Design Decisions in Research

8. Current Issues Concerning Ethics Committees

Exercise 5

This exercise tests your knowledge of Research Ethics Committees.

Instructions:
Decide whether each of the following statements about Research Ethics Committees is true or false.

Options:
True
False

Statements:

  1. In the US, it is mandatory that all institutes conducting human subjects research have an Institutional Review Board.
  2. IRB review and monitoring of research are deemed necessary because guidelines and regulations are insufficient to prevent unethical behavior.
  3. Research misconduct involves falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, and financial dishonesty.

Answers:

  1. In the US, it is mandatory that all institutes conducting human subjects research have an Institutional Review Board.
    [False]  This is not true.  Although many institutions conducting research (such as universities and hospitals) have their own IRBs, there are also free-standing IRBs which can be used to review research.  Institutions may have an agreement with another organization that will serve as its IRB.
  2. IRB review and monitoring of research are deemed necessary because guidelines and regulations are insufficient to prevent unethical behavior.
    [True]  This is true.  Even with numerous regulations and guidelines several notorious examples of unethical behaviors have occurred in the US.
  3. Research misconduct involves falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, and financial dishonesty.
    [False]  This is false.  The definition in the US of scientific misconduct is falsification, fabrication and plagiarism.  It does not include financial dishonesty, although that is certainly unethical and may have legal consequences.