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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

The Politicisation of Ethics Review in New Zealand (Book: Martin Tolich and Barry Smith 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on February 14, 2016

Description: The National Women’s Hospital research scandal saw women being involved in medical research without their knowledge and without the opportunity to make a choice about their participation. The 1988 Cartwright Inquiry into this decades-long study established a template for ethics review in New Zealand. Ethics committees were subsequently established to independently evaluate the potential benefits as well as the risks of research.

This book traces the gradual undermining of the independence of ethics review in New Zealand and the politicisation of ethics committees between 1988 and 2014. There have been substantial changes in this review process brought about by government in response to other medical crises such as that which occurred in Gisborne in the late 1990s and then an “economic crisis” between 2008 and 2010 that involved international pharmaceutical companies.

This book explores the implications of these changes for a robust ethics review process across research environments in New Zealand, especially those affecting Maori. It includes recommendations aimed at enhancing independent ethics review, best practice, and providing adequate protection for all citizens.

Tolich, M. & Smith, B. (2015). The Politicisation of Ethics Review in New Zealand. Auckland: Dunmore. 241 pages.

Strictly Confidential?: Integrity and the Disclosure of Criminological and Socio-Legal Research (Papers: Mark Israel 2004)0

Posted by Admin in on February 13, 2016

Abstract: When people allow researchers to investigate them, they often negotiate terms for the agreement. Participants in research may, for example, consent on the basis that the information obtained about them will be used only by the researchers and only in particular ways. The information is private and is voluntarily offered to the researcher in confidence. Researchers can justify protecting confidentiality by appealing to consequentialist-, rights- or fidelity-based arguments. Failure to respect confidentiality might not only affect one research project, but could have a ‘chilling effect’ on all criminological research. However, various researchers working in criminology, socio–legal studies and related fields have come under institutional, legal, physical and ethical pressures to disclose confidential information. They have been subpoenaed, imprisoned and have faced threats from armed drug dealers. To protect their sources, they have lied to correctional authorities, prosecutors and police (as well as to armed drug dealers). Drawing on an international literature, I examine some of the legal and methodological measures that researchers have taken to protect data, as well as some of the rationales that might justify disclosing information given in confidence by research participants.

“When people allow researchers to investigate them, they often negotiate terms for the agreement. Participants in research may, for example, consent on the basis that the information obtained about them will be used only by specific researchers and only in particular ways. The information is private and is voluntarily offered to the researcher in confidence.

In some research projects, negotiations around confidentiality may be fairly straightforward. Some researchers are able to operate in relatively predictable contexts, where standardized assurances about material may be included in a covering letter with a questionnaire. However, other work takes place in informal and unpredictable environments, where agreements may need to be negotiated with individuals and groups and renegotiated during the course of lengthy fieldwork.

Some forms of research may create significant risks for research participants. In criminological and socio–legal research, it is typically the researcher who approaches a potential participant and asks for confidential information to be revealed in exchange for . . . possibly not very much direct benefit (Robinson 1991). As two Canadian criminologists, John Lowman and Ted Palys, have argued:

Our research subjects divulge information in confidence about their own criminal activity . . . and sexual activity to a person who has asked them to divulge the information, with the full knowledge they are offering us ‘data’ that will at some point be compiled, analyzed and published. The researcher usually…

Israel, M (2004) Strictly Confidential? Integrity and the Disclosure of Criminological and Socio-Legal Research. British Journal of Criminology 44/5, pp715-40.

Approving or Improving Research Ethics in Management Journals (Papers: Michelle Greenwood 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on February 12, 2016

Abstract: Despite significant scholarly debate about knowledge production in the management discipline through the peer-review journal processes, there is minimal discussion about the ethical treatment of the research subject in these publication processes. In contrast, the ethical scrutiny of management research processes within research institutions is often highly formalized and very focused on the protection of research participants. Hence, the question arises of how management publication processes should best account for the interests of the research subject, both in the narrow sense of specific research participants and in the broader understanding of the subject of the research. This question is particularly pertinent in light of significant codification of research ethics within academic institutions, and increasing self-reflection within the management discipline about the “good” of management research and education. Findings from a survey and interviews with management journal editors (and others involved in journal publication) reveal a complex scenario; many editors believe that a formalized requirement within the journal publication process may have detrimental outcomes and, in fact, diminish the ethical integrity of management scholarship. Building on these findings, this paper argues that ethical concern for the research subject merely in terms of institutional rule compliance and avoidance of harm to individual participants is insufficient, and calls for explicitly positive engagement with both the individual and the collective subject of management research should receive due ethical consideration. An alternative model involving reflexive ethical consideration of research subjects across the publication process—with implications for role of authors, reviewers, editors, and research subjects—is outlined.

Keywords: Research ethics Publication ethics Academic ethics Human subjects Ethics committees Research education Research training

Greenwood M (2015) Approving or Improving Research Ethics in Management Journals. Journal of Business Ethics. Available at:

Marketing research ethics: Clients and field services (Papers: Michael Hyman & Jeremy Sierra 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on February 11, 2016

Abstract: Although many people believe marketing ethics is an oxymoron, our goal is to convince you otherwise and to provide a basic perspective for making more ethical marketing research decisions about clients and field services.

“Research Clients

In the previous article, we focused on researchers’ obligations to respondents. Now we discuss researcher’s obligations to research clients. A researcher should avoid abusing research designs, methods, or results. A bad experience discredits marketing research and discourages businesspeople from relying on it when it is important.

Before we cover the main abuses you should avoid, here are six examples of ways in which researchers abuse clients:

* Overcharging and double-billing. Low-ball pricing, or winning a bid to conduct a research study knowing it cannot be completed at the bid price and then immediately raising the price after winning the bid, is problematic.

* Failing to maintain client confidentiality. Clients own the data collected for them; hence, researchers have no right to provide those data to other parties.

* Failing to avoid a conflict of interest when a researcher has multiple clients in the same industry. What researchers learn in conducting a study for one client should not be shared “

Hyman M, Sierra J (2015) Marketing Research Ethics:Clients and Field Services. Business Outlook. 13(6). Available at: