Research Ethics by Disciplines is part of Educational Collections; it is focusing on main disciplines of research and related specific ethical concerns.

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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inadvertent Discrimination in Medical Research

    Geis, Sally B. and Fuller, Ruth L. (2016-01-08)

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