3Why Research? RESEARCH Expand the Mind Quality Assurance Service EvaluationBenefit of MankindCommercialDevelopmental / ExperimentalInforming PracticeDeveloping PolicyBuild the Knowledge Base
4Ethics – moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity (Oxford Dictionaries)Activity = Research
5Potted History of Research Ethics 1948 – Nuremberg Code1950s – Thalidomide1932 to 1972 – Tuskegee Syphilis Study1964 – Declaration of HelsinkiSocial or scientific value and validityFair participant selectionProportionate riskInformed consent and respect
6And on …….. 1966 – Establishment of first REC 1979 – Belmont Report 1998 – Data Protection Act2004 – EU Clinical Trials Directive2004 – Human Tissue Act2005 – Mental Capacity Act
7What does this have to do with me or my research?
8Medical based history has formed the basis for today’s ethical principles in research across all disciplines.NERC Ethics PolicyESRC Framework for Research EthicsBritish Psychological Society Code of Ethical Principles and ConductSocial Care Research Ethics PanelMarketing Research Society Code of ConductGrounded on the fundamental principles of theDeclaration of Helsinki
9Research Ethics are….. guiding moral principles fit into an overarching research framework which encompasses integrity, governance and management(should) inform research design, conduct, analysis, dissemination and implementation
10What does ethics do?Protect the safety, dignity and rights of participants in researchProvides assurance of good quality research being conducted within an evidence base and for the benefit of societyProtects all stakeholdersParticipantsResearcherSponsor / FunderHost Institution / EmployerProfessional BodiesPublic
11The Research Ethics Committee A multi-disciplinary groupProvide advice and guidanceEnsure that proposed research activity meets recognised ethical standards
12Role of the Ethics Committee: What will they ask? Why?How?Who?What?
13The Research Ethics Committee: What are they concerned about? Value and validityInformationConsentRightsRisk
14Ethical Balance / Ethical Dilemmas Research is, by its very nature, pushing the boundaries into something new; don’t always know what is going to work; challenging existing evidence base; innovativeBalance between needs of researchers and the rights / expectations of participants
15Risk, Research and Ethics Risk (noun) a situation involving exposure to danger (Oxford Dictionaries)Potential physical or psychological harm, discomfort or stress to human participants (medical)Risk to a subject’s personal social standing, privacy, personal values and beliefs, their links to family and the wider community, and their position within occupational settings, as well as the adverse effects of revealing information that relates to illegal, sexual or deviant behaviour (social)
16Risk and Ethical Review The benefits of undertaking the research outweigh the risk of participating in the researchWhose benefit / Whose risk?“….may only be conducted if the importance of the objective outweighs the inherent risks and burdens to the research subjects” (Declaration of Helsinki)“Proposals should be considered in the context of risk to the researched and researchers.” (ESRC)Short-term risks balanced against longer-term benefits (economic, political, cultural disadvantage and exploitation)
17Proportionate Risk Risks are recognised, assessed and managed Risks to researcher and the participantShort-term and long-term risks / benefitsParticipants are fully informed of any risks – part of informed consent!Peligro Indefinido =Undefined danger
18Informed Consent Central to ethical research practice Ensures that those who participate in research understand exactly what the research involves for themOngoing agreement by a person to participate after the risks and benefits have been explained to themEnsures that people are not deceived or coerced into participating in research
19What is an informed participant? Understands:Why?What?How?
20Tensions Clinical trial – control group / phase 1 Psychological research – deceptionObservational research – covert surveillanceInclusivity
21Psychological Research In a study examining the relationship between performance and defensiveness participants were given false feedback on a test of intellectual ability and were told that their scores were well above or well below average. After the false feedback participants completed measures of defensiveness so that researchers could determine if failure makes people more defensive.
22Psychological Research “Avoid intentional deception of clients unless:(a) deception is necessary in exceptional circumstances to preserve the integrity of research or the efficacy of professional services;(b) any additional safeguards required for thepreservation of client welfare are specificallyconsidered; and(c) the nature of the deception is disclosed toclients at the earliest feasible opportunity.”(section 1.3 BPS Code of Conduct, Ethical Principles and Guidelines)
23Observational Research “observational research is only acceptable in situations where those observed would expect to be observed by strangers” (section 9.1 BPS Code of Conduct, Ethical Principles and Guidelines)Covert vs. Overt observationCultural issuesPrivacyData protectionData useData management
24Covert research“may be undertaken when it may provide unique forms of evidence or where overt observation might alter the phenomenon being studied. The broad principle should be that covert research must not be undertaken lightly or routinely. It is only justified if important issues are being addressed and if matters of social significance which cannot be uncovered in other ways are likely to be discovered. Normally, social scientists should ensure that research participants are aware of and consent to arrangements made with regard to the management and security of data, the preservation of anonymity, and any risk that might arise during or beyond the project itself, and how these might be minimised or avoided.” (ESRC Research Ethics Framework)
25Practitioner vs Researcher CoercionDependent relationshipsVulnerability
26Data Collection Privacy Right of an individual to control what other people know about them.Assurance that sensitive information will not be disclosed without specific approvalInformed consent necessary when using information that an individual normally controls eg information they have volunteered to disclose
27Confidentiality and Anonymity Guarantee that identifying information will not be made available to anyone who is not directly involved in the studyAnonymityParticipant unidentified throughout the studyPublicOther participantsResearchers
28Data ManagementData should be presented in such a way that respondents should be able to recognise themselves while the reader should not be able to identify themAllows freedom of speechEthical and legal implicationsData Protection Act 1998
29Data Protection Act 1998 Fairly and lawfully processed Processed for specific purposesAdequate, relevant and not excessiveAccurate and up-to-dateNot kept longer than necessaryProcessed in line with participants’ rightsKept secureNot transferred to countries with in-adequate protection for data
30And finally …….“Simply ‘knowing about’ the issues of values and ethics is not a sufficient basis on which to conduct research, they need to form part of the research practice itself”May, T. (2001) Social Research, 3rd Edition,Buckingham, Open University Press