Research begins with ideas, questions and hypotheses.
- What causes this particular phenomenon?
- What would happen if…?
- How can I find out…?
Researchers think first about problems and ways to solve them and about
the resources they will need to perform experiments.
Planning for any project should include the consideration of responsibilities.
In some cases, work cannot begin until it has been approved. In other
cases, confronting potential problems before they arise can help ensure
that they do not turn into real problems later.
The chapters in this section cover three areas where appropriate planning
and approval are essential:
3, The Protection of Human Subjects, describes the regulations
covering the use of humans in research.
4, The Welfare of Laboratory Animals, describes similar
regulations for animals used in research.
5, Conflicts of Interest, discusses what researchers
should do when their interests are or appear to be in conflict.
Planning is essential in other areas as well. Responsible research
administration, the safe use of hazardous materials, and the fair treatment
of students and employees should be addressed early in any project.
However, with the use of humans and animals and, increasingly, the potential
influence of conflicting interests, there is no choice. These responsibilities
must be fully addressed before the first subject is contacted, the first
animal purchased, or any agreement signed.