INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH. What are the ethical challenges? Richard Jenkins University of Sheffield. WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH?. There are at least three distinct types of non-medical international research involving human participants and personal data…
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What are the ethical challenges?
University of Sheffield
WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH?
There are at least three distinct types of non-medical international research involving human participants and personal data…
Research based in the UK but using already existing, secondary data from and about elsewhere.
Comparative collaborative research with colleagues outside the UK, where they collect their national data and you collect your (UK) data.
Research carried out by a UK-based researcher that involves data collection outside the UK.
RESEARCH BASED IN THE UK BUT USING ALREADY EXISTING, SECONDARY DATA FROM AND ABOUT ELSEWHERE.
Here one needs to be certain that the data were gathered in a manner that:
satisfied any in-country legal and ethical requirements;
satisfies the University’s Research Ethics Policy;
and, if relevant,
satisfies any appropriate professional ethical requirements (publication etc.).
The challenge may be how to do this…
COMPARATIVE COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH WITH COLLEAGUES OUTSIDE THE UK, WHERE THEY COLLECT THEIR NATIONAL DATA AND YOU COLLECT YOUR (UK) DATA.
The same ethical requirements are present:
satisfaction of in-country legal and ethical requirements;
satisfaction of the University’s Research Ethics Policy (particularly if Sheffield is the lead institution);
and, if relevant,
satisfaction of professional ethical requirements (publication etc.).
RESEARCH CARRIED OUT BY A UK-BASED RESEARCHER THAT INVOLVES DATA COLLECTION OUTSIDE THE UK.
in-country legal and research ethical requirements;
the University’s Research Ethics Policy;
professional ethical requirements.
What are the challenges?
The situation may be more complex, but the responsibilities, with respect to research ethics, are essentially the same.
In one word: CULTURE
ETHICAL CHALLENGES OF INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH
Doing research involving human participants and personal data anywhere poses ethical challenges, and those ethical challenges are pretty universal.
While we should be sensitive to local norms and conditions, we need to maintain our own standards of behaviour.
Doing research outside the UK doesn’t mean that we cease to be governed by UK data protection law - because we use the data within the UK - or the University’s Research Ethics Policy.