SOC234 2018 Lab11 – Bega

Dear SOC234 Lab,

Please respond to the following question with a reply-post of no more than 250 words:

‘What are the key principles and challenges of ethical research?”

Remember that you will need to post your reply before Lab 11, and don’t forget to look at both the instructions for Tweeting and Blogging and the Lab and Lecture Guide, both up on Moodle.

Thanks and good luck, Roger.

#S234UOW18  #Lab11  #Bega

Posted in SOC234 - Social Research methods, UOW.

5 Comments on SOC234 2018 Lab11 – Bega

Colby Gray-Balcomb said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Ethics is the establishment of a moral standards that oversee the behaviours of a particular group or setting. Ethical research principles are about the relationship between the research and the participant (ACFID 2017, p4). There are four main principles that need to be considered when conducting social research. The first being Research Merit and integrity, the research should be experienced and competent with a clear research aim that is well designed. The second is that the researcher recognises that they are studying human beings which means that they should ensure that are participating by choice rather than being coerced and both their rights and cultures/ religions are being respected. The next key principle is beneficence meaning that the researcher has identified any risk early in the research to eliminate any potential harm which the risks could pose. Also, the researcher should not be the only one that gets something out of the research, all that participate in the study should get something positive (ACFID 2017, p 4-5). The last principle is Justice, which ensures research is inclusive and no sub- group (children, disabled, religious etc) are excluded from that research. Ethical research also faces challenges many challenges including the safety of participants, their confidentiality and their Anonymity. Ethics is also faced with ethical dilemmas for example the researchers face every day dilemmas which are regularly experienced. The researchers also face challenges with recruitment because in order for them not to compromise ethical standards recruitment must take place without using ways that may manipulate or subtly encourage people to join the study (Habibis 2013, p 82-90). Therefore, Ethical research is about balancing the power between the researcher and participant to achieve ethical research that is inline with moral standards.

Madison Van Beek said : Guest Report 9 months ago

The key principles of ethical research include a recognition of the unequal power dynamics between the researcher and those being researched, the commitment to completing research with integrity and honesty, and research that involves respect for all participants involved. For example, it is essential that a researcher undertaking ethical research ensures all participants provide the researcher with informed consent, and the researcher must understand that they have a crucial responsibility to ensure anonymity, confidentiality, and the safety of all participants. However, ethical research also presents challenges. These challenges include ethical dilemmas such as the involvement of volunteers in the research process, as there are various ways in which these volunteers may have been manipulated into participating in the study. It is therefore essential that the researcher ensures that no participants were coerced or encouraged. Furthermore, a researcher may choose to provide research participants with financial aid to assist travel costs. However, this is an ethical dilemma as the researcher must ensure that this financial aid is not considered coercion and that it does not impact the participant's voluntary consent. Therefore, to conclude, ethical research involves a recognition of the moral standards which dictate the behaviour of a researcher, however it presents the researchers with challenges as the researcher must ensure they are not manipulating participants, and that any form of financial remuneration is not a form of coercion. Reference List: Habibis, D 2013 'Ethics and Social Research', Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.). (2013). Social Research Methods. 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p72-9

Amelia Love said : Guest Report 9 months ago

It is an essential aspect of any project that the research be conducted in accordance to the key ethical guidelines, principles and values concerning the main stakeholders in the project such as the participants and the researcher (Habibis, 2013, p.73). Social investigation is governed by ethics to alleviate the uneven level of power that may exist between the researcher and the researched (Habibis, 2013, p.73). These perceived power relations between the researchers and their participants is often prompted by the fact that the researcher may have a particular result in mind, a result to which the participant may not fully understand. The key principles of conducting ethical research as defined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans (NHMRC, 2007) are respect for human beings, beneficence, justice and research merit and integrity. These key principles ensure the safety of the participants through informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, voluntary involvement and protection from harm. Ethical challenges may arise when conducting research with vulnerable groups such as young people, criminals and ethnic minorities (Habibis, 2013, p.73). To ensure no challenges arise, it is essential that researches fully adhere to the ethical guidelines. In Australia, any research that is funded by the government must pass through the human research committee before the research can begin, therefore, the protection of participants involved in a government funded project is secured (Walters, 2013, p.5). However, if this is not the case, the researcher must refer to what they believe is morally perceived as right and wrong (Walters, 2013, p.5).

Carina Severs said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Social change in regards to defining and establishing a moral standard for research had an unsavoury birth. The development of the Nuremburg Code (1949), following atrocities in the name of scientific research, was to become a foundation for the development of the basic principles of ethical research where behaviours and values were questioned as being acceptable or not (Habibis 2013, p.75). We now have the ‘National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans’ and it’s this code, which advocates research principles that not only guide the researcher, but more importantly protects the people being researched (Habibis 2013, p.76). This is further attested by Wendler & Rid (2017, p.1) who state “…social value is an ethical requirement for the vast majority of clinical research studies and should be mandated by applicable guidelines and policies”. Respect for persons, beneficence and justice underpin the principles of ethical conduct in social research and more specifically values such as respect for participants, informed consent, voluntary participation, the right to withdraw, disclosure of funding sources, confidentiality and data protection (Habibis 2013, p.73-91) are important considerations. Additionally, and most importantly, the key concepts around safety including “do no harm” and “minimise risk” take significant prominence (Patulny, 2018). Research should not only conform to a certain moral standard but considers the risk to the researcher and those being researched. To test if research does reach an acceptable standard, then it is ‘risk assessed’. This risk assessment is to ensure the risks do not outweigh the gains the research could bring to society. Contradictions are present when what’s deemed good for one society may well be different in other cultures or groups. Tensions between what the researcher needs and the needs of those being researched, also presents challenges. The example given in the lecture of the research conducted in the publication “Tearoom trade” (Patulny, 2018) highlights how supposed “anonymous” published research, could be damaging if a subject recognises themselves from the context of the data, for example times and locations. This could have caused unknown harm to those studied. This is confirmed by Habibis (2013, p.73) who reminds us “The power and influence of researchers often contrasts with that of their study population” and as such the importance of ethics committees cannot be over stated in any research project.References: 1. Patulny, R 2018, SOC234 Lecture 12 “Research Ethics”, Powerpoint presentation, University of Wollongong, Wollongong,, viewed 15th May 2018. 2. Habibis, D 2013 ‘Ethics and Social Research’ Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edn, South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p50-71 3. Wendler, D, & Rid, A 2017, 'In Defense of a Social Value Requirement for Clinical Research', Bioethics, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 77-86. Available from: 10.1111/bioe.12325. [14 May 2018].

Alicia Redshaw said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Ethical Research is “concerned with ensuring that ethical principles and values always govern research involving humans” (Habibis 2013, p.73). Ethics is concerned and associated with moral standards, in other words, standards of what is right and wrong. Ethical research requires the researcher to balance “the pursuit of scientific knowledge and the rights of those being studied” (Neumann 2014, p.145). Within research, the ethical concerns will depend on the research question in conjunction with the technique adopted to collect data. Within ethical research, there are a number of key principles and challenges associated with it which will be discussed here. Notably, many of these key principles have emanated from the Nuremberg Code (Patulny, 2018). As outlined by Habibis (2013) however, the most important mechanism and principle in achieving ethical conduct is the individual researcher and their sense of integrity and moral values. (Neumann, 2014 p.145) (Habibis 2013, p.74). The recognition of uneven power relations is also a key principle and challenge of ethical research. Whereby social research often places an “intense gaze” on vulnerable populations and it is the responsibility of the researcher to understand these ethical concerns and power imbalances. However, this can present as a challenge at times in ensuring that relationships are not exploited or jeopardised as a result of power imbalances. (Habibis 2013, p.73). In addition to this, seeking and obtaining voluntary consent is a key principle of ethical research whereby sufficient information must be provided to the participant and the implications of their participation in it (Patulny, 2018). Sourcing appropriate participants who are both willing to participate and consent to a research project can present as a challenge of ethical research. Regards to safety, integrity, trust, confidentiality, data storage, data management, and anonymity of participants must be addressed, respected, maintained and upheld within research as they are also key principles encapsulated within ethical research. (Habibis 2013, pp.79-83). Researchers must also identify and disclose the source or sponsor who funded the research project. (Habibis 2013, p.95) (Neumann 2014, p.157). Finally, methodologies within research can also present ethical challenges whereby “qualitative methodologies give rise to more ethical dilemmas” opposed to qualitative. (Habibis 2013, p.95). References: 1. Habibis, D 2013 ‘Ethics and Social Research’ Chapter 4 in Walter, Maggie (ed.) (2013) Social Research Methods, 3rd Edn, South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p50-71. 2. W. Laurence Neumann 2014, Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, Pearson Education Limited, Edinburgh Gate Harlow. 3. Patulny, R 2018, ‘Lecture 12: Research Ethics, PowerPoint slides SOC234, University of Wollongong, viewed 14 May 2018.

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