Research ethics committees

From The Embassy of Good Science

Research ethics committees

What is this about?

Research Ethics Committees (RECs) were developed after WW2, particularly in response to the Nazi doctors’ trials. An Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board is responsible for ensuring that medical experimentation and human research are carried out in an ethical manner. [1]

  1. Yenikekaluva A. Research Ethics for Health Science Involving Human Experiments. Available at: Accessed 29 May, 2019.

Why is this important?

Research ethics committees have been created with two main goals. First is to protect the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants; and second is to facilitate and promote ethical research that is of potential benefit to participants, science and society. [1]

  1. Research Ethics Service (RES) - Health Research Authority. 2016. Accessed 10 Jan 2016.)

For whom is this important?

What are the best practices?

Several documents and declarations have been developed in relation to ethical research committees. The European Network of Research Ethics Committees - EUREC is a network that brings together existing national Research Ethics Committees, networks or comparable initiatives on the level of European Union. RECs can be established for each academic institution and/or universities. In the United States, Institutional Review boards (IRBs) exist in both academic and state institutions.

Other information

Virtues & Values
Good Practices & Misconduct