ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Academy partners in €2.8 million project0

Posted by Admin in on June 28, 2018

The PRO-RES (PROmoting integrity in the use of RESearch results) project, coordinated by the European Science Foundation (ESF), France, aims at building a research ethics and integrity framework devised cooperatively with the full range of stakeholders. The Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) is a partner in this €2.8 million project along with 13 other European scientific institutions aiming to build an ethics/integrity framework for all non-medical research.

AHRECS is delighted to announce that its three Senior Consultants (Mark Israel, Gary Allen and Colin Thomson) are all members of the UK Academy of Social Sciences team that is a key partner in a €2.8 million European Union project, PRO-RES. The project aims to build an ethics/integrity framework for all non-medical research.

This consortium of 14 scientific institutions from 10 countries will draw upon previous foundational work funded by the European Commission, and other national and international agencies: “…PRO-RES is to be as inclusive as possible when targeting the ‘non-medical’ sciences. The consortium partner composition is very diverse by design, ensuring that all relevant communities, to the extent possible, are represented.” says Dr. Jean-Claude Worms, Chief Executive of ESF, coordinator of PRO-RES. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Fraud or corrupt practices by researchers can lead to serious damage to society and the physical environment. Reliable and transparent research, divorced from political ideology and undeclared vested interests, produces robust evidence that benefits social wellbeing and societal progress.

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Time to Dismiss the Stanford Prison Experiment? – Inside Higher Ed (Greg Toppo | June 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 24, 2018

The 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment has long been considered a window into the horrors ordinary people can inflict on one another, but new interviews with participants and reconsideration of archival records shed more light on the findings

The Stanford Prison Experiment is often (too often) used to justify why research ethics review arrangements exist. The use of scandal egregious ethical lapses are fundamentally flawed – because they implicitly reinforce the message that the role of review is to protect participants from dangers a reckless researcher might fail to recognise. This discussion piece suggests there is another reason not to use it: The research design might have been seriously flawed and the conclusions it reached possibly false.

Since its inception nearly 47 years ago, the Stanford Prison Experiment has become a kind of grim psychological touchstone, an object lesson in humans’ hidden ability to act sadistically — or submissively — as social conditions permit.
Along with Yale University researcher Stanley Milgram’s 1960s experiments on human cruelty, the August 1971 experiment has captured Americans’ imaginations for nearly half a century. It is a long-standing staple of psychology and social science textbooks and has been invoked to explain horrors as wide-ranging as the Holocaust, the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib prisoner-torture scandal.
But new interviews with participants and reconsideration of archival records are shedding new light on the experiment, questioning a few of its bedrock assumptions about human behavior.

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Building an Effective Research Safety Protocol and Emergency Exit Strategies – SSRC (Angelica Duran-Martinez | June 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on June 17, 2018

Social Science Research Council Papers

This examination of strategies to minimize risks and identify dangerous situations for researchers in conflict and crime-ridden areas focuses on the design of a flexible safety and exit protocol that can help researchers return home safely. Safety depends on how scholars gain access to research locations, introduce their work to potential subjects, and pose questions to them. Naturally, defining what security is and determining levels of danger is a subjective and fluid process contingent on factors intrinsic to the project. The aim here is to help researchers think through security issues systematically and build a working written protocol to deal with emergency situations they may encounter.

The discussion first addresses risk assessment and its role in building effective safety protocols. Risk assessment depends on variables such as research location, type and duration of research, and personal characteristics of the researcher. The second section examines the role of pre-fieldwork preparation in researcher safety, and the third analyzes the role of routine field safety procedures in maintaining awareness of evolving security threats and exit strategies. Ultimately, this examination seeks to go beyond how to conduct research safely, emphasizing instead how to increase the chances of the researcher’s safe return home. Thus, the fourth section builds on sound safety procedures to outline the basic elements of exit protocols that can help researchers and their supporters obtain or render aid under emergency circumstances. The conclusion presents a rubric for creating and thinking through safety before, during, and after field research.

This guide is intended to help researchers think through crucial questions regarding risks and safety. They do not need to consider every issue mentioned here but should focus on those that appear more relevant to their projects. Scholars can define safety according to their own professional needs and develop exit protocols that can assist them in navigating both the ordinary fear and danger and the more extreme threats that affect their research locations

Duran-Martinez, Angelica (2014) Building an Effective Research Safety Protocol and Emergency Exit Strategies. SSRC Paper.
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Security Considerations for Conducting Fieldwork In Highly Dangerous Places or on Highly Dangerous Subjects – SSRC (Vanda Felbab-Brown | June 2014)0

Posted by Admin in on June 14, 2018


Over the last generation, activists, journalists, and researchers working in Latin America have increasingly faced the challenge of operating in areas affected by chronic police and non-state violence. Further, rising crime rates are leading a growing number of scholars to conduct research on high-risk topics, which involves gathering data on communities that experience conflict, writing and publishing on these difficult and sensitive issues, and developing and implementing programs to deal with the needs of communities affected by violence as well as the wider conflicts in which those communities are embedded. Despite these trends, the literature on safe practices for those working in high-risk environments remains thin. The DSD Working Papers on Research Security series seeks to address this deficit by examining a range of research security concerns, providing a framework to help those working in the region consider how they can enhance their own safety as well as the safety of their associates and research participants.

The DSD Program is funded by the Open Society Foundations. The program is a partnership between OSF, the SSRC, Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico.

Felab-Brown, V. (2014) Security considerations for conducting fieldwork in highly dangerous places or on highly dangerous subjects. DSD Working Papers on Research Security. SSRC Drugs, Security and Democracy Program.
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