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The results of recent empirical investigations in research synthesis imply that research ethics committees are behaving unethically by endorsing new research which is unnecessary and by acquiescing in biased under-reporting of research which they have approved. The performance and accountability of research ethics committees would be improved if they required those proposing research to present systematic reviews of relevant previous research in support of their applications; to summarise the results of these reviews in the information prepared for potential participants; to register new controlled trials at inception; and to ensure that the results of these trials are made publicly available within a reasonable period of time after completion of data collection.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/bmj.313.7069.1390

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMJ

Publication Date

30/11/1996

Volume

313

Pages

1390 - 1393

Keywords

Biomedical and Behavioral Research, Bias, Disclosure, Empirical Research, Ethical Review, Ethics Committees, Ethics Committees, Research, Ethics, Medical, Information Dissemination, Professional Misconduct, Professional Practice, Research, Research Subjects, Risk Assessment, Social Responsibility, Withholding Treatment