Ethics review boards for research with human participants: Past, present, and future

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The debate around ethics review boards (IRBs) has assumed an increasingly central place in academic practice and discourse. In this article, we summarize a unique workshop (study-group) that convened at the University of Haifa, attended by 27 academics from around the globe, representing nine countries in four continents. The participants presented data and points of view, which served as the basis for an open, interdisciplinary discussion. The group developed a set of recommendations, including working toward a transition from a review system to an advisory and validation system; focusing on respectful research approach to participants, rather than “ethical” research; building a procedure that focuses on feedback, rather than the process itself; recognizing that a unified examination need not necessarily be standardized; and constructing a feedback procedure in which researchers can respond to the review of their research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-599
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the University of Haifa for its support and for hosting the conference. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: We thank the National Science Fund for its help and support in financing the study and the conference.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Multinational perspectives
  • critical analysis
  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • methodology
  • moral perspectives
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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