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University research ethics boards (REBs), although well established in North American since the 1980s, sometimes still have a poor reputation among researchers. They may be seen by members of the academic community as a bureaucratic system designed to prevent or slow down research, and one that does not understand the reality of researchers. This negative view is often the result of misunderstanding by 1) researchers and 2) some REBs about what an REB’s mandate is and how it should work. Based on the experience of an REB President and a bioethicist, this series of Frequently Asked Questions aims to demystify research ethics so that researchers and REBs can collaborate in the advancement of knowledge, while ensuring the ethical and responsible conduct of research.
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