When On the Record Doesn't Really Mean On the Record: an attempt to navigate ethical clearance for journalism and non-fiction research

Australasian Association of Writing Programmes
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Encounters: place | situation | context, 2012, pp. 1 - 14
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Journalism and writing academics from around the country are evaluating the best method to tackle problematic encounters with Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs). Discussion is focussing on the management of the ethics approval process within universities pertinent to their roles as researchers and as supervisors to their Higher Degree Research students. The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research was revamped in 2007 to be more inclusive of specific research practices within these fields, but it seems the flow on effect to many university HRECs has not evolved with it. Instead, a conservative stasis pertaining to the previous medical/scientific paradigm remains the default position. Pre-empting upcoming ethics applications flowing from the creation of a newly formed journalism graduate school, this paper will detail a submission that was made by the author to a university's HREC in a bid to expedite the process for non-traditional and creative researchers within the new school. It will also propose a more appropriate and applicable model of the informed consent letter that addresses tensions around the withdrawal of 'data'. The HREC response and subsequent outcome will also be examined. This paper seeks to add to the debate around this issue by detailing how the revised National Statement has indeed given creative practice-led academics the ability to improve the ethical clearance process - on close reading, the mechanisms are there within the Statement. http://aawp.org.au/publications-aawp
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