Ethical Issues in Research by UUzgpZav


									     Ethical Issues in Research

Research Methods and Data
College of Advancing Studies

Brendan Rapple
              McGill University Study

• Ewan Cameron (McGill U. in Montreal) administered psychedelic
   drugs to 52 unsuspecting patients in order to carry out brainwashing
   experiments for the CIA.

• Experiments disclosed publicly for the first time in 1977 in the New
  York Times.

• Not until 1988 that the survivors received settlement.
                           Tuskegee Study

    ―Beginning in the 1930s, 399 men signed up with the U.S. Public
    Health Service for free medical care. The service was conducting a
    study on the effects of syphilis on the human body. The men were
    never told they had syphilis. They were told they had "bad blood" and
    were denied access to treatment, even for years after penicillin came
    into use in 1947. By the time the study was exposed in 1972, 28 men
    had died of syphilis, 100 others were dead of related complications, at
    least 40 wives had been infected and 19 children had contracted the
    disease at birth."

• Nazis
  The need for regulation and codes of behavior emerged from
  revelations of the research atrocities committed by the Nazis.

• Nuremberg Code
  This 1947 code for biomedical research was the first to focus on the
  importance of informed consent.

• Helsinki Declaration
  This 1964 declaration provided guidance in such areas as the use of
  animals for research purposes.
• The American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a formal
  code of ethics in 1969.

• American Psychological Association (1982)
      • The Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Human Research with
        Human Participants

• The National Research Act (1974)
      • Passed by Congress for the purpose of protecting human
        subjects participating in experiments.

• Of course, while it’s essential to have codes, the responsibility for
  ethical research ultimately lies with the individual researcher.
                           Ethical Factors

•   No Pressure
    Never any pressuring of participants.

•   Safety
    Safety of participants essential.

•   Credit
    Every researcher must receive precise, appropriate credit.

•   Communicate
    One should try to make results known to participants.

•   Ill Usage of Research
    One should be conscious of possible bad uses of research.
                        Informed Consent
•   Tell participants who is conducting study

•   Why was subject singled out for participation?
                     e.g. random sample
                     e.g. recently given birth to 1st child etc.

•   What is the time commitment?
                      e.g. 45 minutes to complete the survey

•   Any benefits for the participant to be expected?
          Realistically, there are often few direct benefits.

•   Any potential risks, and how have these been managed?

•   Information like the following should be participated to participants:

           ―Some people may experience negative emotions when discussing parental
           alcoholism. If you would like to discuss these with someone, please feel free to
           call the study director at the number below.‖
                       Informed Consent

•   Explain the study and offer to answer questions

•   Participation is always voluntary.

•   Provide participants with copy of informed consent form (if relevant).

•   Confidentiality
         (Anonymity, on the other hand, means that no one, including the
         researcher, will know the subject’s identity).
    Sometimes Consent is not Possible
•   Fake an assault in the street to gauge reaction of bystanders – e.g. who will
    intervene and who will do nothing.

•   Element of surprise is essential.

•   Problem with the preceding:
     – witnessing such an attack may be very disturbing to some.
     – Those who do not intervene may be upset and suffer feelings of low worth.
     – Those who do intervene may be injured.

•   Debriefing is mandatory.
             Informed Consent

– Special Populations and Coercion

  Difficult for some to give true voluntary informed consent

  They might lack necessary competency
                   --mentally retarded
              Informed Consent

• Others May be Indirectly Coerced—This is WRONG

            Prison Inmates
            Military Personnel
            The Homeless
            Welfare Recipients
     Institutional Review Board (IRB)

• Most Colleges/universities have IRBs

• BC has one:
                     BC Institutional Review Board
                   Questions Asked by IRBs
•   About the Investigator
      Who is the primary investigator, and who is supervising the study?

•   About Research Participants
      What are general characteristics of participants (e.g. age, sex etc.)?

      Any special characteristics of participants (e.g. children, alcoholics, mentally
       retarded etc.)?

      Any other institutions/individuals cooperating/cosponsoring the study?

      What is general state of health (mental and physical) of the participants?

      How will subjects be selected for, or excluded from, participation in this study?
                   Questions Asked by IRBs

•   Procedure:
     – What will the subjects be asked to do, or what behaviors will be observed by the

     – Will deception be used? If yes, why is it necessary?

     – What is nature of the deception, and when will the debriefing take place?

•   Material:
     – E.g., if electrical or mechanical equipment will be used, how has it been checked
       for safety?
                 Questions Asked by IRBs

• Risks
   – Any immediate risks to the subjects, including possibly causing them
     embarrassment, inconvenience, or discomfort?

   – Are there any long-range risks to the subjects?

   – If there are risks, what is the necessity for them, and how will subjects be
     compensated for facing such risks?
        IRBs are very Concerned about Possible
                  Psychological Harm

•   E.g.: a project involving interviewing of women who’ve been raped.

•   Obviously consent must be obtained.

•   They’re free to withdraw at any time.

•   Perhaps have psychological counseling available in case of distress.
                  Other Ethical Issues

• One should not cheat, falsify data etc.

• One should not plagiarize.
•   Plagiarism is taking another’s work and passing it off as your own.

•   In a broad sense we are all guilty of plagiarism many times each day.

•   We often take ideas from others and don’t attribute them to their original

•   More often than not we don’t even know the original source!

•   When we talk about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire or say, ―To be
    or not to be, that is the question‖ in normal conversation, we rarely attribute
    the words to Gibbon and Shakespeare respectively.
  Plagiarism in Research is Usually Quite Different

• True plagiarism is, quite bluntly, stealing.

• Sometimes a person just copies text word for word from a book or
  article and pretends that he is the author.

• Or buys an already written paper on the web.

• These are quite deliberate aims to deceive.
    Plagiarism Extends to More than Words

• One should always provide references for any
    –   statistics
    –   graphs
    –   tables
    –   numbers, etc.
   that one wishes to use in one's own paper.

• Thus, it isn’t just the words of another person’s ideas that one should
           Copy Direct Quotations Exactly

• Make sure that you write it precisely, word-for-word as in the original.

• Also essential that you enclose the quoted text in quotation marks.

• Failing to put someone else’s direct text in quotation marks and
  crediting the author, may lead to accusations of plagiarism.
  Paraphrasing is often Preferable to Taking
             Direct Quotations

• It’s often preferable to take down the substance of an author’s idea in
  your own words, i.e. to paraphrase.

• The greater part of your paper should be in your own words with
  appropriate documentation of the ideas of others.

• Of course, some direct quotation is fine – but always with citation.
    “Plagiarism” Sometimes Not Intentional
•   Many instances of plagiarism stem from sloppy research rather than through a
    deliberate desire to cheat.
•   Many students during the research process take bad notes, e.g. they write down
    someone else’s text verbatim but forget to include the quotation marks.

•   Later when they are writing the actual paper and they refer to their notes, they
    fail to remember that the text is another author’s and not their own.

•   A reader who recognizes the original text might think that the student has
    cheated. And this may lead to tough penalties.

•   So, the golden rule is to take excellent notes, write your whole paper yourself
    and to document your sources as well and as honestly as possible.
     “Common Knowledge” and Plagiarism

• It is not necessary to document every single statement.

• One need not give a reference for stating that President John F.
  Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

• This fact is common knowledge and belongs in the public domain.

• However, if you are referring to Historian X’s thesis that Kennedy was
  killed by a crime syndicate and not by Lee Harvey Oswald, proper
  citation to such a theory is requisite.

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