“Community consent to disseminate knowledge and/or to decrease harm and increase benefit is more nuanced and subtle than academic publishing consent.” (4)
Given that it appears this paper is targeted at natural and physical scientists in the environmental sciences (and not feminist STS scholars) this paper follows a very different publishing model than if it were targeted to something like Catalyst.
AO: The analysts note the important distinction between equity and equality (26)
AO: The analysts describe the process of community peer review as: “hiring a community member to the team; researching the social, cultural, and economic contexts of the community; identify the community; ensure skills for community conversation are in place; call the community meeting; conduct the community meeting; and analyze feedback for consent and refusal as important steps in the method of community peer review” (which I would argue is collaborative).
AO: The analysts note that “obtaining community-level consent requires paying attention to the subtle ways in which research practices are consented to or refused simultaneously and unevenly.” (5)
AO: The analysts argue that “refusal” allows “researchers to work together with community members to ensure academic interests are in line with community concerns.” (7) This is interesting as it raises the questions of interests and whose interests are represented (and how they are discussed and negotiated).
AO: The analysts note the importance of skills in facilitation, ethnographic field methods, and consensus - oriented decision making (11)
AO: “By directing our research so that it is more relevant to local needs and is responsive to existing power relations, community peer review offers similar gains to academic peer review.” (25)
AO: The analysts focus on the data and findings and their circulation, stating that community members should be able to decide where they want it published and also how or which data is analyzed or how and where future studies might occur. (7)
AO: The analysts have an explicit paragraph where they describe their own data ethics practices noting that their original data was gathered under an exemption but they still obtained verbal consent from participants. After success of method, they applied for ethics review of secondary use of data from Canadian body. (8)
AO: The analysts noted that some community members wanted access to raw data whereas others just wanted summaries. They argued that all aspects and data of the project is crucial for informed consent to ensure people have enough information to fully understand the risks or benefits associated with a research project.” (14)
AO: The analysts used varying technologies to advertise about the meetings for community peer review. These included: “advertised the meeting on posters in the area in general stores, directly to core groups such as the Fisherman’s Union and Mini-Aquarium, by word of mouth when we collected samples on the wharves, through lab members who were from local communities, in the university events listings, and, most importantly, on the radio via the Fisheries Broadcast, a public local radio show widely listened to by the province’s fishing communities.” (13)
AO: The analysts stress that someone from the community should be hired to conduct this method noting: “Researchers from outside of these communities cannot obtain full or nuanced understandings of the existing contexts, histories, needs, and community responses, while a local will already have tacit and experiential knowledge of these elements.” (9) This person should be a full member of the team.
AO: The analysts note the importance of having an “insider” on the research team: “ Interpreting refusal and consent is a collective judgement based on engagement with the specific contexts and stakes of the research. This requires working with community members closely, and is why it is crucial to have at least one paid community member as part of the research team for this method” (18)
AO: The analysts note that consent is an ongoing process and changes over time. They therefore advocate for continuous check-in at moments such as when new information about plastic harm becomes available or if a community’s political or economic situation were to change (5).
AO: The analysts also note that an individual is not the same as a community (“so it is important not to conflate an individuals’ acceptance or rejection of research with that of a community’s.” (5)
AO: The analysts mention Consensus-oriented decision making (CODM) as a process where everyone in a group agrees to move forward on a plan of action. They note “this does not mean everyone agrees equally, but that everyone has agreed to move forward regardless of unevenness and differences of opinion. Because it is a method that aims to reach agreement despite difference, it should be carefully and intentionally facilitated.” (12)
AO: The analysts do not expressly use the term collaboration. However, I have included this reading because I believe the analysts are in fact describing their version of what ideally scientific collaboration between natural or physical environmental scientists and a research community should look like. Their “collaboration” therefore is engagement with communities affected by scientific research “to give them the ability to determine whether research may cause them harm and be part of determining how knowledge should best circulate to reduce or eliminate that harm.” They are explicitly designing this for use by scientists in environmental science that do *not* have human subjects are part of their original research design. They propose this method as a way to extend ethics to areas not usually considered in scientific research (3)
AO: The analysts note that in using the concept of refusal, “rather than “the terms of accommodation [...] being determined by and in the interests of the hegemonic [more powerful] partner in the relationship” [21: p.17], communities set the terms of how and whether research that impacts their communities should occur, be conducted, and circulate.” (7)
AO: The analysts note that good facilitation looks to address power relations to “[en]sure that everyone gets to participate and share ideas in a meeting, not just those who feel most comfortable speaking up and making cases for their ideas or proposals” by disrupting power dynamics that always exist in group communication [28: p.1,29]. Facilitation is crucial for moving the community meeting from a dissemination-oriented event to an ethics-oriented event.” (11)
AO: Community peer review is about not giving everyone the “same” rights to gain, access, or disseminate data because an evenness in those rights does not (yet) exist. Community peer review is designed as a solidarity research methodology that addresses the unevenness of existing communities—academic, industry, government, local—in scientific research.” (26).
AO: The analysts mention the often-strained historical relationship between communities and research institutions (7) that thinking about refusal as a way of affirming and strengthening community values and knowledge might help with. They argue that refusal is a way to support the self-determination of communities who are not usually able to govern how they are represented in research and academia.
AO: The analysts interesting touch on the question of labor within the process noting that someone from the community should be hired (and paid) to do this work (9). However, they do not go into detail in terms of how to decide who to hire and what the possible risks of that might also be.
AO: Analysts note that it is important for researcher to “gain knowledge about community- institutional relationships that you, as a researcher, are already part of.” (9) due to historical context in a particular location.
AO: The analysts are also engaged in responding to the growing discourse of “openness” noting that “If “[s]cience’s peer review depends on openness [and] openness prevents science from becoming dogmatic, uncritical and biased” then community peer review extends this ethos to a broader form of openness.” (2)
AO: The analysts use the concepts of “consent” and “refusal” from feminist scholarship to ground the protocol.
AO: The analysts use the concepts of harm and benefit to describe why scientists should use this method: “the method of community peer review is designed to allow communities or researchers to work together to ensure a dissemination proposal that reduces harm and increases benefit for communities” (6).
The first person they explicitly cite in text (on page 9) is Gayatri Spivak (and doing “homework”.