In this post, Michael Creevey (the CEO of Endpoint IQ) discusses the effective and constructive use of research management systems, including research ethics modules.
He discusses how a system can be used to resource and support a positive research culture within an institution.
Effective systems should provide the tools so users and their stakeholders can operate a constructive and value adding set of research governance arrangements (including Human Research Ethics, Animal Ethics and the related processes).
Michael discusses the origins of Endpoint IQ and how it was informed by the perspectives, needs and aspirations of research managers and researchers in Australia.
AHRECS is very conscious of the degree to which we have a conflict of interest in this space, but we think the Endpoint IQ system is excellent and is worth a serious look. We have an ongoing good relationship with Michael and the Endpoint IQ team, we have also partnered with them in bids in New Zealand. We also have a small financial connection to them. This conflict notwithstanding, we encourage research institutions to have a serious look at this system.
Even though Endpoint IQ is an excellent system, there are a number of other research management systems that are commendable and can perform similar (but not identical) functions to those of Endpoint IQ.
In her latest thought-provoking post Stephanie Taplin reflects on social research with children/young adults and the impact of offering them incentives in the form of payments.
These matters have been controversial for research ethics committee and resulted in a block of items in the review feedback from the reviewing committee/s.
Despite the authority provided by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC, 2007, updated 2018) HRECs can be nervous about approving such research with incentives.
Despite this difficulty for reviewers, incentives in the form of payments definitely increases the chances that a young person will respond to a recruitment strategy.
Stephanie’s work has highlighted the degree to which a review body may be more comfortable with the offer of a chance to win and an incentive in a prize draw, at values over ten times as high as the direct incentive payment.
Another area of tension between the preferences of review body and young people is the difference between face-to-face interviews and anonymous questionnaires.
In this post Stephanie reflects on why researchers should engage with HRECs on these matters, rather than choose a path most likely to be accepted immediately by a committee.
In this terrific post, Sara Gottliebsen reflects on the last few years’ experiences in organising the incredibly popular annual human research ethics webinar.
This free event was first conceived of by Gorden McGurk, who has organised the webinars over the last few years.
The Human Research Ethics conferences have established a very high standard for the design, execution, speakers and contents for such an event.
The event received very high praise and deserved to get it.
The itinerary of speakers, events and activities for a free event is simply remarkable and deserving of the highest praise.
Well done Gordon, Sara and the team.
AHRECS is proud to be one of the inaugural sponsors of this event and will be continuing our sponsorship in 2022.
Adele’s Adventures in Wonderland*: Reflections on a 12-year journey in ethics, research integrity and so much more
In this post, inspired by Lewis Carol’s book, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Adele Kay reflects on the wild and wacky (and sometimes surreal) experiences she had in a great career in the human research ethics, research integrity, animal, etc spaces.
She generously shares observations, tips and suggestions how to navigate this space with good humour.
Part of this is reading, interpreting and explaining national frameworks to executive and other senior staff.
She reflects upon useful skills, experience, training and education.
Working for constructive change on these matters from within an institution can sometimes be frustrating and feel a little wacky. Often AHRECS has been brought in to provide an independent and expert opinion on what internal staff have been saying for some time.
We suspect her commentary and experiences will both ring true for experienced practitioners and offer helpful tips.
We greatly enjoyed this post and we hope you will too.
Samaritans UK: Developing ‘fit for purpose’ research ethics processes within a large third sector organisation
In this post, Simon Anderson (AHRECS Associate) and Liz Scowcroft (Head of Research & Evaluation, Samaritans UK) discuss the history of research ethics policy and research ethics review at Samaritans (UK).
Part of this discussion reflected on moving beyond arrangements that are very similar to those used by higher education institutions toward something better suited to the needs of the 3rd Sector.
This requires a clear understanding that the designs, outputs, objectives and needs of a significant portion of research that is conducted internally to the 3rd sector is different and needs different Solutions.
A proportional approach to research ethics review and related processes have been adopted by Samaritans, as well as widening of the definition of research and a whole of institution commitment to research ethics.
Simon and AHRECS were delighted to work with Samaritans to produce a blueprint for constructive change.
Send an email to email@example.com if you would like to discuss how we could assist your institution.
What do HREC members think and do when deciding about children’s participation in social research? Results from the MESSI survey
In this guest post, Associate Professor Stephanie Taplin (UTS) reflects upon the reflections and attitudes of members of a research ethics committee when reviewing a project involving sensitive issues, where the participants are young people.
She reflects upon the degree that this consideration is based upon standards and expectations that are often not transparent to researchers and can be an impediment to useful/important research.
This post is based upon a longer research output that was about research exploring those attitudes.
This included whether there were topics that a research ethics committee member would never approve for a research project to explore with young people.
This work points to the need for specialist professional development for committee members relating to research on sensitive issues with young people.
This also raises the question of what guidance material institutions publish for researchers and for reference by research ethics reviewers.
In this terrific and thoughtful post, Colin Thomson AM, a Senior Adviser to AHRECS, reflects on what we mean when we talk about expertise i the context of Human Research Ethics Review.
Do we mean expertise in ethics, research ethics or ethics review or a combination?
Do they fit together seamlessly and easily or is there an incongruence?
He frames these matters, when talking about research ethics committee members and research ethics reviewers across ten important categories.
He then suggests ten tests that could be usefully applied to evaluate the quality of review feedback.
How your institution’s research ethics committee and its review feedback fare if judged against this criteria?
Is it time they had some professional development? Does the Committee’s standard operating procedures need to be updated?
This is a valuable read for research ethics committee Chairs, Secretaries and members.
When it comes to the approach to human research ethics, did we buy London Bridge thinking it was Tower Bridge?
In this post, two experienced research ethics officers risk being decried as heretics by reflecting upon the justifications that are used for the current Human Research Ethics arrangements in countries around the world.
They use the sale of London Bridge in the Sixties and the urban myth that the US millionaire who bought it thought he was buying Tower Bridge, to ask, given the time, effort and resources expended on research ethics review, are we getting what we paid for?
There are genuine benefits that can flow from a well-conducted review process and they do justify the existence of those processes, but we should stop claiming those processes safeguard us against the criminal, unethical and reckless behaviour of the past.
They don’t and we should stop claiming in our professional development activities and resource material they do.
The last decade has seen increased global focus on research with young children within
Paul M Taylor1 and Daniel P Barr2 1Director, Research Integrity, Governance and Systems Research
Professor Jennifer Byrne | University of Sydney Medical School and Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Gary Allen, Mark Israel and Colin Thomson|
In the 1980s and 1990s, many research institutions made the principled and commendable decision not to accept funding from the tobacco industry.
This reflected the recognition of the awful health impacts of tobacco use and the degree to which the industry was muddying the waters of public debate with academic and clinical research questioning the veracity of the overwhelming body of evidence that clearly showed the dire dangers of activity such as smoking. While we continue to be shocked by cases such those like the research of Hans J Eysenck (and this), for the main it is accepted that receiving funding from the tobacco industry is not in the public’s best interest.