Presentation on theme: "ETHICS: How to Prepare a Strong Application"— Presentation transcript:
1 ETHICS:How to Prepare a Strong ApplicationHelen Gremillion (and Geoff Bridgman)Department of Social PracticeUnitec Institute of Technology6 May, 2014
2 Why conduct ethically-sound research? Moral obligationCredibilityLegal requirements
3 Why conduct ethically sound research? With ethics approval:Secure legal position (researcher and Unitec indemnified)ACC and professional coverageSatisfaction of dissertation/thesis requirementsAbility to publish
4 ‘Unethical’ examples “The Unfortunate Experiment” (Cartwright, National Women’s Hospital, ). Delay in treatment of women diagnosed with cervical cancer or a pre-cancerous lesion. 1/3 developed invasive cancer, 8 died.Milgram (electric shock: Yale University, 1963)
5 Ethical considerations apply when... Humans or animals used as subjects, i.e. with:questionnaires, interviews, focus groupsclinical trials (medical intervention)some observational studiesbodily tissues and fluidstreatments or exercises appliedgenetic modificationuse of personal, non-public informationusing property/material which is culturally, historically or spiritually significant
6 Principles of ethically sound research informed and voluntary consentdoesn’t breach privacyphysical and emotional harm minimisationcultural and social sensitivitylimitation of deceptionrespects intellectual and cultural property ownershipavoids conflicts of interestadequate research design to meet objectives
7 Before Collecting Data.... PRIOR APPROVAL must be SOUGHT and GAINED before research can commence
8 Ethical DilemmasBSocP students want to interview past or present marijuana smokers to find out what safe practices they typically use.A teacher wants to run a focus group with her students to explore the effectiveness of different teaching strategiesA counsellor wants to use session transcripts (made for the purpose of supervision) in a project that evaluates the effectiveness of counsellingA group of women researchers want to interview men about fatheringA group of Pakeha researchers want to do research on Māori Health practices
10 General ethical issues: Informed consent, and ability to withdraw involvement/dataPower issues: e.g. teacher-student, doctor-patient, principal-teacher.Vulnerable subjects: e.g. childrenAnonymity and/or confidentiality‘Lay’ language and well-written documents, particularly those distributed to public
11 Specific but common ethical issues Cultural awarenessSample size (research design adequacy)Recruiting participants (bias/power issues)Sensitive questions: e.g. have you ever broken the law? Are you using drugs? What is your sexual orientation?Conflicts of interest (e.g. researcher benefits, or could be seen to benefit, from a particular outcome)Overseas research (e.g. researcher safety)
12 What’s included in an application Correct and current application formInformation sheet(s) (unless anonymous survey)Consent form(s) (unless anonymous survey)Questionnaire, interview schedule. If anonymous survey, basic information about the purpose of the study and anonymity at startInstitutional permission if relevantAny other supporting documentation
13 Informed and Voluntary Consent Information sheet and consent form: in the participants’ language.No inducements that will influence the voluntary nature of participationConsideration of who will recruit and who will interview (e.g.)
14 Information Sheets - 1 what the research is about what they are being asked to do, including time commitments and venue infowhat the likely consequences are for them should they participatethat there are no disadvantages/ penalties/adverse consequences to not participating or withdrawing from the research (and timeframe for withdrawal)
15 Information Sheets -2any special conditions of the research that might affect their participation – e.g. that there will be audio-taping or video-taping. Include info about transcription processesHow participants will be informed of the results of the researchhow confidentiality of information will be preserveda schedule for the destruction of personal identifying information
16 Information Sheets - 3The names of the researchers who will actually make direct contact with the participantsthe supervisor for the project if relevantthe host institution for the researcha means (for example, a telephone number) by which participants are able to be in touch with the researchers, the supervisor and the chair of the Ethics Committee to ask further questions etc, andthe UNITEC approval statement
17 Minimisation of harm Who can be harmed? What kind of harm could be done by our research projects?What measures can we take to minimise harm?sensitive topics such as sexual practices, drug taking, or illegal activities?
18 Harm or Risks of HarmPhysical Harm. It is often the case that one must do some harm in order to bring about a greater good - sports researchPsychosocial Harm. By psychosocial harm is meant everything from the invasion of privacy and the diminution of social reputation, to the creation of enduring psychological fears and confusions.Risk of Harm. No actual harm of any sort to participants anticipated, but the risk of some harm.
19 Cultural and social sensitivity What defines culture?What cultural ethical issues are present in a given research project?What does an ethical approach to research seek to achieve with respect to culture?
22 UREC ethical guidelines re. Māori The Treaty of WaitangiTino rangatiratanga (sovereignty) over Māori resources; a right to a fair share of society’s benefits. Partnership, protection, participation.Informed consent – by individuals and organisations (whanau, hapu or iwi )Genuine consultation – before, during, afterDefining, designing, resolving potentially difficult issues. Maximising the benefits (including Māori researcher development).Result dissemination/ownership of reports
23 Cultural Considerations Involvement of particular ethnic/social groups (other than Māori)?If specific cultural issues could surface:Does the researcher speak the language?Translation issues: info sheet, consent form, etc.Consultation: researcher’s ‘insider’ status usually not sufficientDissemination of findings and any ongoing involvement with those consultedExample of gender sensitivity
24 Research design adequacy Are the aims and objectives clear, important, and consistently reflected?Does the value, and rigour, of the project justify participants’ efforts and time?Will the chosen methodology (including sampling) allow the necessary data to be collected?Will the planned analysis give answers to the question asked?
25 Avoidance of conflict of interest Are there are conflict of interest issues involving money, power, status or role?Question about any existing relationships between researcher and potential participants is key here.What do we need to put in place to prevent, or minimise (and justify) any conflicts of interest?