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AJOB Primary Research.

A pilot study of universities’ willingness to solicit whistleblowers for participation in a study

Background: It has been more than two decades since the only interview study of whistleblowers in academic research. There remains a need to appreciate whistleblower experience, role in scientific integrity, and whether policies provide adequate protection. Methods: We contacted the institutional official for research, the institutional review board (IRB) director, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) director from a random sample of 25 of the highest 200 NIH funded institutions. We assessed the willingness of respondents to send a hypothetical solicitation letter to whistleblowers who had lodged complaints related to research. Results: The response rate was 41%. Despite a willingness to distribute a solicitation letter (68% respondents), most wanted further institutional approval before sending it (76%). Conclusion: Data from this pilot study suggest substantial obstacles to obtaining access to whistleblowers by way of anonymous solicitation letters distributed by institutions.

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Volume 7, Issue 4
November 2016

Target Articles.

Ethics committee consultation due to conflict over life-sustaining treatment: A sociodemographic investigation Andrew M. Courtwright, Frederic Romain, Ellen M. Robinson & Eric L. Krakauer
Values, quality, and evaluation in ethics consultation Lucia D. Wocial, Elizabeth Molnar & Mary A. Ott
Prioritizing initiatives for institutional review board (IRB) quality improvement Daniel E. Hall, Ulrike Feske, Barbara H. Hanusa, Bruce S. Ling, Roslyn A. Stone, Shasha Gao, Galen E. Switzer, Aram Dobalian, Michael J. Fine & Robert M. Arnold
Adolescent engagement during assent for exome sequencing Allison Werner-Lin, Ashley Tomlinson, Victoria Miller & Barbara A. Bernhardt