Resources Employed by Health Researchers to Ensure Ethical Research Practice
Journal of empirical research on human research ethics : JERHRE 2010 Jun ; 5(2): 21-34
There is little empirical evidence about what resources health researchers use in order to make decisions about the ethical conduct of human research. Undertaking an empirical examination of how researchers understand research ethics and how they address ethical issues in research practice can lead to a richer understanding of how researchers approach research ethics. Our findings are based on interviews with 54 Australian health researchers. We conclude that, despite the considerable time devoted to ethics review, ethics committees and research guidelines were not seen as valuable resources for researchers undertaking research in the field. Although researchers did not perceive ethics committees as a resource when faced with ethical issues in the field, they nevertheless perceived the process of ethics review as beneficial to them; this allowed them to clarify their research, make decisions about the ethical conduct of the research, as well as offering them a sense of protection when undertaking research. In the actual undertaking of research practice, it was their past professional experience and personal values that researchers considered most useful resources when encountering ethical problems.
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