Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the review public?

The Ethics Committee publishes the following information on its website whenever possible:

  1. the researcher’s reasons for requesting review and his/her evaluation of the ethicality of the research plan;
  2. a summary of the research plan (formulated in a way the researcher wants public to see it); and
  3. the Ethics Committee’s decision.

All other documents handled by the Ethics Committee are confidential and will not be published.

If there are good reasons to do so, the above-mentioned documents can also remain confidential. For example, the sponsor requiring all documents to be kept confidential is a good reason, but a fear of someone conducting the same research is not (in these cases, the researcher can make the summary general enough to prevent plagiarism).

The Ethics Committee insists on publishing these documents for the following reasons:

  1. It wants to make its activities transparent and its reasons and ways of working open to criticism from the scientific community.
  2. Public reviews serve to educate: if a researcher is unsure of the ethicality of his/her study, the review documents can give him/her a good idea of what matters arise in the reviews and what matters deserve special attention.

Can the Ethics Committee review research plans by researchers outside its member organisations?

The Ethics Committee has decided to only review studies conducted at a university, higher education institution or research institute operating in the region. The Ethics Committee can therefore consider reviewing studies by organisations other than its member organisations as long as the study is conducted in an organisation of higher education or research in the Tampere region. If this is the case, please contact the Ethics Committee and discuss the possibility of your organisation engaging in permanent collaboration with the Ethics Committee. Research conducted at businesses is only reviewed if the responsible party in the project is one of the member organisations.

Will the Ethics Committee review research projects that are made up of several studies?

The Ethics Committee recommends that studies that are part of a larger research project are submitted as individual studies. If an overall review of the project is necessary, applicants must justify the reason for their request well, and structure the request and related documents so that it is clear how each study is conducted and what ethical questions are entailed.

The Ethics Committee took this stance because in large projects, it can be difficult to know how, for example, confidentiality issues are handled in each study. It has proven to be especially difficult to review studies which are still at their planning stage with no certainty of the method of implementation.