II.2. Evidence from researcher interactions with human participants

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Anastasia Shesterinina
Yale University
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:51 am

What do we mean by transparency in human subjects research?

PostMon Sep 05, 2016 8:35 pm

How do you understand transparency in human subjects research? How does transparency relate to our other commitments as researchers, such as ethics, rigor, and creativity in research? How, in practice, can scholars reconcile the imperative of data access and research transparency with our other commitments as researchers?

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Amanda Fulmer
UW-Seattle
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:27 pm

Re: What do we mean by transparency in human subjects research?

PostSun Nov 20, 2016 12:50 am

AnastasiaSh wrote:How do you understand transparency in human subjects research? How does transparency relate to our other commitments as researchers, such as ethics, rigor, and creativity in research? How, in practice, can scholars reconcile the imperative of data access and research transparency with our other commitments as researchers?


I think that transparency in this context revolves around your honesty about what you are and are not saying publicly. So, it is fine to withhold or change names and personal details, but we must be clear that we have done this, and clear about why.

I think that transparency should mean transparency with regard to *you the researcher,* not with regard to potentially vulnerable subjects. We as researchers need to be clear as much as possible on what work we've done, and how, but we have no obligation to be transparent about the details of others' lives, if that might cause subjects harm or distress. If you're doing work on oil companies, you would need to be transparent about any links you personally had to oil companies. But you would not need to be transparent on the name or contact information of a key opponent of a company.

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Anastasia Shesterinina
Yale University
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:51 am

Re: What do we mean by transparency in human subjects research?

PostSun Nov 20, 2016 1:30 pm

Thank you for highlighting "transparency with regard to *you the researcher,* not with regard to potentially vulnerable subjects." Honesty regarding how the researcher collected their materials with human subjects and arrived at their conclusions using these materials are critical aspects of the research process transparency that focuses on the researcher and their strategies and choices in the process of research with human subjects.

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Robin Turner
Butler University
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:02 am

Re: What do we mean by transparency in human subjects research?

PostFri Dec 30, 2016 7:25 pm

This is an important point. While honest discussion of one's research decisions and practices is necessary, detailed disclosure of how one generated research data is inadvisable in many situations where doing so would reveal a great deal to readers familiar with the context. As other discussions in the II.2 section highlight, retrospective disclosure may violate participants' (unstated) expectation of greater privacy while prospective disclosure of these practices to potential participants may lead to refusal to participate or reduce their frankness if it these disclosures would not place them at risk.

The discussion between Alice Kang and others (II.2, http://tinyurl.com/zqxrt6t) suggests that reflexivity is an important component of research transparency rarely required by political science publishers.

AnastasiaSh wrote:Thank you for highlighting "transparency with regard to *you the researcher,* not with regard to potentially vulnerable subjects." Honesty regarding how the researcher collected their materials with human subjects and arrived at their conclusions using these materials are critical aspects of the research process transparency that focuses on the researcher and their strategies and choices in the process of research with human subjects.

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Robin Turner
Butler University
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:02 am

Re: What do we mean by transparency in human subjects research?

PostFri Dec 30, 2016 7:32 pm

Small additional note. My comments here focus on data, not evidence. I agree with the guest comment on another thread "Regarding evidence, it is always appropriate, and imperative, to make one's evidence available to the broader public otherwise no one (editors, reviewers, disciplinary colleagues, etc.) would/should take any claim seriously if there is no supporting evidence. It is, in fact, impractical for an editor to accept an article for publication which makes an empirical claim without supporting evidence. The same cannot be said of data." (http://tinyurl.com/gp7avb3).

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