Category / Research Integritiy

More pilots please!

“More pilots please!” is not a call from British Airways, Ryanair or the Royal Air Force.  No, it a reminder to students to do more piloting in their postgraduate research projects.  Between us we have read many (draft) theses and examined over 60 PhD theses external to Bournemouth University, and it is clear to us that many students do not do enough pre-testing or piloting of their research instruments.  Perhaps they did some piloting or feasibility work for their projects but don’t write enough about it.  Or they present some feasibility or piloting in their thesis but haven’t added references to methodological texts.

The term ‘pilot studies’ refers to mini versions of a full-scale study (also called ‘feasibility’ studies), as well as the specific pre-testing of a particular research instruments such as data collection tools (i.e. questionnaire or semi-structured interview schedule). Pilot studies are key to good study design [1-6].  Conducting a pilot study does not guarantee success in the main study, but it does increase the likelihood of success. Pilot studies have several of important functions in research design and can provide valuable insights to the researcher on both tools and research processes.  We think it is telling that our most cited paper on Google Scholar is not one of our papers reporting research findings but a methods paper highlighting the importance of pilot studies [2].

 

Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen E, Rennie, AM., Hundley, V, Graham, W. (2001) The importance of conducting & reporting pilot studies: example of Scottish Births Survey, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34: 289-95.
  2. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2001) The importance of pilot studies, Social Research Update Issue 35, (Editor N. Gilbert), Guildford: University of Surrey. Web:  http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/sru/SRU35.html
  3. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V.(2002) ‘The importance of pilot studies’ Nursing Standard 16(40): 33-36. Web: www.nursing-standard.co.uk/archives/vol16-40/pdfs/vol16w40p3336.pdf
  4. Hundley, V., van Teijlingen E, (2002) The role of pilot studies in midwifery research RCM Midwives Journal 5(11): 372-74.
  5. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2003) Pilot study, In: Lewis-Beck, M., Bryman, A. & Liao, T. (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Social Science Research Methods, Vol. 2, Orego, Sage: 823-24.
  6. van Teijlingen E, Hundley, V. (2005) Pilot studies in family planning & reproductive health care, Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care 31(3): 219-21.

 

 

Congratulations to BU sociologist

Congratulations to Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari on the publication of her paper ‘Understanding ‘trafficking vulnerabilities’ among children: the responses linking to child protection issues in Nepal’ [1].  This academic paper was published earlier this month in the journal Children’s Geographies.   Shovita and her co-author Dr. Jackie Turton discuss child trafficking in Nepal within the broader framework of child protection.

The paper examines both individual (gender, ethnicity and caste) and structural (their experiences in relation to work, migration, education and lack of birth registration) vulnerabilities and their links with child trafficking as a child protection concern. The authors suggest there is a need for a more nuanced understanding of trafficking vulnerabilities as part of a continuum, rather than a distinct event, to improve outcomes for children. They use the evidence presented here to call for a holistic approach. Policies and programmes in Nepal and across the globe must be integrated within the broader concerns of child protection, thus strengthening the system from local to national level, while recognising the importance of children’s rights to participate in any decision-making.

Well done.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Adhikari, S.D. & Turton, J. (2019) Understanding ‘trafficking vulnerabilities’ among children: the responses linking to child protection issues in Nepal, Children’s Geographies (online first) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14733285.2019.1676398

 

RKEDF – Research Ethics @ BU workshop

On Tuesday 8 October 2019, RDS are running a practical 2 hour workshop on the review and approval process at BU, so if you’re in the process of putting together an ethics application or you’d like a refresher, this workshop is for you.

The workshop is designed to assist Researchers (staff) in the process of obtaining ethical approval.

The review and approval process will be discussed, including how risk is identified. What makes a good an application and how to create and submit an online ethics checklist.

By the end of this workshop you will have an understanding about:

  • The process for gaining ethical approval
  • How to complete an online ethics checklist
  • What makes a good application

If you’re interested in attending then reserve your place via Organisational Development.

RKEDF – Research Ethics @ BU workshop

On Tuesday 8 October 2019, RDS are running a practical 2 hour workshop on the review and approval process at BU, so if you’re in the process of putting together an ethics application or you’d like a refresher, this workshop is for you.

The workshop is designed to assist Researchers (staff) in the process of obtaining ethical approval.

The review and approval process will be discussed, including how risk is identified. What makes a good an application and how to create and submit an online ethics checklist.

By the end of this workshop you will have an understanding about:

  • The process for gaining ethical approval
  • How to complete an online ethics checklist
  • What makes a good application

If you’re interested in attending then reserve your place via Organisational Development.

Research Ethics – Resources

When involving research participants in your activities, it’s important to provide them with all the information they require to make an informed decision on whether or not they wish to participate.  We’ve recently updated the Participant Information Sheet, so please download the latest version of the template available from the research ethics blog.

We’ve also added  ‘Research Ethics FAQs‘ as a new resource, which we hope you’ll find useful!

RKEDF – Research Ethics @ BU workshop

On Tuesday 8 October 2019, RDS are running a practical 2 hour workshop on the review and approval process at BU, so if you’re in the process of putting together an ethics application or you’d like a refresher, this workshop is for you.

The workshop is designed to assist Researchers (staff) in the process of obtaining ethical approval.

The review and approval process will be discussed, including how risk is identified. What makes a good an application and how to create and submit an online ethics checklist.

By the end of this workshop you will have an understanding about:

  • The process for gaining ethical approval
  • How to complete an online ethics checklist
  • What makes a good application

If you’re interested in attending then reserve your place via Organisational Development.

RKEDF – Research Ethics @ BU workshop

On Tuesday 8 October 2019, RDS are running a practical 2 hour workshop on the review and approval process at BU, so if you’re in the process of putting together an ethics application or you’d like a refresher, this workshop is for you.

The workshop is designed to assist Researchers (staff) in the process of obtaining ethical approval.

The review and approval process will be discussed, including how risk is identified. What makes a good an application and how to create and submit an online ethics checklist.

By the end of this workshop you will have an understanding about:

  • The process for gaining ethical approval
  • How to complete an online ethics checklist
  • What makes a good application

If you’re interested in attending then reserve your place via Organisational Development.

Training opportunity – completing and submitting your IRAS application

Are you currently in the process of designing, setting up or planning your research study, and would like to extend your project into the NHS?

Yes? Then you may want to take advantage of this training opportunity.

Oliver Hopper (Research & Development Coordinator, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital) and Suzy Wignall (Clinical Governance Advisor, RDS)  will be running a training session on how to use, and complete your own application within the IRAS system.

IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) is the system used to gain approvals from the NHS Research Ethics Committee and Health Research Authority, before rolling out your study to NHS Trusts. To support this, the session will include the background to research ethics and the approvals required for NHS research.

The session will also be interactive, and so as participants, you will have the opportunity to go through the form itself and complete the sections, with guidance on what the reviewers are expecting to see in your answers, and tips on how to best use the system.

The training will take place in Studland House – Lansdowne Campus, room 103 Tuesday 20th August at 09:30am – 12:30pm.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you would like to register your interest and book a place.

An epidemic of invitations

Once you have submitted you manuscript to a scientific journal, the editor has a (quick) look at it and sends it out for review.  As I remind students and colleagues in training sessions on academic writing and publishing, the editor and the peer reviewers are academics like me and my colleagues who do both the editing and the reviewing, for free and over and above the day job.  Being an editor and a reviewer are part of being any academic’s so-called scholarly activity.  We are expected to do this as part of the wider scientific community for the benefit of our academic discipline(s).

When an academic receives an invitation to peer review, the journal will send you a copy of the paper’s abstract.  On reading this abstract you then decide whether you wish to do the review.  If the paper sounds interesting and it is in your field and you have the time you may volunteer to conduct a review.  Once you have agreed you will get the full paper (or more likely you are send a link to the publisher’s website).  The requirements of the review report varies between disciplines and often between journals. Some follow an informal structure, but others have a more formal approach, sometimes with scoring systems for sections of the paper.

Unfortunately, academics across the globe are experiencing an ‘epidemic’ of invitations to review for scientific journals.  And I am not talking about so-called predatory publishers, i.e. journals and publishers that are only in it for the monetary gain, no I am talking about legitimate journals sending out invitations to review for them.   Especially scholars with a few decent publications receive several emails a week from often high quality scientific journals.  The photo of my email inbox shows three invitations in a row I received in the space of two hours last week (10th July), two are even from different Associate Editors for the same journal!

I would like to stress that doing peer reviews is very important.  It is the backbone of academic publishing.  Reviewing is part of our overall scholarly responsibility so we all do it, although some more than others.  We all have are favourite journals to review for, perhaps because the journal is high quality, or we like to publish in it ourselves, because we know the editor, or our reviewing is recognised on websites like KUDOS.  I would like to urge colleagues who don’t manage to review at least once a month to step up and agree to review a wee bit more often.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

HRA responds to paper outlining concerns over study set-up delays

Two researchers from the University of Cambridge recently published an article in which they expressed their concerns over the ethics review and study set-up of a project, that was submitted in 2013.

Their study wished to recruit healthcare staff, which under the current system only requires HRA approval and not NHS Research Ethics Approval. However at the time of this study’s set-up, NHS Research Ethics clearance was a requirement.

Here are a few figures from the article which highlight the inadequacies of the previous system, that researchers had to navigate to undertake NHS-based clinical research.

  • Approx. 89 individuals were involved in the study approvals;
  • 81 named individuals were communicated with regarding ethics and governance approval via email, telephone or in person;
  • 35 of the research participants were healthcare employees, translating to approx. 2 approvers per participant;
  • 491 exhanges took place with the 89 individuals, generating 193 pages of text.

Even though the above are rather off-putting, the Health Research Authority approval system has substantially improved timelines, efficiency and support for researchers and applicants. The new procedure was introduced in April 2016.
Now when you liaise with the HRA and Research Ethics Committee, you have one named contact for each team – a HRA Assessor and the REC Manager.

You can read the HRA’s response here, which signposts the reader to further resources.

Likewise at BU, dedicated support is on offer if you are thinking of introducing your own research idea into the NHS – email Research Ethics for advice and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog for guidance, further reading and regular updates.

Good Clinical Practice Refresher – Monday 4th February

Are you currently undertaking research within the NHS, and your Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training is due to expire? Or has it expired recently?

GCP certification lasts for two years, so if your training is due to expire, has expired, or you want to validate your learning, then take advantage of the upcoming refresher half day session, taking place at Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester on Monday 4th February, 9am – 12:30pm.

Spaces are still remaining, so if you’d like to enrol, get in touch with Research Ethics.

Valid Informed Consent training – 15th January at Poole Hospital

There are still seats available for the above training session, taking place at Poole Hospital, Education Centre on Tuesday January 15th.

The VIC workshop has been designed to enable attendees to embed the core principles of valid informed consent into their practice. The materials, developed by a group of Lead Nurses throughout the Clinical Research Network (CRN) aim to provide a foundation upon which to build competence in the valid informed consent process in a research setting.

Locally delivered workshops take the form of a combination of presentations, discussions and group activities designed to bring the principles of valid informed consent into the workplace.

Get in touch with Research Ethics if you are interested in booking a place.

Free Health Research Authority webinars on 10th January

The HRA are hosting three webinars this Thursday 10th January, for those undertaking healthcare research or for those applying for approval. You can book onto them by following this link.

On offer are the following webinars –

  • Managing your approval, scheduled from 2:30pm – 3:30pm
  • Understanding GDPR in relation to health research in the UK, scheduled from 11am – noon
  • Applying for HRA Approval – ‘getting it right first time’, scheduled from 1pm – 2pm

Remember that support is on offer at BU if you are thinking of introducing your research ideas into the NHS – email the Research Ethics mailbox, and take a look at the Clinical Governance blog.

The NHS Long Term Plan – released today

The NHS Long Term Plan has been released today, having been developed in partnership with those who know the NHS best – frontline health and care staff, patients and their families and other experts.

You can download the document here.

The plan discusses research and innovation throughout – see page 75 onward for plans surrounding research and innovation to drive future outcomes improvement.