strong versions of the concept (conduct according to extant standards, versus reflexive commitment to ideals of what research should be at its best), and how character-based approaches to ethics complement and extend conduct-focussed, regulatory approaches. Whilst the concept of ‘character’ is disputed, and there are critiques of ‘character-building’ education programmes, there are also equally valid challenges to regulatory, conduct-focussed approaches to ethics.

Banks S J (2015) From research integrity to researcher integrity: issues of conduct, competence and commitment. In: Virtue Ethics in the Practice and Review of Social Science Research, May 1, 2015, BSA meeting rooms, London SW6 2PY.
Conference page:…