ABSTRACT

It’s right that all with a legitimate interest in research contribute to its design, review, conduct and dissemination. Few would argue but, in accepting it, we need a process to allow us to resolve differences. In this talk I’d like to present for discussion a practical and simple approach to help reach agreement and ensure differences are less likely to be sources of friction, rather opportunities to learn, build trust and improve both research and its review.

The model is built on the proposition that deliberations centre around our “early or personal views”. We bring these to any debate, it’s where we start. However they have been drawn up, whatever they rest upon, these should (within reasonable limits) be respected, but as individual views, we must accept they should be open to (respectful) challenge and scrutiny.

If all personal views are in accord, the decision is likely made; little more need be done. If, however, there is disagreement we need to go further. We must explore the foundations of our views and turn to more objective “external referents” :-

  • ETHICAL THEORY
  • EMPATHY
  • EXPERTISE AND GUIDANCE
  • EXPERIENCE
  • EVIDENCE
  • EXPEDIENCY

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They are linked (hence the circle) as none on their own provides a firm base for judgement and it’s likely that resolution of different issues will rest on or emphasize different “Es”.

If you are not a member of the Ethox team and would like to attend, please email Jane Beinart (jane.beinart@ethox.ox.ac.uk) to let her know you will be coming.