SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Flick, C. (2016). Informed consent and the Facebook emotional manipulation studyResearch Ethics12, 14–28.

Abstract: This article argues that the study conducted by Facebook in conjunction with Cornell University did not have sufficient ethical oversight, and neglected in particular to obtain necessary informed consent from the participants in the study. It establishes the importance of informed consent in Internet research ethics and suggests that in Facebook’s case (and other, similar cases), a reasonable shift could be made from traditional medical ethics ‘effective consent’ to a ‘waiver of normative expectations’, although this would require much-needed change to the company’s standard practice. Finally, it gives some practical recommendations for how to implement such consent strategies, and how the ethical oversight gap between university-led research and industry-led research can be bridged, potentially using emerging Responsible Research and Innovation frameworks which are currently gathering momentum in Europe.

Journal Article 2: Wassenaar, D. R. & Slack, C. M. (2015). How to learn to love your research ethics committee: recommendations for psychologistsSouth African Journal of Psychology, 46, 306–315.

Abstract: Ethics review of psychological and sociobehavioural research is increasingly required by leading South African research institutions and universities, following international trends, and national statutory developments. Local and international scholarly journals are also more routinely requesting proof of ethics approval before accepting empirical work for publication. In some instances, psychological researchers may regard ethics review as a process that imposes delays and adds little value to proposed studies, and they may experience the process as frustrating and unrewarding. This article aims to briefly review the issue of ethics review for such research and to focus on pragmatic recommendations for psychological researchers navigating ethical review, including how they could engage their research ethics committee more effectively to strengthen this critical relationship.