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Robertson, M. (2014). The case for ethics review in the social sciences: Drawing from practice at Queen Mary University of London. Research Ethics, 10(2), 69–76. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747016113511177


This article responds directly to an article published in Research Ethics in 2011 where Schrag argued against ethics review for social science and humanities research. He argued that review committees offer solutions in search of a problem, impose silly restrictions and apply inappropriate principles. He suggests that review committees typically lack appropriate expertise and argued that the process harms the innocent. This article refutes these claims and offers a case study of the ethical review process at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) to offer counter claims. The discussion highlights the way in which the QMUL process is sensitized to the challenges posed by social science and humanities research and is a process that, rather than focusing upon avoiding harm, emphasizes notions of care to both participants and researchers.