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Responsibilities Associated with Conducting Research
Every investigator whether faculty, administrator or student, who conducts scientific, behavioral, social or educational research that involves human subjects, has both the legal and ethical obligation to do so in a manner that:
- involves risk that is no greater than minimal, that is, risk occurring in daily life;
- fully informs the participant of the research goals, procedures, risks and benefits of the research;
- offers the human subject the right to refuse to participate in research or to withdraw from it even after consenting to participate or commencing to participate;
- protects populations that necessitate special consideration, e.g., children, disabled individuals, prisoners, homeless and others;
- has had the proposed research reviewed and approved first by a supervisory individual within the academic discipline, or then by the Institutional Review Board; and
- will protect confidentiality and privacy of its human subjects during the research and after it is completed when appropriate, including precautionary disposal of any papers or tapes or other recorded materials that can identify the participants in the research.
The researcher also must consider the professional standards for research as endorsed by the State of Florida, as well as professional association of the discipline in which that research is based, e.g., the American Educational Research Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, etc. Each profession may have standards that extend or complement the Federal standards; in these cases, all standards must be considered before engaging in the research. If there is any question about additional standards being applied, Eckerd's IRB should be consulted for clarification before the research is begun.
The guidelines that follow are provided to ensure the safety, privacy, and integrity of human subjects, as well as the legal integrity, professional reputation, and educational standards of Eckerd College. Since the College strongly supports research experiences for its undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines, it is essential that all researchers at the College:
- recognize the importance of the rules and procedures which govern research;
- are familiar with those rules and procedures;
- identify the procedures pertinent to their research and complete the associated processes before beginning research, including completion of prescribed training; and
- report misconduct in the design, implementation or dissemination of Eckerd-based research to the College's Institutional Review Board via email.