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Ethics in Ecology

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Peter Brenton and Hamish Hoewa's presentation at eRA 2017 workshop on Research Integrity and Ethics in the Cloud

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Ethics in Ecology

  1. 1. Atlas of Living Australia Ethics in Ecology The ALA is a national collaborative research infrastructure supported by the Australian Government. It is led by CSIRO in partnership with the Australian biological community. Peter Brenton & Hamish Holewa Chief Operating Officer Hamish.holewa@csiro.au 0400027653
  2. 2. Research Integrity and Ethics • Sensitive / Threatened species • Pest / Invasive species • Data quality • Citizen science - privacy & ethics concerns – Individual Identification – Managing the network – Recording devices (cameras/ audio/ video) • Citation / attribution / credits • Animal ethics – Handling – Destruction methods Established procedures & mechanisms to manage these issues (NOT ALA)
  3. 3. Sensitive / Threatened species • Identification of endangered species causing higher risk to species (e.g. rare orchid) – Increased human interference – Higher risk of illegal trade / collection • Research integrity / risks – Paradox – often endangered species have little known about them – Want to provide access to enable research whilst mitigating negative effects • Mitigation – Obscure records (geographically, temporally) – Restrict access for ‘trusted’ users
  4. 4. Pest / Invasive species • Identification of certain species can have negative trade impacts for Australia – Agricultural products – Biosecurity • Research integrity / risks – Management of invasive species / biosecurity threat need data and research – Management of access and authorisation is important • Mitigation – Flag certain species on data ingest – Ensuring sensitive data is handled correctly
  5. 5. Citizen Science - ethics concerns • Citizen Science – Used to identify and gather data – Verify species e.g. from images – Help digitisation and transcription • Research integrity / risks – Identification of users / contributors – Metadata inadequately describes the data – Educating third parties that use software to understand rights / legalisation/ privacy • ALA provides software platforms for third parties – BioCollect & DigiVol – Collects data & manages users – Standards-based (metadata, schemas & protocols) – Several approaches to protecting privacy possible
  6. 6. • Where • When • Sequence of travel
  7. 7. Citation / Attribution / Credits • Issues – Source dataset(s) may be incorrectly cited or not at all – Metadata inadequately describes the data – Reproduceability of extracts in dynamic O&M datasets – Feedback to data providers is important • Research integrity / risks – Reproduceability of raw data for analysis verification – Giving credit where credit is due • Mitigation – Standards-based metadata capture with data resource – Retention, traceability & transparency of data provenance (data resource, data set & data point levels) – Downloads contain license and usage agreements, citation string, etc. – DOIs on downloads

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