As part of the initiative to streamline ethics approval, NHMRC has developed the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) as a replacement for the National Ethics Application Form (NEAF). The aim of the HREA is to be a concise application to facilitate efficient and effective ethics review for research involving humans. The application will assist researchers to consider the ethical principles of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) in relation to their research, rather than focus on requirements for approval.
Think about data sharing before research begins. If researchers plan to share their data with others, they should note that in the consent process, specifying how they will be shared and whether data will be anonymous. For example, researchers could have difficulty sharing sensitive data they've collected in a study of adults with serious mental illnesses because they failed to ask participants for permission to share the data. Or developmental data collected on videotape may be a valuable resource for sharing, but unless a researcher asked permission back then to share videotapes, it would be unethical to do so. When sharing, psychologists should use established techniques when possible to protect confiden-tiality, such as coding data to hide identities. "But be aware that it may be almost impossible to entirely cloak identity, especially if your data include video or audio recordings or can be linked to larger databases," says Merry Bullock, PhD, associate executive director in APA's Science Directorate.