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Statistical review by research ethics committees

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This paper discusses some of the issues surrounding statistical review by research ethics committees (RECs). A survey of local RECs in 1997 revealed that only 27/184 (15%) included a statistician member at that time, although 70/175 (40%) recognized the need for such. The role of the statistician member is considered and the paper includes a summary of a meeting of the Royal Statistical Society to discuss statistical issues that frequently arise in the review of REC applications. A list of minimum qualifications which RECs should expect from anyone claiming to be a statistician would be useful, together with a list of statisticians who are well qualified and willing to serve on RECs, and a list of training courses for REC members covering the appropriate statistical issues.

Keywords: Research ethics committee; Scientific validity; Statistical review; Statistician membership; Survey

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-985X.00152

Affiliations: 1: University of Liverpool, UK, 2: University of Newcastle, UK, 3: Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK, 4: Salford Research Ethics Committee, UK, 5: University of Sheffield, UK, 6: Bulletin of Medical Ethics, London, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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