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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Research Ethics and New Forms of Data for Social and Economic Research

 


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OECD Report reflects on the ethical issues associated with the research use of big data. The massive amounts of data now available coupled with the processing power of even modest consumer electronics allow for triangulation about individuals that calls for new approaches to the ethics of research. While countries with existing research ethics frameworks are well placed to meet this challenge, other countries face a significant challenge. Australia? Watch this space.

This report sets out some basic rules that underpin an ethical approach to research using new forms of data for social and economic research. These rules and the interpretation that we place upon them give rise to a set of recommendations designed to provide a framework for the ethical governance of research using such data. There are assumptions and limitations underpinning these recommendations – they are not cost-free and will be easier to apply in countries with established research ethics procedures, particularly where research organisations and data owners have access to ethical review bodies. The sharing of expertise on, and knowledge about, research ethics between countries is critical to the creation of a common and cost-efficient ethical environment for social scientific research.
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OECD (2016), “Research Ethics and New Forms of Data for Social and Economic Research”, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 34, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jln7vnpxs32-en



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