Research Ethics for Clinical Researchers

  • John D. Harnett
  • Richard Neuman
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1281)


This chapter describes the history of the development of modern research ethics. The governance of research ethics is discussed and varies according to geographical location. However, the guidelines used for research ethics review are very similar across a wide variety of jurisdictions. The paramount importance of protecting the privacy and confidentiality of research participants is discussed at length. Particular emphasis is placed on the process of informed consent, and step-by-step practical guidelines are described. The issue of research in vulnerable populations is touched upon and guidelines are provided. Practical advice is provided for researchers to guide their interactions with research ethics boards. Issues related to scientific misconduct and research fraud are not dealt with in this paper.

Key words

Ethics Informed consent Privacy Confidentiality Inclusiveness Protection of human research participants Vulnerable populations Risk–benefit assessment Tri Council Policy Statement (TCPS) 


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology, Patient Research Centre, Health Science CentreMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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