Tongue in Cheek
Farida Fozdar responds and reflects upon the February 2021 post by Gary Allen and Mark Israel.
The Tower of Babel (Allen and Israel, 2021) is a compelling image when considering issues to do with translation and interpreting and the ethics of social research. Even when we speak the same language, we may not be ‘speaking the same language’, so to speak (excuse the triple metaphor). Talking past each other occurs in many ways but, in communicating the clear purpose and potential risks of one’s research, clarity is vital. Here, I outline a few issues from personal research experience, arguing that the communities themselves may be best placed to identify ethics issues and solutions to translation and interpreting dilemmas.
When working with those from a language different from that of the researchers, it may be the case that the idea of research is not well understood in the culture of origin…
Why university research ethics committees are vital
In this post Daniel Sokol writes about a troubling research integrity/human research ethics case that relates to Poland, the UK and Australia.
When I sat on the Ministry of Defence’s Research Ethics Committee, some research projects were potentially dangerous. The risks of testing a new piece of military diving equipment, for example, are obvious. If it malfunctions, the volunteer could drown or suffer brain damage. The risks of historical research can be more subtle but they are nonetheless real, as shown by a recent case involving the University of Warwick.
Dr Anna Hájková, an associate professor of modern continental European history, researches the queer history of the Holocaust. She claimed that a Jewish prisoner may have engaged in a lesbian sexual relationship with a Nazi guard in Hamburg in 1944.
After the war, the prisoner worked as an actress and emigrated from…
Ethics CoPs not Ethics Police: Building communities of practice in ethics and integrity
In this post Gary Allen and Mark Israel discuss seeding and supporting virtual and physical Communities of Practice and their value over enforcement and policing.
Gary Allen and Mark Israel
Research ethics professionals have grown wary of researchers who talk disparagingly about the work of research ethics reviewers as the ‘ethics police’ (Klitzman, 2015; Makhoul et al., 2014). So, there is more than a little irony in our suggestion for responding constructively to such an adversarial stance (Allen & Israel, 2018) – the Community of Practice (CoP).
A CoP is characterised by a shared area of knowledge and set of practices within which experiences and insights can be shared and learning can be fostered (Wenger et al., 2002). Done well, a CoP can result in continual improvement across and…
The Tower of Babel and Human Research Ethics
Gary Allen and Mark Israel reflect on constructive approaches to languages in human research and for research ethics committees.
Gary Allen and Mark Israel
Much human research is conducted in languages that are not the same as that used by the research ethics review body or the chief investigators. This can manifest in a number of ways including:
Recruitment and consent materials;
Data collection tools (surveys, interview instruments and observation matrices), and
return of results to participants
There is literature on the ethics of interpreting and translation (Drugan, 2017) as well as on the ethics of research in those fields (Tiselius, 2019). However, for our purposes, we want to focus on the first two situations…
If you build it, they will come- 2020 Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Training Conference (online) 18-20 Nov
Approximately 2.5 months from inception to execution, a veritable cornucopia of Australia’s thought leaders on topics such as consent, voluntary
Going video: A chance to change review practice?
In this post, Gary asks when it comes to research ethics review, whether something useful might come from social distancing
A new approach to the AHRECS site
In response to community feedback, from 1 November 2020, only papers, books and genuine resources will be posted to the AHRECS Resource Library; news and announcements will be posted to the feeds page. Searches of the site can include searches of the feed. Links to Research Ethics Monthly editions will also be posted to the feeds page. Please bear with us as we move all existing news items over to the feed. Eventually, this approach will make it easier to distinguish between research outputs and news items about human research ethics and research integrity.
A poor call and two missed opportunities, but otherwise not a bad proposed revision to NS s5
In this post, Gary, Mark and Kim refect on the draft update to Section 5 of the Australia’s National Statement.
“In recent years in Australia, we have seen some painful cases where research ethics review delegated to a non-HREC review body has failed to guard against projects that proved to be embarrassing for their host institution (see, for example, the ‘Racist bus driver’ and ‘Laughing at the disabled’ projects)….”
‘Except as required by law’: Australian researchers’ legal rights and obligations regarding participant confidentiality
Anna Olsen, Research School of Population Health, ANU Julie Mooney-Somers, Centre for Values, Ethics
Confidence versus mandatory reporting
In this post find out why Gary is cranky about the proposed good practice guide for Australian Research Integrity Advisers.
#SPOILERALERT It is because he believes institutions need a network of collegiate Research Integrity Advisers to nurture and support a community of practice within their institution.
He also thinks mandatory reporting and telling people to speak in hypotheticals are STUPID.
While Gary describes this as a personal opinion, we agree. We don’t see how mandatory reporting will make serving as an RIA would be appealing or encourage anyone to consult them about whether an individual’s practice is appropriate.
AHRECS provides desktop audit and blueprint on Research Integrity within an institution and conducts professional development for RIAs.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Effective use of research management systems
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.
Can Your HREC Benefit from Coaching?
Atul Gawande, an American surgeon and researcher, sparked a debate in the medical community