Discussion Guides in the Knowledge Center: Spark conversation about research ethics and oversight topics

The new PRIM&R Knowledge Center houses a wide range of resources to keep you inspired and informed for your work in research ethics and oversight! Explore and register for live programs, access recordings and materials from past conferences and webinars, view video and podcast interviews with leaders in the field, and more. Browse resources by features such as content type, topic, and level, and sort within those results to find the resources most relevant to you.

As you familiarize yourself with the Knowledge Center, we want to direct you to some of our top resources. First up in this blog series, our Discussion Guides:

PRIM&R’s Discussion Guides are now available individually in the Knowledge Center to help you deepen your understanding of journal articles and other resources by providing a guide for individual review or fostering group discussion. They’re perfect for your next educational or professional development meeting: get the conversation started with your team! Each Discussion Guide links to an open-access resource and includes a summary of that resource, suggestions for background and further reading, several discussion questions, and facilitation tips for group learning. Discussion Guides are available that focus on recent publications in human subjects research oversight, animal care and use issues, and topics shared by these fields. In the Knowledge Center, you can search for Discussion Guides by topic, or browse the collection.

These Discussion Guides were originally created for PRIM&R’s Research Ethics Digest, a bimonthly electronic publication featuring recent published scholarly articles related to research ethics and oversight. PRIM&R members receive Research Ethics Digest, including the two Discussion Guides accompanying each issue, as a benefit of membership. PRIM&R members can access past issues of Research Ethics Digest in the Knowledge Center.

Check out these Discussion Guides on the following articles:

  • Beyond the 3Rs to a More Comprehensive Framework of Principles for Animal Research Ethics (DeGrazia et al. 2019)
    Research Ethics Digest December 2019
    Are the 3Rs, originally proposed in 1959, out-of-date or out-of-step with the latest practices and technologies? The authors of the article discussed in this guide propose a new six-part moral framework for animal research ethics that is based on important advances in recent decades. Their proposed framework, which comprises three principles focused on social benefit and three on animal welfare, not only fills important gaps in the 3Rs, but may have an additional application in bringing together the typically opposed animal-research and animal-protection communities.

  • Ethics of controlled human infection to address COVID-19 (Shah et al. 2020)
    Research Ethics Digest October 2020 
    This article explores the world of controlled human infection studies (CHIs), in which healthy individuals are exposed to a pathogen in order to study disease pathology, immune response, and to accelerate research on vaccines and therapeutics. These studies present unique ethical and safety issues. Drafting consensus protocols that address ethical concerns, and engaging stakeholders to enhance their social value are key elements of CHIs. This methodology presents unique and specific ethical challenges for research sponsors, communities, and participants.

  • Using social media to promote academic research: Identifying the benefits of twitter for sharing academic work (Klar et al. 2020)
    Research Ethics Digest June 2020 
    As the use of social media seemingly touches all aspects of our lives, both professional and private, this article examines the impact that tweets, in particular, can have on academic journalistic activity and potentially the furtherance of academic careers. This is an interesting analysis of Twitter data regarding article citation rates and whether gender plays a role in the amount of Twitter activity an article may provoke. The study examines tweet patterns for articles published in a number of social science fields paired with demographic and educational data about the authors of the published articles, while also looking at article citation rates. 

  • Communicating about Animal Research with the Public (Clark et al. 2019)
    Research Ethics Digest August 2019 
    For years, animal researchers have conducted their impactful and often life-saving research with as little public fanfare as possible. As a result, the public has often been left “in the dark” regarding the crucial role animal studies play in enhancing both animal and human welfare, leading to suspicion and poor public support for animal research. Openness and transparency may help avoid condemnation and baseless opposition and may encourage positive public engagement and understanding. Support from the public and funders will, in turn, allow critical medical research to move forward with acceptance and understanding.

  • Women’s views about contraception requirements for biomedical research participation (Sullivan et al. 2019)
    Research Ethics Digest October 2019 
    While the importance of including women of reproductive age in research is undisputed, there continue to be ethical questions regarding contraception requirements for research participation. Multiple priorities, including minimizing the potential for fetal harm, respecting women’s autonomy, and recognizing the risks and burdens imposed by contraception requirements, must all be considered. This study takes a novel approach by adding the voices of women, as potential research subjects, to this discussion. This participant perspective is critical to the ongoing debate regarding the value, and the burden, of requiring the use of contraceptives in research and deserves continued exploration.

Discussion Guides in the Knowledge Center are free to PRIM&R members and available to nonmembers for $20 each. Log in with your PRIM&R account (this is the same account you use to register for PRIM&R events) and check out these and other Discussion Guides in the Knowledge Center today!