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Strengthening Australia’s framework for research oversight

Warwick P Anderson, Christopher D Cordner and Kerry J Breen
Med J Aust 2006; 184 (6): 261-263.

All stakeholders should contribute to enhancing Australia’s guidelines for ethical research

Health and medical research involving human participants in Australia has been subject to guidelines promulgated by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) since 1966. Currently, the key documents are the National statement on ethical conduct in research involving humans (1999)1 and the Joint NHMRC/AVCC statement and guidelines on research practice (1997).2 The former, better known as the “National Statement”, is endorsed by a number of peak national bodies, including the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee (AVCC). The “Joint Statement” is issued under the aegis of the NHMRC and the AVCC. The National Statement encompasses the ethical principles to be followed in proposing research involving humans, and advises institutions on the requirements for establishing human research ethics committees (HRECs). The Joint Statement provides guidance on good research practice, including details related to data collection, authorship and publication, supervision and mentoring and like matters, as well as providing the framework by which institutions should handle allegations of research misconduct.

  • Warwick P Anderson1
  • Christopher D Cordner2
  • Kerry J Breen3

  • 1 School of Physiology, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Australian Health Ethics Committee, Melbourne, VIC.

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