The Establishment of Research Ethics Consultation Services (RECS): An Emerging Research Resource

Jennifer B. McCormick, Richard R. Sharp, Abigale L. Ottenberg, Carson R. Reider, Holly A. Taylor, Benjamin S. Wilfond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Emphasis on translational research to facilitate progression from the laboratory into the community also creates a dynamic in which ethics and social policy questions and solutions are ever pressing. In response, academic institutions are creating Research Ethics Consultation Services (RECS). All Clinical Translational Science Award institutions were surveyed in early 2010 to determine which institutions have a RECS in operation and what is their composition and function. Of the 46 institutions surveyed, 33 (70%) have a RECS. Only 15 RECS have received any consult requests in the last year. Issues that are common among these relatively nascent services include relationships with institutional oversight committees, balancing requestor concerns about confidentiality with research integrity and human subjects protection priorities, tracking consult data and outcomes, and developing systems for internal evaluation. There is variability in how these issues are approached. It will be important to be attentive to the institutional context to develop an appropriate approach. Further data about the issues raised by requestors and the recommendations provided are necessary to build a community of scholars who can navigate and resolve ethical issues encountered along the translational research pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and translational science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Ethics
  • Outcomes research
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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