[Corpora-List] Ethical review of spoken corpus collection

Brett Reynolds brett.reynolds at humber.ca
Tue Apr 5 17:29:49 CEST 2011

We have what appears to me to be a rather restrictive ethical review policy based on the this document: <http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/pdf/eng/tcps2/TCPS_2_FINAL_Web.pdf>, and I'm sure others face similar constraints. It requires among other things, that people from whom data is gathered be notified of the particular research purposes for which that data will be used (no "such as" allowed). It also requires that contributors be able to withdraw at any point. Finally, it typically requires that data be destroyed after the study is completed, although it does allow that research ethics boards "should not automatically impose a requirement that researchers destroy the research data. Stored information may be useful for a variety of future purposes."

I find it very strange that these onerous requirements do not apply to staff doing PR, organizational research (for internal use), journalism, or art, all of whom are trusted to gathering the same type of data as researchers without oversight, but that's another issue.

These requirements obviously have implications for anyone compiling a corpus of spoken language, especially if one were to make that corpus publicly available, as, for example Mark Davies has done with his written corpora. Has anyone run up against this, and, if so, how did you deal with it?

Best, Brett

----------------------- Brett Reynolds English Language Centre Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Toronto, Ontario, Canada brett.reynolds at humber.ca

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