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Governance and Research Ethics Workshop Leader DR JOHN GIBBINS john. [email protected] ac. uk
Workshop aims l l To raise your awareness of the ethical problems that can arise in research To encourage you to own these problems and the responsibility to deal with them To enable you to deploy ethical theories and principles to solving ethical dilemmas in a wide variety of fields To help you deploy group working in identifying and solving ethical problems in their research
Intended knowledge outcomes: To l l l know about the ethical problems that can arise in research To know how to own these problems and gain the responsibility to deal with them To know how to deploy ethical theories and principles to solving ethical dilemmas in a wide variety of fields
Intended skills outcomes On successful completion of this workshop you will be able to : l Describe a wide range of ethical dilemmas facing researchers l Analyse how to deal with these both ethically and procedurally l To make judgements on best practice in their respective field l To appreciate the demands of governance regulations in their field of research.
Workshop Texts l l l Paul Oliver, (2003) The Students Guide to Research Ethics, Open University Press Also useful are: ‘ Michael Davis, (1999) Ethics for the University, Routledge Hillary Coombes, (2001) Research Using IT, Palgrave Resnik, D. (1986) The Ethics of Science, Routledge
Additional Texts l l l l Elliot, D. (ed. ) ( 1997) Research Ethics: A Reader, University Press of New England Penslar, R. (ed. ) (1997) Research Ethics: Cases and Materials, Open University Press Punch, M. (1986) The Politics and Ethics of Fieldwork, Sage, London Homan, R (1991) The Ethics of Social Research, Longmans May, T (1997) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, Open U P (Ch 3 Values and Ethics in the Research Process) House, E and K R (1999) Values in Evaluation and Social Research, Sage Bebau, M J (1995) Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research. Cases for Teaching and Assessment, Indiana University
Texts for non philosophers For non philosophy specialists some general texts on ethics may help l Mac. Intyre, A. , (1981) After Virtue, Duckworth. l P Singer Practical Ethics, Oxford University Press pp 1 -13 l R Billington Living Philosophy, Ch. 1. l C Gowans Moral Dilemma's l J Glover Causing Death and Saving Lives, Pelican, Ch. 1. , 20.
Web Resources l l l http: //www. indiana. edu/-poynter/tre-onln. html www. ethics-network. org. uk/reading/ Guide/Section. C/print. C/Appendix. C 1. pdf www. kcl. ac. uk/research/ethics
Exercises for Workshop In groups discuss and report on the following: l Exercise 1 – Auditing your own project ethics (1) By yourself list five areas where ethical and political issues exist for your project (5 minutes) l Exercise 2 - Good and bad practice In small groups identify five benefits and five costs to the University of developing a research ethics procedure (10 minutes) l Exercise 3 – Governance and Ethics As a whole group – How can we make governance and ethics compatible in the field of research? l Exercise 4 – Auditing your own ethics (2) By yourself revisit your projects and identify new areas where issues arise for your project (7 minutes) l Exercise 5 – Procedures and support In small groups - What procedures should you follow in making your research project ethical during the coming year? Who could you consult and from whom should you get clearance? 10 minutes) l Exercise 6 – Case studies Take on case study and discuss with your small group
The Role of professional Bodies – one view Source - Michael Foucault (1926 -1995) l Knowledge is Power l Knowledge - Professions - Power l Professional bodies are allowed autonomy to generate and deploy knowledge for those in power e. g. Corporations, the State
The Roles of Professions l l l to generate and maintain legitimacy of knowledge and autonomy of power to regulate entry, training, promotion, exit to regulate conduct and culture to regulate discipline to reproduce itself via information and training to negotiate with external bodies
Role of Professional Codes l l To detail the rules for the above To provide procedures and committees to implement Abridge conventional practices in the form of case law Questions: Do Codes of Research Ethics increase or limit academic autonomy? See exercise 3 below
Stakeholders to Research Stakeholders – at least 6 - all with rights l Subjects l Researchers – self and colleagues l Sponsors l Host institution l Professional Body l Public Whose interests trump all the others?
Exercise 1 – Auditing your own project for ethics By yourself, list five areas where ethical and political issues exist for your project (5 minutes)
Exercise 2 l Good and bad practice In groups identify five benefits and five costs to the University of developing a research ethics procedure (10 minutes)
Governance l l Governance is focused primarily upon risk management and reduction. It is a style of management and process for ensuring that a body regulates itself for these purposes. It involves ‘selforganizing, inter-organizational networks’ (Rhodes 1997, 52 -53). Governance, in this sense, is less about ethics and professionalism and more about effective management. Governance as a practice has developed because of the recognised requirement to manage for the safety and well being of all those involved in a practice. Governance therefore tends to be more centrally imposed and bureaucratically enforced.
Ethics l Ethics is both a subject area and a body of knowledge concerned with the acquisition of moral awareness and an understanding of the rules and principles which allow an individual or body to exercise moral judgement over its’ activities. Ethics is about the personal and public judgement as to what is desirable and undesirable, right and wrong and what we ‘ought’ and ‘ought not’ to do in areas that a contested. Ethical management therefore tends to be more devolved with style varied according to sector and purpose.
Morals and Morality l Morals are the actual values (ethical preferences) and norms (rules and principles) that an individual or body accept as guidance for their practices. A Morality is the general name for the package of norms and values that are shared and deployed by a body. Values are seen here as ’the conceptions of the desirable which are not directly observable but are evident in moral discourse and relevant to the formulation of attitudes’ (Van Deth & Scarbrough 1995, 46). Moral teaching is the practice of transmitting the norms and values of a body to its’ members, without the critical element provided by ethics.
Exercise 3 Governance or Ethics l l l Exercise 3 – In small group How can we ensure that governance and ethics are compatible in research? Identify three policies for your workplace that would protect professional researcher’s rights while promoting obligations to other stakeholders in research governance. In your own time Look at any of the following sites and texts or browse for files on Governance. http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Governance See also accounts of ‘corporate governance’ and ‘global governance’.
Are they compatible? Feedback l l Despite tensions and boundary disputes, ethics and governance are compatible and both should be stressed in policy, codes, training and implementation. Stakeholders will need to be assured in both rhetoric and practice that the primary motive for your policy is value based and that procedures are devised to enhance ethical good practice and judgement not just enhanced governance. It is also important to recognise that an institution will include individuals and bodies with diverse values, moralities and that there is no consensus amongst ethicists as to the priority of particular theories, rules and principles. Indeed within your institution there will be held values, moralities and ethical systems that are incompatible and incommensurable. In the absence of a moral and ethical consensus it is a complex task to create an agreed set of mission statements, procedures, policies and training (Gibbins & Reimer 1999, 94 - 104; 153 -160).
Feedback Exercise 3 continued l l l l Several practices allow governance and professional autonomy to reside together and promote each others missions: Research Ethics Training and PDP for all stakeholders to research promotes ownership Regular briefings and updating sessions embed good practice and brief on unfolding agendas Prioritising negotiation techniques with stakeholders to achieving Informed Consent Creating efficient procedures to ensure Ethical Funding and Sponsorship of Research Creating and managing procedures to defend Freedom of Information and Academic Freedom to protect the rights of all stakeholders Ensuring a balance of rights and duties between all stakeholders in all Codes, Policies and Procedures.
The Ethical Agenda for Research
Traditional Agenda Principles l l l Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Privacy and Confidentiality Impartiality; Neutrality; Discrimination Fairness and Justice Freedom and Openness versus Regulation and Control Discovery versus Responsibility
Current ethical principles l l l l Transparency Trust Openness Honesty Respect Autonomy Indemnity
Techniques and Management l l l Intellectual Property and Plagiarism Resources; Fees, Income Techniques; Equipment; Surveillance Implementation, Review, Training Self versus External Regulation Whistle Blowing; Regulation; Discipline Risk assessment
Three core tests l l l Effect - Does the activity harm a subject or ethically relevant non subject? Transparency – do all parties know what, why, how when? Fairness – are all parties treated with respect and not exploited in any way?
Exercise 4 - Auditing Your Own Ethics (2) By yourself revisit your projects and identify new areas where issues arise for your project (7 minutes)
Ethical Theories l l Deontic ethics - theory that denies consequences as the sole source of moral value and refers instead to absolute rules or principles of virtue, right or duty e. g. Immanual Kant, Human Rights Utilitarian ethics – theory that claims that the only legitimate principle upon which to judge an action as ethical is that it has beneficial consequences, namely, that it reduces harms and promotes the greatest happiness of the greatest number e. g John S Mill
More theories l l l Virtue ethics – theory that ethical conduct should be directed by ideals of the virtues higher than conformity to standards set by duty and law. A useful selection of online subject area glossaries can be found on the Premia site: www. premia. ac. uk/view. aspx? id=28 www. ncl. ac. uk/disability. services/postgradresearch/a ccessresearch. php Guidance materials www. ethics-network. org. uk/reading/ Guide/Section. C/print. C/Appendix. C 1. pdf
Exercise 5 – Procedures and Support l Exercise 5 – Procedures and support In small groups - What procedures in your School and University should you follow in making your research project ethical during the coming year? Who could you consult and from whom should you get clearance? (10 minutes)
University Ethics Committee Policy and procedures in the process of establishment – 2006 l To cover all fields including research l Procedures – ownership and devolution Possible 2 stage procedure: 1) Ethical Release 2) Ethical Approval l Training to be deployed widely l
Web Sources l l l l Useful Sources on Good Practice in Research Ethics A consolidated list of institutional codes of ethical practice for research can be found at www. xinstution. ac. uk/ethics A series of guidebooks and handbooks for research ethics can be found at the Kings College address www. kcl. ac. uk/depsta/law/research/cmle/ Some useful debates can be found within the Archives of the Association of Research Ethics Committees http: //www. arec. org. uk/table_archive. htm
International and National Look at the following illustrative websites and identify the differences in purpose, audience and application as you move down from the international agreements at the head of the list down to local codes at the bottom. l Helsinki Agreement http: //www. hri. org/docs/Helsinki 75. html#H 4. 32 l Bologna and other International Framework Agreements http: //www. bologna-berlin 2003. de/en/main_documents/index. htm l Council for Industry and Higher Education http: //www. cihe-uk. com/ethics. CONTENTS. php l Institute for Business Ethics www. ibe. org. uk/links Ethics Matters: Ethical Issues in HE
Exercise 6 - Case studies (10 minutes) l Case Study 1 in Social Sciences l A post-graduate student completes a Research Ethics Approval Form and identifies the following problems. 1) What issues do you consider this application raises? 2) If you were a member of the Schools Research Ethics Sub Committee what action would you recommend? The student intends doing work on the topic of the provision, personal experience and effects of sex education in primary and secondary schools in Newcastle (1945 -1997). Under question 11 the student states an intention to conduct qualitative research involving in-depth interviews with former and existing pupils; parents; governors and teachers. Under question 12 on possible damage to the interests of subjects the student queries whether 1) Past pupils may experience upset when induced to reflect on their past experiences, 2) whether present pupils ought only be interviewed with their parents present. Under 13 on consent the student states an intention to get Governors and parents consent for interviews with present pupils only. Under item 15 on information to be supplied to subjects, the student states an intention to supply a one page summary of the aims of the research project, their name, and institutional address where they can be contacted. 3) The project involves collecting and storing and conducting semiotic analysis of representations used for teaching sex education. Offer advice. l
Case Study 2 for IT and Management l l A post-graduate student completes a Research Ethics Approval Form and identifies the following problems. 1) What issues do you consider this application raises? 2) If you were a member of the Schools Research Ethics Sub Committee what action would you recommend? The student intends doing work on the topic of the identification, tracking and contacting of visitors to Business Web Sites on the Internet, with the aim of allowing site providers to identify visitors and to direct sales staff to them. On question 11 on procedures the student states an intention to experiment on tracking and identifying random visitors to a variety of web sites taken at random. Under 13 a they state that informed consent will not be sought as this would invalidate the aims of the research project. Under 12 on damage to subjects interests the student feels that as the selling companies will only try to sell products and services of benefit to users that no issues of damage arise. under question 15 no information will be given to site visitors tracked as this would invalidate the business application of the project. Under item 20 on financial support it is indicated that one large Internet Service Provider (Dolop) is funding the entire project to the tune of £ 300 k. Under item 21 on publication they seek control of all publication of results and a monopoly and copyright on usage of all technologies and software emerging form the project
Case Study 3 for the Arts and Humanities l l A first year student is planning their research design for a project on ‘Picturing the Family’. The primary question is how the popular camera effected family identity between 1910 and 1980? The theoretical framework is feminist postmodernism and argues that as time passes females gain more space behind the camera and that family identify becomes feminized. The argument will require comparing the patriarchal picturing to 1940 with the matriarchal picturing from 19411980. The methodological approach is essential discourse analysis of family photograph albums and the sample is to be gained using snowball methods, personal contacts and advertisements in the press. Where possible interviews will be made with family members involved and oral history records filed in the University Library. The aim is to publish the results and to use selected images. If you were a member of the Supervisory Team what advice would you give to the student? What ethical issues would you highlight as of concern and what protocols would you advise?
Case study 4 – Sciences and Agriculture l l A student wishes to study the effects of weed control methods in a number of different environments both urban and rural. What are the ethical and governance issues involved and how would you go about designing the proposal to be ethical?