The concept of risk and responsible conduct of research

Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (1):75-83 (2006)

Abstract
Assessment of risk is one of the key issues in the field of responsible conduct of research which covers discourses of research ethics and research integrity. The principle of minimizing risks and balancing of risks and benefits is one of the main requirements of research ethics. In addition, the content of informed consent that is another fundamental principle of research ethics derives from the assessment of risks and benefits related to a particular research project. Risk assessment also plays a crucial role in methodological design of the research project. This is an important point where research ethics and research integrity discourses overlap. Firstly, because the choice of a control group (e.g., placebo control) is a key ethical issue related to the protection of the research subjects’ interests. Secondly, because the quality of the research data, that is one of the key elements of research integrity, is closely connected to the choice of research methodology as well. The problem of biased interpretation or manipulation of risk related features of biomedical research should also be taken into account. Despite the importance of the concept of risk to the field of biomedical research, its relevance has not yet attracted a sufficient attention in the responsible conduct of research debate
Keywords risk  responsible conduct of research  research ethics  research integrity  placebo control  international guidelines of biomedical research
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DOI 10.1007/PL00022269
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