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BMJ. 1996 November 30; 313(7069): 1390–1393.
PMCID: PMC2352884

Are research ethics committees behaving unethically? Some suggestions for improving performance and accountability.


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.

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  • Stamler Jeremiah, Elliott Paul, Dyer Alan R, Stamler Rose, Kesteloot Hugo, Marmot Michael. Commentary. BMJ. 1996 May 18;312(7041):1285–1287. [PMC free article]

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