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Table of Contents

  1. Key questions
  2. Example of harm from social science research -
  3. Research merit and integrity
  4. Justice
  5. Special protections for vulnerable communities
  6. Ethics Controversies: Case Studies - Debates about the ethics of the Tearoom Trade Study Methodology
  7. Case 2: The Human Terrain System
  8. Informed consent
  9. Freedom from coercion
  10. Case 3: Gang Leader for a day
  11. When social scientists uncover crime through their research
    1. Confidentiality for research participants when crime occurs
  12. Other ethical problems in Venkatesh's research
  13. Responsibilities to people/cultures being studied
    1. Informed Consent
    2. Informed consent scenario
    3. Best practice:
    4. Protecting identities of participants
    5. Case Study
    6. Protecting identities of participants: scenario
  14. Do no harm: think about the ramifications of the research
  15. Reciprocity: paying people for their contributions
    1. Reciprocity and collaboration with the community you work with
  16. Intimacy in research: maintaining informed consent over time
    1. Case Study:
    2. Intimacy in ethnographic research: sex and the field
  17. Respect for persons:
  18. Protection from psychological or physical harm
  19. Intellectual property
  20. Summary of Principles of Ethical Research
  21. Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS)
  22. Death of Jesse Gelsinger (1999) Conflicts of Interest Example
  23. Respect for Persons
  24. Informed Consent
    1. Voluntariness
    2. Comprehension
    3. Disclosure
  25. Case Study: Study on Campus
  26. Informed Consent
    1. Consent Document 1
    2. Consent Document 2
  27. Requirements for documentation of informed consent
  28. Decisional Capacity
  29. Children's Participation in Research
    1. Lack of assent from a child
  30. Research with prisoners
  31. Community Consultation
  32. Beneficence
  33. Justice
  34. Compensation for Research Participation
    1. Avoiding undue inducement
    2. Case Study involving confidentiality of clinical data
  35. Confidentiality

Summary of Principles of Ethical Research

Research participants can make a significant contribution to research by allowing researchers an intimate access to their personal and community knowledge, resources and data. Whether or not the research involves fieldwork, ethical practice constitutes ongoing consultation and negotiation with those who may be directly affected by the research/research outcomes. Consultation involves an honest and free exchange of information about aims, methods and potential outcomes (for all parties). Negotiation should be entered into with an earnest view to reaching an agreement and a full and frank disclosure of available information. It is a process designed at reaching an agreement about the potential outcomes that are specific to the needs of the researched community. The aim of consultation and negotiation is to achieve a clear mutual understanding about research intentions, methods and potential results of the proposed research.

The act of consultation and negotiation is not simply a matter of courtesy but an opportunity for groups to be properly, freely and fully informed. It must acknowledge and respect local knowledge systems and processes, ideas, cultural expressions and cultural materials.

Ethics rules can fall short of the demands of personal relationships between researchers and their participants. An example of this is anthropologist Kristina Everett who was doing research with an urban Aboriginal community. The University Ethics Committee demanded a signed consent form from the woman to tell her life story but she refused to sign it several times. Eventually Everett asked her what was concerning her and she got upset and said she didn't understand why a contract was needed between friends, to protect what she perceived as the University's interests and not hers and that no piece of paper could replace the friendship they had built up over the years.

It may also be the case that ethical regulations fall short of researchers' own moral requirements. Researchers must make their own decisions about how to act in the context of the particular research situation, in dialogue with their research participants.

Researchers have an obligation to give something back to the community. Research results should be shared in a form that is useful and accessible.

1

Risk of harm question

According to the ethical principle of beneficence, is any risk to research participants ever acceptable?

a)
b)
2. This is correct. Depending on the circumstances. Risks can be acceptable, provided the benefits clearly outweigh the risks and participants are fully informed about the risks. Your answer has been saved.
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2

Assessing research projects

Imagine that you are sitting on a committee responsible for assessing the ethics of research projects. Someone proposes a research project that is poorly designed and which, in the opinion of another expert in the field, replicates research that has already been done with no new content. Further, while some research projects are worth replicating to test validity, this proposed research will not even be able to test the validity of previous research because it is so poorly designed. However, the research carries low risk of harm to the research participant. Do you approve the research or not?

a)
b)
2. It may depend on the context but ethics committees will want assurance that research is not going to waste participants' time. It may depend on the context but ethics committees will want assurance that research is not going to waste participants' time. Your answer has been saved.
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3

Vulnerable Groups

Vulnerable groups may need special protection from the risks of research participation. In the list below, which are examples of vulnerable groups? Select all that apply (there may be more than one answer).

a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
All of the above. Vulnerability covers those in a dependent relationship, those who are could potentially be coerced and those who may be unable to consent for themselves. All of the above. Vulnerability covers those in a dependent relationship, those who are could potentially be coerced and those who may be unable to consent for themselves. Your answer has been saved.
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4

Informed consent process

True or False: Informed consent is an ongoing process, not a one-off event.

a)
b)
True: Informed consent is an ongoing processInformed consent is an ongoing processYour answer has been saved.
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5

Informed Consent

Once fully informed consent is obtained at the start of the project, the participant has agreed to participate in the research until it is completed.

a)
b)
Correct. Participants are free to withdraw at any time, and should be allowed to stop participation, and if desired remove any data already collected about them, from the project. Participants are free to withdraw at any time, and should be allowed to stop participation, and if desired remove any data already collected about them, from the project. Your answer has been saved.
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6

Withdrawal of consent

After a participant has agreed to participate in a project the research participant cannot withdraw unless it is clearly harmful to the participant.

a)
b)
Correct. A participant is free to withdraw at any time from a research project, and if they wish, to ask that any data collected so far is removed from the results. A participant is free to withdraw at any time from a research project, and if they wish, to ask that any data collected so far is removed from the results. Your answer has been saved.
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Question 1

7

Protecting the identity of research participants

Is it ever appropriate to reveal the identity of your research participants?

a)
b)
c)
Correct. In certain circumstances but you should give real consideration to potential ramifications of doing so, and remember such a step is irreversible. In certain circumstances but you should give real consideration to potential ramifications of doing so, and remember such a step is irreversible. Your answer has been saved.
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8

Illegal activity

If you are doing research and discover illegal activity, you should:

a)
b)
c)
Correct. It will depend on whether there is a risk of harm to the well-being of individuals. It will depend on whether there is a risk of harm to the well-being of individualsYour answer has been saved.
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9

Why does the American Anthropological Association say that the Human Terrain System violates the ethical principle to "do no harm"?

Why does the American Anthropological Association say that the Human Terrain System violates the ethical principle to "do no harm"?

a)
b)
c)
Because the social scientists cannot guarantee how the information will be used which conflicts with the principle of protecting participants from harm and gaining informed consent. Because the social scientists cannot guarantee how the information will be used which conflicts with the principle of protecting participants from harm and gaining informed consent. Your answer has been saved.
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10

Illegal activity

True or False: If the research involves the investigation of illegal behaviour which is not subject to mandatory reporting requirements, the researcher must take care to keep the identities of research participants anonymous in all research records.

a)
b)
This is good practice, in case the research is seized is subject to a subpoena. This is good practice, in case the research is seized is subject to a subpoena. Your answer has been saved.
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