4 The Impact of Research on Values and Values on Research Ethical considerations are to the fore with the development of new technologies and new social systemsSociety is inherently conservative and seeks to set the limits of research activityI’m damned if they are goingto make me redundant
5 The scope of research ethics Ethical considerations cover all aspect of research but they are fore-grounded when the subject of the research are humans or animals
6 It has its disadvantages Research involving human subjects in the Medical, Social and Behavioral Sciences poses complex ethical issues.It requires careful thought and consideration on the part of both researchers and research participants.Prospective participants must be given adequate information on both the possible risks and the potential benefits of their involvement to allow them to make informed decisionsBut itpays wellIt has its disadvantages
7 Ethical Issues Justification for the research Access to participants/PrivacyInformed consentPotential harm
8 With research involving human subjects the risks and costs must be balanced against the potential benefitsTrivial or repetitive research is may be unethical where the subjects are at riskAfter years of experimentation the scientist proved that children become addicted to nicotine
9 AutonomyThe ethical principle of autonomy means that each person should be given the respect, time, and opportunity necessary to make his or her own decisions.Prospective participants must be given the information they will need to decide to enter a study or not to participate.There should not be pressure to participate.
10 Vulnerable participants Potentially vulnerable participants such as children, the elderly, the mentally ill may be incapable of understanding information that would enable them to make an informed decision about study participation.Consequently, careful consideration of their situation and needs is required, and extra care must be taken to protect them.For example, how will you assess the diminished capacity of an elderly individual, who will be the guardian, and how and when will you involve another individual as guardian in the process?
11 The process of obtaining consent Identify participant populationProduce information sheet and consent documentObtain permission from school’s ethics committeePresent research information to participant and discuss its contents – indicating that withdrawal at any time is possibleAnswer participants questionsGive a copy of the consent documentAllow the participant time to considerMeet participant and discuss documents, to answer any more questions and assess participants understandingObtain appropriate signed consentStart research
12 The participantsThe participants may not have the experience or educational background in order to fully understand the implications of the researchThey may be swayed because of their respect of and trust in the researcher who stands as an authority figureIf they are being paid for their participation they may be swayed by economic considerations from a free judgement of the risks
13 Peer pressureThe participants may be subject to social pressure of their peer groupThis is particularly prevalent in research groups
14 Assessing Participant Understanding An important part of the process is for the researcher to ensure that the prospective participants understands the research, their role in it, and any risks they may be taking.During discussion the use of open-ended and nondirective questions (i.e. those that begin with words such as "what," "where," "how often," "when," and "please describe.“) is most effective at doing this .
15 A few of the questions you may want to ask are: Describe in your own words the purpose of the study.What more would you like to know?Would you please explain to me what you think we're going to ask you to do?What are your concerns?The idea is not to quiz the participant but to encourage an open exchange of information and encourage them to ask questions.
16 Contact InformationGive the names of people who can answer questions about the research; include the principal investigator.If the researcher is a student, include the names and phone numbers of the principal investigator and, where applicable, the chair of the school ethical committee for questions.Furnish the contact name of a neutral third party who can explain the rights of research participants if the participant has any questions.
17 WithdrawalAlways stress the fact that participation is voluntary and that the participant can withdraw at any timeState that refusing to participate will involve no penalty or decrease in benefits to which the participant is otherwise entitled.Emphasize that the individual may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits.If there are limitations or risks involved in withdrawal, such as a danger to the participant's well being, these must also be clearly explained.
18 Ethical problems may arise The requirements of effective research sometimes conflict with the simple fulfillment of the obligation to obtain informed consent.For examplein psychological research information and fore-knowledge may bias the results
19 Reasons for limiting information The most common reason for limiting information is that valid data could not be obtained if the participants were fully informed about the purposes and procedures of the research.Methodological requirements of the research may demand that the participants remain unaware of the specific hypotheses under investigation.In other situations, incomplete information or misinformation may have to be provided to elicit the behavior of a naive individual or to create psychological reality under conditions that permit valid inference.
20 Deception or concealment Fully informed consent cannot be obtained in some kinds of research without the possibility that the results may be biasedIn those circumstances where a methodological requirement may necessitates the use of concealment or deception, the researcher has a special responsibility1. to determine whether the use of such techniques is justified by the study's prospective scientific, educational, or applied value2. whether alternative procedures are available that do not use concealment or deception3. that the participants are provided with sufficient explanation as soon as possible.These issues should be explored before undertaking the research with colleagues, supervisor(s) and the school/departmental ethics committee.
21 Risk assessment Research is by nature uncertain. The researcher may not be fully aware of the possible hazards involved in the proposed research.For example in the early stages of the development of new drugs their long term effects may not be known.In these circumstances the participant may not be fully informed of potential risks.
22 The perception of risk is central to informed consent A participant in research will probably not have the experience to perceive the risk directly and may be confused by mixed messages of virtual risk and so rely on the researcher’s understanding of risk
23 Consent Form Might take the following form I have read the Information Sheet and have had the details of the study explained to me. My questions have been answered to my satisfaction, and I may ask further questions at any time.I understand I have the right to withdraw from the study at any time and decline to answer any particular questions.I agree to provide information to the researcher(s) on the understanding that my name will not be used without my permission.I agree/do not agree to the interview being recorded electronically.I understand that I have the right to ask for the tape to be turned off at any time during the interviewI agree to participate in this study under the conditions set out in the information sheetSignature – Name - DateMight take the following form
24 Research design Most research is sponsored It is ethical behaviour for a researcherto use resources efficiently and effectivelyto work hardto ensure the well-being of all colleagues and participants
25 Minimising the risks Maximising the potential for valuable results It is standard practise in research to carry out a preliminary small-scale project in order to enablemore effective assessment of risksmore efficient design of the main project
26 In fact two types of error can arise when considering whether or not to reject the null hypothesis
27 Failure of the research design A research design that has a high chance of a Type II error is unethical because it wastes resourcesAccepting the null hypothesis when it is in fact false can be an important consideration.If you fail to reject Ho is that genuinely because Ho is correct?Or is the power of the test inadequate?
28 The Mertonian norms Communalism Universalism Disinterestedness OriginalityScepticism
29 The ethical matrix Well-being Autonomy Fairness Provides a means of examining the ethical positions of all interest groups – ensuring equality of treatment (justice/fairness).It helps to identify where one stronger principle might overcome a weaker one or where a compromise should be soughtSeparates well-being, autonomy and fairnessRespect for:Well-beingAutonomyFairnessInterest group 1Best outcomeInterest group 2Interest group 3Interest group 4
30 CommunalismOne of the Mertonian principles of science is communalism that the results of research are public knowledge, freely available to allResearch to provide public knowledge, freely available to allBut what aboutsecret government research?secret commercial research?Who owns the results - patents ?The Diggers believed that the land belonged to everyone
31 Who owns the information? However the participants in research have a right to privacyAlternatively much research is private, owned by the funder of the research either the government or a commercial concernThe conflict between privacy, confidentiality and the public access to knowledge creates an ethical arena“Who owns the information?”
33 Whistle-blowing Researchers are in a privileged position They may come across information about wrong-doing or danger to the publicThe reporting of this information may go against any confidentiality agreementThe reporting of such information is likely to damage their careerThe Public Disclosure Act 1998 protects certain classes of workers from the consequences of whistle-blowing
34 ConfidentialityConfidentiality of electronically stored participant information.Appropriate selection and use of tools for analysis of the primary dataWho has access to the dataData protection act
35 Universalism There are no privileged sources of scientific knowledge Race, sex, politics ?Specialism ?Authority ?But certain classes and ethnic groups are under-represented in research.
36 Disinteredness Science is done for its own sake How impersonal is research in practice ?Research is competitive, not just in the search for funding but also for status.High achieving researchers tend to be highly ambitious?Personal feuds are rife in academia ? For example in disputes over priority ?
37 The same academic institutions that are responsible for oversight of scientific integrity and human subjects protection are entering financial relationships with the industries whose products which might directly impinge on these.
38 Knowledge for its own sake A belief that scientific knowledge is politically and ethically neutral is challenged by the misuse of scientific knowledge
39 Originality Science is the discovery of the unknown Plagiarism ? Publication of the same results in multiple journals ?Routine “stamp-collecting” surveys ?
40 ScepticalIs sceptical of given opinionsChallenges accepted views
41 Research is social activity Research is not just a method and a system of organised knowledgeIt is a social activity carried out by groups of competing/co-operating/communicating scientists
42 Three dimensions of academic research community‘meeting’‘authority’‘controversy’‘publication’‘sincerity’‘theory’‘experiment’personknowledge
43 The participation of colleagues A key consideration concerns the status/rank/class of not just subjects but all participants including colleaguesThis will influence the ethical relationship/responsibility of the researcher. Not all people are equal.Colleagues may vary from superiors such as project leaders, “equals” but with varying degrees of experiences and status, to technicians and support staff. There is a special responsibility to colleagues with less experience or of a lower rank who may find it more difficult to refuse to participate.
44 Ethical relationships with supervisors The relationship between the student and the supervisor is unequal and hierarchical.the supervisor plays many roles as "adviser", "promoter", "boss", "teacher", "friend", "principal investigator” etc.This multiplicity of roles may lead to conflictthe relationship may be or may seem to be co-ercive abusiveA student must feel free to make their own decisions
45 Ethical supervision Non-coercive Nurtures the student’s confidence and skillsPermissiveDoes not use the student just as a technician or assistant but allows the student to develop the project in new waysNot jealous of the student’s success but allows the student to take ownership of their project and get the credit for it
46 Ethical relationships with colleagues Effective and ethical relationships with colleagues will aid a student to make more rapid progress on their project
47 PUBLICATIONS Are how the world sees you. Determine whether you get funding for further research or not!Determine whether you get promoted or not!!Determine whether you keep your job or not!!!
49 THE NEGATIVE DATA PROBLEM Can negative results be important?Are they publishable?Would journals full of negative results sell?If they are not published are they doomed to be repeated wastefully?How can positive results be validated without knowing about negative ones?
50 Two types of authorship problem Gift AuthorshipInclusion of authors who did not contribute significantly to the study – this might include a PhD supervisor!Hierarchy (Expectation / favour)Colleagues ( Increase publications)Ghost AuthorshipAbsence of AuthorsProfessional writers ( Should be acknowledged)Hierarchical / political / personal reasons
51 When to publish? There is intense pressure to publish early and often For career progressionFor getting new grantsFor getting tenureFor establishing priority/primacy in an area of research
52 Disputes over priority Robert K. Merton, has analysed disputes about priority in cases of near simultaneous discovery – those ending in dispute92% in the 17th century ended in dispute.72% in the 18th century,59% by the latter half of the 19th century,33% by the first half of the 20th century.The decline in contested claims for priority in research discoveries can be credited to the increasing acceptance of the publication of papers in modern academic journals.
53 TACTIC 1 Maximise number of publications. Waste of resources and distorts publication output.In U.S.A., U.K. universities up to early 1990’s and still applies in Germany, India, China.
54 How to maximise your publications– UNETHICALLY! SALAMI-SLICINGbreaking up work into large number of small papers.TILINGpublishing sequence of substantially overlapping papers.DOUBLE-PUBLISHINGpublishing same work twice
55 Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours Peer review is not always entirely independentMany areas of research are small and highly competitive
56 intolerant of criticism Some seniorscientists areintolerant of criticismanddangerous to cross.
57 PLAGIARISM Plagiarism is dishonesty. The research may be excellent but it wasn’t done by the author of the paper.No point in trying to plagiarise published work.Plagiarism mostly involves unpublished theses.Difficult to detect unless editor/referee familiar with unpublished work in subject as well as published work.Sanctions seen as a default option now.
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.