NHMRC Public Consultations

Skip Navigation and go to Content
Visit NHMRC website

Section 3 (Chapters 3.1 & 3.5), Glossary and Revisions to Section 5 National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, 2007 submission

Personal Details
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Specific Comments
1. Introduction to Section 3

The audience is listed as HRECs and researchers. However, the chapter is loaded with repetitions as if it were intended for school children (as a member of a HREC pointed out to me). On the other hand, the language itself is rather abstract, using substantives instead of verbs in many cases.  As a former high school teacher and lecturer to post-graduates I would I would deduct marks for the constant repetition.

Some examples follow:

2. Chapter 3.1

3.1.4 Seems to me to be self-evident. It is the nature of research.

3.1.5 makes a good point; yet

3.1.6 repeats the point.

3.1.7 An obvious point, and poor language:

“Where the total project cannot be described in advance because it will be realised in successive stages , researchers should provide an indicative description of the stages that are foreseen and how it is intended to seek approval for each of these. “



“Ethical principles of merit and integrity demand that


(a) a plan is in place to ensure that resources are sufficient to conduct and complete the research as designed; and

(b) the facilities, expertise and experience available are appropriately allocated and sufficient for the research to be completed safely. “


3.1.9 Really covered by .8: “appropriately allocated.” Could be left in if the point needs to be emphasised.


Element 2

“When research will involve the direct participation of people, the recruitment phase of a project can be fundamental to the success of the research and can raise ethical challenges. A single project may employ more than one recruitment strategy, especially where discrete cohorts are required to meet the objectives of the research. For some research designs, the recruitment and consent strategies can occur concurrently, whilst, for others, they can be separate.”


The key questions are simply repetitions, and are covered by the basic principles of research already stated.


3.1.10 & .11 are simply repetitions and could be omitted.


3.1.12 has already been stated.



The inclusion/exclusion criteria for the potential participant pool for a project must be fair and justifiable.  (Omit second sentence)

3.1.14 Hardly necessary as already included in basic principles and in previous paragraphs.



Element 4: Data Collection and Management


This section is well done, meets present needs. However, there is some repetition.


Element 5: Communication of research findings or results


3.1.68 offers a good summary and takes care of much of the above.


Element 7: After the project


3.1.76 Already stated previously.

3. Chapter 3.5

There seems to be a lot of repetition through this chapter.

Page reviewed: 10 July, 2018