Recent Submissions

  • The ethics of research

    Wyse, D; Smith, E; Suter, LE; Selwyn, N; Farrimond, HR (SAGE, 2016-04-18)
    Doing ethical research is a fundamentally important part of educational academic practice. Behaving ‘well’ in relation to your participants is not a new phenomenon. However, more recently, a more formal culture of ethics review through Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s) and Research Ethics Committees (REC’s) has emerged which has put the ethics of education research in the spotlight and, at times, questioned conventions of practice. It has been common-place in education research, for example, for teachers/lecturers to give out surveys to their students to assess pedagogical issues. However this raises questions of whether consent of students is full and free if no real option to ‘opt-out’ is provided. Similarly, university/college education students often go into schools to undertake projects with school children and are assured by those in authority that ‘everyone wants to take part’. Again, this raises questions about the power relationship between researchers, gatekeepers and the children involved- shouldn’t children, like adults, also be allowed to say ‘no’ to being researched?
  • Human Research Ethics Committees: Issues in Palliative Care Research

    Lee, Susan Fiona; Kristjanson, Linda (Research Online, 2003-01-01)
    Palliative care research is fraught with many difficulties. There are challenges associated with conducting research with vulnerable patients and families, difficulties with obtaining informed consent, and methodological complexities. Thoughtful construction of research protocols may overcome many of these problems. However, researchers may be powerless to overcome the discomfort of members of human research ethics committees (HRECs) who disallow access to palliative care patients and families. The notion of conducting research with this group is often perceived as abhorrent by those who do not practice in palliative care. This is because of a persistent idea that dying people and their families are so burdened by the dying process and so vulnerable to exploitation that they should not be approached to be involved in research. This over-protectiveness regarding palliative care research often distorts the proper gate-keeping role of HRECs and health-care professionals. This article draws on the authors’ experiences of presenting applications to HRECs over the last 20 years. It explores the responsibilities of HRECs, the responsibilities of palliative care researchers and the rights of patients and families. HRECs and health professionals who endeavour to undertake palliative care research are encouraged to reflect and re-examine the role of ethics committees.
  • The researcher and the beast: uncovering processes of othering and becoming-animal in research ventures in the field of critical disability studies

    Vandekinderen, CarolinePP04002002243583802000339839; Roets, GrietPP04001995459344801001686241; Van Hove, GeertCA06801000488996 (2014)
    In this article, we discuss not only the complexity of some difficult ethical issues but also the peculiar and reciprocal engagements that emerged during the research process carried out with Jimmy Sax, along with the ways in which we have attempted to deal with the ethics of research to avoid a reproduction of processes of Othering in the field of critical disability studies. In the existing body of qualitative research literature, an increasing number of researchers document their experience of the issue of situational and relational research ethics. However, since research evolves as an activity embedded in social, political and historical contexts, we argue that qualitative researchers should also embrace socio-political research ethics. In that vein, inspired by poststructuralist (and) feminist philosophers, we identify and discuss two different conceptualizations of research ethics, referring to care for the other, and care of the self.
  • Multilayered ethics in research involving unaccompanied refugee minors

    Vervliet, MariannePP10002004107502802000664585; Rousseau , Cécile; Broekaert, EricPP10801000312073; Derluyn, IlsePP04001995411753801001505072 (2015)
    Research articles about unaccompanied refugee minors (UM) have rarely addressed ethical issues. This is remarkable, given UM's specific, marginalized and vulnerable position within society, and the growing interest and developments in research ethics in refugee research. This article poses the question whether studies involving UM raise specific ethical issues compared to research on other refugee groups. We formulate personal reflections on ethical issues in a particular research project-a longitudinal study of UM in Belgium-and connect them to the existing body of literature on research ethics in qualitative and refugee research. We conclude that research ethics in studies with UM need to be multilayered because of researchers' obligation to take ethical responsibility at both the micro and socio-political levels.
  • Data Integrity, Reliability and Fraud in Medical Research

    Baerlocher, Mark Otto; O'Brien, Jeremy; Newton, Marshall; Gautam, Tina; Noble, Jason (2016-01-09)
    BACKGROUND: Data reliability in original research requires collective trust from the academic community. Standards exist to ensure data integrity, but these safeguards are applied non-uniformly so errors or even fraud may still exist in the literature. OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence and consequences of data errors, data reliability safeguards and fraudulent data among medical academics. METHODOLOGY: Corresponding authors of every fourth primary research paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2001-2003), Canadian Medical Association Journal (2001-2003), British Medical Journal (1998-2000), and Lancet (1998-2000) were surveyed electronically. Questions focused on each author's personal experience with data reliability, data errors and data interpretation. RESULTS: Sixty-five percent (127/195) of corresponding authors responded. Ninety-four percent of respondents accepted full responsibility for the integrity of the last manuscript on which they were listed as co-author; however, 21% had discovered incorrect data after publication in previous manuscripts they had co-authored. Fraudulent data was discovered by 4% of respondents in their previous work. Four percent also noted 'smudged' data. Eighty-seven percent of respondents used data reliability safeguards in their last published manuscript, typically data review by multiple authors or double data entry. Twenty-one percent were involved in a paper that was submitted despite disagreement about the interpretation of the results, although the disagreeing author commonly withdrew from authorship. CONCLUSIONS: Data reliability remains a difficult issue in medical literature. A significant proportion of respondents did not use data reliability safeguards. Research fraud does exist in academia; however, it was not reported to be highly prevalent.
  • Historic Lessons: Gender Inequity in Middle and High School

    Behan-Homer, Kathryn (SIT Digital Collections, 2015-08-01)
    What happens in our classrooms shapes the thoughts and lives the students within them, not simply through the explicit curriculum, but also through what we do and do not address, our interpersonal relations, and our own unintended biases. This research focuses on the ways in which gender inequity and its relationship to production relations are reinforced in a rural school at the 6-12th grade level. In this case study, interviews, surveys, and extensive observations were used to analyze the ways in which social and historic inequality is reinforced or challenged within the school. Research is focused on lesson contents, student behavior and classroom management, and interpersonal interactions- specifically teacher-to-student, teacher-to-teacher, and administrator-teacher. Subjects were interviewed on their thoughts on the need or lack of need for equitable practices within the school, as well as their interpretation of equity and equity practices. Additionally, subjects were surveyed on their perceptions of student behavior and participation within their classroom, as well as their perceptions of equity in the school environment in terms of physical artifacts, educational materials, and teaching methods. This research informs how educators may inadvertently uphold inequitable social practices, and teach students unintended lessons about gender hierarchies. The research also compares the inequities seen in the classroom to historic inequities as they arise from class-based societies, and concludes that the current economic system is at the root of inequitable practices in education, as well as in the broader world.
  • Requiring Consent vs. Waiving Consent for Medical Records Research: A Minnesota Law vs. the U.S. (HIPAA) Privacy Rule

    Woodward, Beverly; Hammerschmidt, Dale (2016-01-09)
    The use of medical records in research can yield information that is difficult to obtain by other means. When such records are released to investigators in identifiable form, however, substantial privacy and confidentiality risks may be created. These risks become more common and more serious as medical records move to an electronic format. In 1996, the state of Minnesota enacted legislation with respect to consent requirements for the use of medical records in research. This legislation has been widely criticized because--it is claimed--it creates an unnecessary impediment to research. In this article, we show that these arguments rest upon misinterpretation and/or misrepresentation of the 1996 legislation. A consent requirement had actually been present in Minnesota since 1976 (though codified in a patient rights statute rather than a privacy statute). The 1996 law does not require specific consent, as often claimed, but rather only a general authorization. The campaign against the Minnesota legislation appears to have been motivated by concern with respect to the then impending federal privacy rule. The HIPAA rule, as enacted, is in fact less stringent with respect to consent than the Minnesota consent law. On the other hand, the Minnesota consent law has not been effectively applied or enforced. As we change the way we manage sensitive medical information, new efforts are needed to provide protection against the confidentiality risks in research. Patient consent is an important tool in this regard. New instrumentalities are needed to solicit and document consent.

    Bard, Jennifer (SelectedWorks, 2014-03-14)
    Like Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, to Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, many professors at U.S. colleges and universities are surprised to find how little protection they have from the adverse consequences of their speech. The First Amendment is says nothing about either academic freedom or whistleblowing and it has been left to the Supreme Court to develop a doctrine as to when and if a professor’s speech is entitled to Constitutional Protection. This article considers the broad topic of protection for speech by professors other than that directly related to the views they express on their areas of expertise. So the issue here is not about creationism among biologists or holocaust denial from historians, it is about statements faculty make about matters of general public interest including the running of their own institutions. It also includes direct whistleblowing about wrongdoing by the institution. Constitutional protection, of course, is only available to faculty who work for public institutions—because only a state funded school can qualify as a state actor. The Supreme Court made news in 2006 when it restricted the protection available to public employees speaking out on matters that were part of their job. The case, Garcetti v. Ceballos, involved an assistant DA who was demoted after passing on to his boss that the local sheriff’s department had made false statements about a witness. The decision came with an impassioned dissent from Justice Souter who was concerned about its effect on academic freedom. And indeed in the eight years since Garcetti, court after court has denied protection to professors at public universities based on employees. That all changed this past February, however, when the 9th Circuit Court of appeals issued an opinion in Austin V. Demers boldly declaring that not only didn’t Garcetti’s restrictions apply to academic speech, statements made by professors about the running of their university was just as protected as statements about their academic areas of expertise. This article looks at the big picture of protections available to academics, in both public and private institutions. It does so by presenting four hypotheticals in which professors run afoul of university administration based on their speech and considers the four major areas of law which can provide protection. These include Constitutional law, but also specific state statutes relevant to higher education, like Title IX and the Clery Act, federal False Claims Act actions which are available to any employee of a college or university whose students receive federal financial aid, and finally state whistleblower laws which can provide protection beyond the first amendment but are often very difficult to invoke.
  • The Scholar as Advocate

    Eisenberg, Rebecca S. (University of Michigan Law School Scholarship Repository, 1993-01-01)
    Academic freedom in this country has been so closely identified with faculty autonomy that the two terms are often used interchangeably, especially by faculty members who are resisting restraints on their freedom to do as they please. While there may be some dispute as to whether or how far academic freedom protects the autonomy of universities or of students, the autonomy of faculty members seems to lie close to the core of the traditional American conception of academic freedom. As elaborated by the American Association of University Professors, this conception of academic freedom calls for protecting individual faculty members from lay interference, especially from the university trustees and administrators on whom they depend for their livelihood, so that faculty may perform their social function of generating and disseminating new knowledge "without fear or favor."' Otherwise, according to this view, the public could not be certain that the opinions presented by faculty were the candid views of academic experts, undistorted by the less informed views of their lay benefactors. I have previously argued that faculty autonomy fails to protect the academic values underlying this traditional conception of academic freedom when faculty members need to find external sponsors for their work.2 Faculty who are eager for funding may face powerful incentives to accommodate the interests of sponsors who seek to control the agenda of academic research and the dissemination of its results. In this context deference to faculty autonomy in the name of academic freedom could tie the, hands of universities and prevent them from responding effectively to certain contemporary threats to academic values.
  • Participation in medical research as a resource-seeking strategy in socio-economically vulnerable communities: call for research and action

    Ravinetto, Raffaella M.; Afolabi, Muhammed O.; Okebe, Joseph; Van Nuil, Jennifer Ilo; Lutumba, Pascal; Mavoko, Hypolite Muhindo; Nahum, Alain; Tinto, Halidou; Addissie, Adamu; D'Alessandro, Umberto; et al. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2015-01)
    The freedom to consent to participate in medical research is a complex subject, particularly in socio-economically vulnerable communities, where numerous factors may limit the efficacy of the informedconsent process. Informal consultation among members of the Switching the Poles Clinical ResearchNetwork coming from various sub-Saharan African countries, that is Burkina Faso, The Gambia,Rwanda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Benin, seems to support thehypothesis that in socio-economical vulnerable communities with inadequate access to health care,the decision to participate in research is often taken irrespectively of the contents of the informedconsent interview, and it is largely driven by the opportunity to access free or better quality care andother indirect benefits. Populations’ vulnerability due to poverty and/or social exclusion shouldobviously not lead to exclusion from medical research, which is most often crucially needed toaddress their health problems. Nonetheless, to reduce the possibility of exploitation, there is the needto further investigate the complex links between socio-economical vulnerability, access to health careand individual freedom to decide on participation in medical research. This needs bringing togetherclinical researchers, social scientists and bioethicists in transdisciplinary collaborative research effortsthat require the collective input from researchers, research sponsors and funders.
  • It Is Time to Take a Stand for Medical Research and Against Terrorism Targeting Medical Scientists

    Krystal, John H.; Carter, Cameron S.; Geschwind, Daniel; Manji, Husseini K.; March, John S.; Nestler, Eric J.; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Charney, Dennis S.; Goldman, David; Gur, Raquel E.; et al. (2016-01-08)
  • The Research Environment Norm Inventory (RENI): A Study of Integrity in Research Administrative Systems

    Atkinson, Timothy N.; Gilleland, Diane S.; Pearson, Carolyn (2016-01-08)
    University research administrators have been generally ignored in basic studies of research integrity. Hensley noted that research administrators are "essential... to the achievement of the specific missions of postsecondary institutions... and to science and the academic infrastructure". The following study sought to extend the scope of research on research integrity to research administrative structures with a new instrument called the Research Environment Norm Inventory or RENI. University research administrators and their professional association were targeted for data collection. Evidence suggested that research administration in the United States supports integrity in the research environment through: (1) respect for community; (2) respect for institutional boundaries; (3) professionalism; (4) respect for authority structures; (5) sensitivity to system conflicts. The study suggested that integrity structures are dictated largely by the institutional settings and environments.
  • Supporting Professionalism in Educational Development in Irish Higher Education

    N/A; OKeeffe, Muireann (Dublin Institute of Technology, 2012-12-10)
    <p>Higher education, in Ireland and globally, is undergoing profound change influenced by a variety of factors. In conjunction with these changes many initiatives to improve teaching and learning and the quality of graduates in higher education have been introduced in recent years. The changes and expansions in the sector has enabled growth of new roles in higher education described as ‘<em>third space’ </em>professionals by Whitchurch (2008).<em> </em></p> <p>This paper describes the struggle of those in third space professions, such as academic development, to establish a professional identity in higher education. The benefits of these contemporary roles to higher education are discussed, while the circumstantial challenges presented to third space professionals in building collaborative relationships between academics and administration both internally and externally to the institution are acknowledged.</p> <p>Finally the professional futures of academic developers are considered. This paper urges investigation into professional values of academic developers and the key strategies that might develop and sustain a community of academic developer professionals in Ireland. Also these approaches must acknowledge the dynamic and complex nature of higher education and academic development in order to survive into the future.</p>
  • Milgram and Tuskegee -- Paradigm Research Projects in Bioethics

    Cave, Emma; Holm, Soren (2016-01-09)
    This paper discusses the use of the Milgram obedience experiments and the Tuskegee syphilis study in the bioethical literature. The two studies are presented and a variety of uses of them identified and discussed. It is argued that the use of these studies as paradigms of problematic research relies on a reduction of their complexity. What is discussed is thus often constructions of these studies that are closer to hypothetical examples than to the real studies.
  • A Theoretical Comparison of the Models of Prevention of Research Misconduct

    Kumar, Malhar N (2016-01-09)
    The current methods of dealing with research misconduct involve detection and rectification after the incident has already occurred. This method of monitoring scientific integrity exerts considerable negative effects on the concerned persons and is also wasteful of time and resources. Time has arrived for research administrators to focus seriously on prevention of misconduct. In this article, preventive models suggested earlier by Weed and Reason have been combined to arrive at six models of prevention. This is an effort to streamline the thinking regarding misconduct prevention, so that the advantages and disadvantages of each can be weighed and the method most appropriate for the institute chosen.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Measure: Initial Development and Pilot Study

    Wester, Kelly L.; Willse, John T.; Davis, Mark S. (2016-01-08)
    Although much discussion has been focused on research misconduct (RM) and questionable research practices, to date no self-report measures exist to examine this phenomenon. To help fill this void, the authors developed the Responsible Conduct of Research Measure (RCRM) through multiple pilot study waves involving researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. Preliminary results reveal adequate validity and reliability. The authors discuss limitations of the study as well as some possible directions for future research on this topic.
  • An analysis of child protection ‘standard operating procedures for research’ in higher education institutions in the United Kingdom

    Randall, Duncan; Childers-Buschle, Kristin; Anderson, Anna; Taylor, Julie (BioMed Central Ltd., 2015-09-29)
    Abstract Background Interest in children’s agency within the research process has led to a renewed consideration of the relationships between researchers and children. Child protection concerns are sometimes not recognised by researchers, and sometimes ignored. Yet much research on children’s lives, especially in health, has the potential to uncover child abuse. University research guidance should be in place to safeguard both researchers and the populations under scrutiny. The aim of this study was to examine university guidance on protecting children in research contexts. Methods Child protection Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were requested from institutions with Research Assessment Exercise (2008) profiles in the top two quartiles according to published league tables. Procedures were included if they applied across the institution and if they were more extensive than stating the university’s general application of the UK Disclosure and Barring Service process. A typology for scoring the SOPs was designed for this study based on the authors’ previous work. The typology and the raw data scoring were reviewed independently by each of the team members and collectively agreed. The raw scores were charted and analysed using descriptive statistics. Results SOPs for research conduct amongst vulnerable groups were sought from 83 institutions. Forty HEIs provided policies which met the inclusion criteria. The majority did not mention children, young people or vulnerable adults as a whole, although children in nurseries and young people in universities were addressed. Only three institutions scored over 50 out of a possible 100. The mean score was 17.4. More than half the HEIs made no reference to vetting/barring schemes in research, only eight universities set out a training programme on child protection. Research was often not mentioned in the SOPs and only six mention children in research, with only two fully recognising the extent of child protection in research. Discussion There is potential for researchers to recognise and respond to maltreatment of children who participate in research. However, the majority of HEIs do not have an overt culture of safeguarding. There is confusion over what are the roles and responsibilities of HEIs in relation to research that involves children. Conclusions The policies that are meant to support and guide research practice, so that children are protected, are in the most part non-existent or poorly developed.
  • Measuring the Value of Collegiality Among Law Professors

    Seigel, Michael L.; Miner-Rubino, Kathi (UF Law Scholarship Repository, 2009-01-01)
    This article is the last in a trilogy addressing the issue of collegiality among law In the first piece, titled On Collegiality, author Seigel defined professors' "collegiality" and suggested that most law schools have at least one, if not two or three, "affirmatively uncollegial" members of their faculty. Seigel posited that these individuals tend to interfere with the ideal functioning of their institutions by negatively affecting the well-being of their peers. Some readers of On Collegiality questioned the legitimacy of Seigel's cost-benefit analysis. Specifically, they commented that some of the factors Seigel used in his analysis could be empirically measured. In response, the present authors teamed up to conduct an empirical study of collegiality.
  • Trading Places: What the Research Participant Can Tell the Investigator About Informed Consent

    Cook, Ann Freeman; Hoas, Helena (ScholarWorks at University of Montana, 2011-01-01)
    The issues discussed in this article emerged from a study that explored the decision-making processes used by research participants when deciding to participate in human subjects’ research. We discuss the current research and regulatory environment and its influences on participant decision-making. The results of this study create a framework for understanding the challenges of the current informed consent process and offers insights into what may be needed to create an environment that allows research participants to make more enlightened decisions.
  • Reasonable Risks In Clinical Research: A Critique and a Proposal for the Integrative Approach

    London, Alex John (Research Showcase @ CMU, 2006-06-01)
    Before participants can be enrolled in a clinical trial, an institutional review board (IRB) must determine that the risks that the research poses to participants are ‘reasonable.’ This paper examines the two dominant frameworks for assessing research risks and argues that each approach suffers from significant shortcomings. It then considers what issues must be addressed in order to construct a framework for risk assessment that (a) is grounded in a compelling normative foundation and (b) might provide more operationally precise guidance to the deliberations of various stakeholders. The paper concludes by sketching the outlines of what is referred to as the ‘Integrative Approach’ to risk assessment and by highlighting some of the ways in which this approach may be more promising than current alternatives.

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