Research protocols and ethical considerations in indigenous knowledge systems
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Research in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in South Africa has grown at a very high pace in a relatively short period of time. The growth thereof has presented researchers and the knowledge holders with challenges that have never faced them in the same way before. It has necessitated a review of how researchers interact with those who hold the knowledge and has required that protection mechanisms be implemented to safeguard the misuse and misappropriation of the indigenous knowledge. This Chapter outlines the focus on IKS in South Africa since 1995 and reflects on the challenges related to this focus. Specifically the Chapter looks at the challenges related to the recognition of knowledge holders, the ethical issues facing both researchers and knowledge holders, and the protocols that have been designed and used in South Africa and other places. It concludes by indicating the challenges that still remain and how these can be explored further by the research community.