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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Friday afternoon’s funny – Data Food Chain0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2019
 

Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com

To extend the metaphor into unsavoury territory one can only imagine the images for data archiver, the output publisher/editor, peer reviewers and readers.  And an auditor… Ewww On that pleasant note, have a great weekend!

Thinking about ethics in Burma research (Papers: Lisa Brooten & Rosalie Metro | 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on May 28, 2019
 

Burma’s colonial past, its years under military dictatorship, its ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts, and the current shifts in the political landscape all present unique challenges for researchers seeking to behave ethically with their informants, their institutions, each other, and the public sphere. The recent upsurge of interest in Burma presents an opportunity for scholars who study the country to reflect on the ethical dilemmas they have confronted and to articulate how they have addressed them. It is our hope that this effort can help those who specialize in Burma to consider the norms and divergences that exist within our inter-disciplinary scholarly community, and can aid those new to Burma Studies in navigating their research in a more informed manner. In light of the need for such a conversation, The Journal of Burma Studies agreed to publish this special issue.

For some human research designs, (sub)disciplines and methodologies matter.  Contextual factors, privacy and risk, as well as potential vulnerabilities can be entirely different and a peril for unprepared.   This thought-provoking paper is a discussion about ethical research in  Burma. We have included links to four other items about research in dangerous contexts.

The inspiration for this issue came from a panel discussion Rose organized at the 2012 Burma Studies Conference in DeKalb, Illinois, USA. Elliott Prasse-Freeman and Patrick McCormick both presented earlier versions of the essays included here, and Rose described her difficulties with using consent forms in her ethnographic research with teachers on the Thai-Burma border (Metro 2014). The audience members, who represented a broad cross-section of the field, raised a number of important issues that bear further exploration, and several tensions emerged that are echoed in these pages. In particular, a debate on the nature of objectivity between a senior and a mid-career scholar, both anthropologists, pointed to a generational paradigm shift toward an engagement with [End Page 1] the inevitably political nature of Burma Studies. Another exchange, between McCormick, a US researcher based in Burma, and a Burmese person based in the US, highlighted what McCormick calls the “hierarchies of interpretation” in which the academic credentials and positionality of local and international scholars privilege some epistemologies over others. Additionally, several scholars brought up concerns with the consequences of conducting and publishing their research, whether that meant jeopardizing local contacts or having their work appropriated to ends they did not support. These discussions were thought provoking, despite the brevity, and when we found ourselves talking after the conference about the need for more discussion, we decided to continue the conversation in these pages
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Brooten, L. and Metro, R., (2014). Thinking about ethics in Burma research. Journal of Burma Studies, 18(1), pp.1-22.
Publisher: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/545023/pdf

“Always read the small print”: a case study of commercial research funding, disclosure and agreements with Coca-Cola (Papers: Sarah Steele| May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 27, 2019
 

Abstract
Concerns about conflicts of interest in commercially funded research have generated increasing disclosure requirements, but are these enough to assess influence? Using the Coca-Cola Company as an example, we explore its research agreements to understand influence. Freedom of Information requests identified 87,013 pages of documents, including five agreements between Coca-Cola and public institutions in the United States, and Canada. We assess whether they allowed Coca-Cola to exercise control or influence. Provisions gave Coca-Cola the right to review research in advance of publication as well as control over (1) study data, (2) disclosure of results and (3) acknowledgement of Coca-Cola funding. Some agreements specified that Coca-Cola has the ultimate decision about any publication of peer-reviewed papers prior to its approval of the researchers’ final report. If so desired, Coca-Cola can thus prevent publication of unfavourable research, but we found no evidence of this to date in the emails we received. The documents also reveal researchers can negotiate with funders successfully to remove restrictive clauses on their research. We recommend journals supplement funding disclosures and conflict-of-interest statements by requiring authors to attach funder agreements.

Keywords
Coca-Cola Research funding Transparency Industry funding Conflicts of interest

Steele, S., Ruski, G,. McKee, M. & Stuckler, D. (2019). “Always read the small print”: a case study of commercial research funding, disclosure and agreements with Coca-Cola. Journal of Public Health Policy.
Publisher (Open Access): https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fs41271-019-00170-9

(Australia) University of Sydney pulls claims elderberries can fight flu – The Age (Liam Mannix | May 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 25, 2019
 

One of the country’s leading universities has been forced to retract a claim its study showed eating elderberries could help beat the flu after admitting it was overhyping its own science.

The University of Sydney also concealed the research was part-funded by company Pharmacare – which sells elderberry-based flu remedies – at the company’s request.

Although it was declared in the study itself, the university also failed to publicise that a Pharmacare employee was involved in the research.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

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