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EthicsCaseStudyForm edit

Title When an Investigator Recruits Himself for a Study
Long Title When an Investigator Recruits Himself for a Study
Contributor/Contact John Banja, PhD (jbanja@emory.edu)
Contributor Details John Banja, PhD
Director, Section on Ethics in Research
Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
CTSA Emory
Case Study Provided I had decided to submit my first abstract ever for a neuroscience conference that I very much wanted to attend. My research consisted of running human subjects through an fMRI scan so as to collect brain activation data in response to simple visual stimuli. My data and analyses appeared solid as the time drew near for me to write the abstract, so I was excited and eager to proceed. My postdoc slowed me down, however, with a suggestion that I include a few more subjects in the study. I agreed but voiced a concern that the submission deadline was coming up. “Maybe you can use yourself in your study,” he said. “I mean, it’s only an abstract that you’re submitting, and you can recruit more subjects between now and the conference and make corrections accordingly.”

I was uneasy about using myself as a subject. I felt it was somehow unethical even though I knew there was no way I could bias the results of the study due to the simplicity of the paradigm I was using. Luckily, I was spared the problem: The next day my postdoc recruited some subjects for the study so I avoided having to use myself. However, I still wonder what would have happened if new subjects were not recruited. It was such a simple experiment that I couldn’t have affected the results. But would recruiting myself be considered a conflict of interest or be somehow unethical?
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership Topics No Data acquisition_management_sharing and ownership Topics
Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities Topics No mentor and trainee responsibilities topics
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship Topics No publication practices and responsible authorship topics
Peer Review Topics No peer review topics
Collaborative Science Topics No collaborative science topics
Research Misconduct Topics No research misconduct topics
Conflicts of Interest, Law and Policy Topics
The significance of conflicts of interest
Human Subjects Human subjects research

URL http://www.actsi.org/areas/erks/ethics/index.html
RCR Keyword Conflict of Interest, Post-doc
Other RCR Keywords Abstract; Bias; Brain Activation Data; Conference; fMRI Scan; Investigator as Subject; Subjects; Visual Stimuli
Type of Case

Source for Topic Areas Du Bois, J., & Dueker, J. (2009). Teaching and Assessing the Responsible Conduct of Research: A Delphi Consensus Panel Report. Journal of Research Administration, 40(1), 49-70.


Topic revision: r2 - 28 Oct 2011 - 10:58:23 - MaryBanach
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