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Carniel, J., Hickey, A., Southey, K., Brömdal, A., Crowley-Cyr, L., Eacersall, D., Farmer, W., Gehrmann, R., Machin, T., & Pillay, Y. (2022). The ethics review and the humanities and social sciences: disciplinary distinctions in ethics review processes. Research Ethics, 174701612211472. https://doi.org/10.1177/17470161221147202


Ethics review processes are frequently perceived as extending from codes and protocols rooted in biomedical disciplines. As a result, many researchers in the humanities and social sciences (HASS) find these processes to be misaligned, if not outrightly obstructive to their research. This leads some scholars to advocate against HASS participation in institutional review processes as they currently stand, or in their entirety. While ethics review processes can present a challenge to HASS researchers, these are not insurmountable and, in fact, present opportunities for ethics review boards (ERBs) to mediate their practices to better attend to the concerns of the HASS disciplines. By highlighting the potential value of the ethics review process in recognising the nuances and specificity across different forms of research, this article explores the generative possibilities of greater collaboration between HASS researchers and ERBs. Remaining cognisant of the epistemic and methodological differences that mark different disciplinary formations in turn will benefit the ethical conduct of all researchers.