Ethical Validity: Expecting the Unexpected in Community-based Research





In this paper we suggest that ethical validity is achieved when the research process is consistent with the ethical principles of all research partners. This is particularly relevant when working with Aboriginal communities. The engagement of communities as research partners can complicate ethical issues with cultural differences, political factionalism, community research fatigue, fear of stigmatization, and other conditions that mitigate against readiness to participate in research. The case examples provided here emphasize the dynamic nature of the community-academic research environment, with cautions that there are times when the research process should be reevaluated, put on hold, or even discontinued completely. We match ethical challenges with suggestions for best practices.\

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