Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Zealand Offers Voluntary Ethics Review—for Some

At the Ethics Rupture conference, Martin Tolich described his work as convenor of the New Zealand Ethics Committee, described on its site as "a national ethics advisory committee, based in Dunedin, serving any researcher not eligible for health or institutional ethics review."

Tolich listed several innovations, the boldest of which is the voluntary nature of the review. "No researcher is mandated to submit his or her proposal to NZEC," the site explains."It is a voluntary service and fees are based on koha." If the committee wants to attract proposals, it will have to persuade researchers of its wisdom, rather than threatening them with penalties.

New Zealand researchers affiliated with health institutions or universities are still stuck with mandatory review. But it will be fascinating to see what ethics review looks like when it is no longer mandatory.

No comments: