Honors College Thesis


Ethical Research Conduct Scholarly Recommendations: Exposure Research During and After Disasters Public Deposited

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  • The frequency of devastating disasters has increased in the United States due to the presence of climate change. Human subject research is often conducted in these post-disaster areas to gain valuable data and insights. In recent years, discourse regarding the ethical nature of research conduct in these exposure areas has become increasingly prevalent. The dominant rhetoric of ethical research conduct continues to be effective, however, lacks a comprehensive nuanced research approach in the instances of exposure science, and specifically in post-natural disaster areas. For this project, I conducted a literary review of applicable peer-reviewed published research and data on ethical researcher conduct in natural disaster areas. Results from this review span independent research, textbook excerpts, literary reviews, and case studies. Then using an inductive thematic analysis approach, 3 main themes and 9 subthemes were identified. Main thematic recommendations include Institutional Review Board (IRB) evolution; stakeholder collaboration; and prioritization of research subjects. Along with these overarching thematic recommendations were subthemes: to include informed consent; IRB preapproval; and vulnerability, were also identified. This study revealed that overall, the rhetoric surrounding ethical exposure research in post-disaster areas is underdeveloped and requires further delineation in many areas, specifically the concept of vulnerability.
  • Keywords: Disaster research, literary review, ethical research, natural disaster, beneficence
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