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Review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research ethics guidelines submission

This submission reflects the views of
Organisation Name: 
Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education Network
Personal Details
Specific Questions
Question 1: 
The shift in focus from the health research context is adequately reflected in the guidelines and does not detract from how they can be applied in the health context. As general principles, they are solid and the change in descriptor reflects how the sector has become more aware of its scope as well as the language it uses. The explanations of the core values are useful for researchers who are unfamiliar with the issues of relevance when researching in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander context as are the examples of how a value might be reflected and demonstrated in a research setting. Greater context and explanation for the principles and application in a best practice research process is included in the companion draft document Keeping Research on Track ii.
Question 2: 
Intellectual property is included in the new draft guidelines and explained in greater detail in the companion draft document Keeping Research on Track ii. The draft guidelines and the companion document, in conjunction with the additional resources listed in each, provide a stronger guide than the 2003 and 2005 documents. The draft guidelines (in conjunction with Keeping Research on Track ii) reinforce the importance of negotiated formal agreements, what should be included in them and the rights of community and obligations of researchers.
Question 3: 
- We would suggest that a case study about intellectual property would be very useful. - We support your listing of the KLC Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge Policy. - An important aspect of research is what the community might gain from the outcomes in terms of reciprocity – eg. what resources, capacity, skills, infrastructure, employment, facilities are left with the community as a consequence of the research activity / collaboration. A case study identifying good practice in this regard would be useful. - There are a number of publications that document this: Miller, P. and S. Rainow (1997). "Don't forget the plumber: research in remote Aboriginal communities." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 21(1): 96-97. HealthHabitat and their housing for health project which started in the NPY lands is a good example as well. Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit 2008, We Can Like Research… in Koori Hands: A Community Report on Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit’s Research Workshops in 2007, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne. VicHealth Koori Health Research and Community Development Unit, 2000, We don't like research... but in Koori hands it could make a difference, VicHealth Koori Health Research and Community Development Unit, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.
General comments

We are pleased to note that the draft guidelines and Keeping on Track resource build on the documents from 2003 and 2005, while keeping intact many of the valued aspects of those documents. We believe that both the Guidelines and the Keeping Research on Track ii are important in their own right, but should be used together, and the possibility of merging them into one document should be considered. We would also suggest that some attention is paid to the indigeneity of the project investigators as this can be instrumental in terms of the relationship that the research team have or develop with Aboriginal and /or the Torres Strait Islander communities with which they work. If researchers change then this should be made explicit in the research process.

Page reviewed: 2 August, 2018