Inside Higher Ed: Updating the Common Rule

Reported in “Updating the Common Rule” in today’s Inside Higher Ed:

Scientists and scholars have had no shortage of complaints about the impact that federal rules governing human research subjects have on their work. The elaborate review process involving institutional boards and federal panels has failed to keep pace with the explosion in federally supported research projects — with the system spread so thin focusing on studies that pose little to no risk, critics argue, that it sometimes fails to pay sufficient attention to those that could significantly imperil participants.

The federal government’s first major review of its so-called Common Rule governing the protection of human research subjects, announced last month, has the potential to ease if not resolve many of the concerns of scholars, based on the early signs, say several experts on research policies, including several traditionally vocal critics.

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