HUMAN RESEARCH ETHICS

RESEARCH MERIT AND INTEGRITY

PART C:
Using the National Statement

For each of the selected issues from the case study, which aspect of the PRINICPLE of Research Merit and Integrity and which GUIDELINE(S) would help you to answer the question? In addition to chapter 1 (Values and Principles), it is likely that chapters 3.1 (qualitative methods), 3.3 (Clinical research) and 4.3 (People in dependent or unequal relationships) will be relevant.

You are encouraged to make some choices of your own in the free text box provided before clicking the PRINCIPLES and, where present, GUIDELINE(S) buttons after each question to take you to the suggested answers.

  1. What is the benefit of the study if it does not make any comparison to rail transport?

    A. Which is the relevant aspect of the Principle of Research Merit and Integrity?


    1.1 Research that has merit is:
    (a)justifiable by its potential benefit, which may include its contribution to knowledge and understanding, to improved social welfare and individual wellbeing, and to the skill and expertise of researchers. What constitutes potential benefit and whether it justifies research may sometimes require consultation with the relevant communities;


    B. Which is or are the relevant guidelines?


    5.2.5. In each research proposal, the researcher/s should demonstrate that the research has merit and reflects the ethical values of justice, beneficence and respect for humans (see paragraph 1.1, page 12).



  2. Will the offer from the LDTA influence the way that the study is conducted, or its results are expressed and published or compromise respect for participants? How will this be avoided?

    A. Which is the relevant aspect of the Principle of Research Merit and Integrity?


    1.1 Research that has merit is:
    (d) designed to ensure that respect for the participants is not compromised by the aims of the research, by the way it is carried out, or by the results;


    B. Which is or are the relevant guidelines?


    5.2.7 A researcher should disclose to the review body the amount and sources
    or potential sources of funding for the research.

    5.2.10 A researcher should disclose to the review body any actual or potential conflicts of interest, including any financial or other interest or affiliation, that bears on the research (see Chapter 5.4: Conflicts of interest, page 89–90).



  3. How will the interviewees be selected?

    A. Which is the relevant aspect of the Principle of Research Merit and Integrity?


    1.1 Research that has merit is:
    (b) designed or developed using methods appropriate for achieving the aims of the proposal;


    B. Which is or are the relevant guidelines?


    3.1.5 If a sampling strategy is used, the most common type is purposive sampling, which aims at the selection of information-rich cases relevant to the research question. While random and representative sampling are not precluded in qualitative studies, many sampling frames are grounded in the specific aims of the research question.

    3.1.6 The rigour of a qualitative study should not be judged on sample size. When sampling is appropriate, the objectives and theoretical basis of the research should determine the size of the sample and the sampling strategy. For example, some qualitative methods use a principle of ‘saturation', where sampling occurs until no new information is being obtained. This is only one of several criteria for assessing sample size.

    3.1.7 Research proposals that include sampling should clearly describe the recruitment strategy and criteria for selecting participants.



  4. Does the retainer from the government constitute a conflict of interest and if so how can this be overcome?

    A. Which is the relevant aspect of the Principle of Research Merit and Integrity?


    1.3 Research that is conducted with integrity is carried out by researchers with a commitment to:
    (a) searching for knowledge and understanding;


    B. Which is or are the relevant guidelines?


    5.4.2 An institution with a conflict of interest bearing on research should inform
    relevant ethical review bodies about the conflict

    5.4.3 Ethical review bodies should see that measures are adopted to manage conflicts of interest involving researchers (see paragraph 5.2.10, page 83). These measures may include requiring that:

    1. the information be disclosed to research participants;
    2. a person other than the researcher make the initial approach to participants;
    3. the information be disclosed in any report of the research;
    4. the research be conducted by another researcher; or
    5. the research not be conducted.


  5. How will Macadam avoid the effects of his previous relationships with interviewees in the research?

    A. Which is the relevant aspect of the Principle of Research Merit and Integrity?


    1.3 Research that is conducted with integrity is carried out by researchers with a commitment to:
    (a) searching for knowledge and understanding;
    (b) following recognised principles of research conduct;
    (c) conducting research honestly;

    B. Which is or are the relevant guidelines?


    4.3.1 Being in a dependent or unequal relationship may influence a person's decision to participate in research. While this influence does not necessarily invalidate the decision, it always constitutes a reason to pay particular attention to the process through which consent is negotiated.

    4.3.3 In the research design, researchers should identify and take steps to minimise potentially detrimental effects of:
    (a) an unequal or dependent relationship on the conduct of the research; and
    (b) the research on participants involved in the relationship.