Friday, April 10, 2009

Training Day

Peter Klein of the Organization and Markets blog offers a sad account of what it takes for a University of Missouri economist to gain permission to interview entrepreneurs or hand out surveys to corporate executives. Like many scholars across the country, he was directed to an online training system, which demanded that he provide correct answers to questions like the following:

32. The investigator is a 1/8th V.A. employee. She proposes to recruit MU outpatients into a study conducted exclusively at MU facilities. Which of the following groups must approve the research project before participants can be enrolled?

* The MU Health Sciences Center IRB
* The V.A. Research and Development Committee
* Both a. and b.
* Neither a. nor b.

While such knowledge may be of critical importance to health researchers at Missouri, it is irrelevant to social scientists not doing medical work. The lesson Klein takes away from such an experience is not that he must be sure to obey laws and ethics standards while doing his research, but that his campus IRB administrators do not respect him enough to provide relevant ethical training.

Administrators take note: you are making fools of yourselves, and earning your faculty's contempt.

See Comments Oppose New Regulations on Training.

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