European Commission Research (2013), Risk-Benefit Analyses and Ethical Issues: A guidance document for researchers complying with requests from the European Commission Ethics Reviews, Luxembourg: Publications Offi ce of the European Union.
Ethics in research is a topic of common interest and ethical concerns raised in public debates should not be ignored. However, ethical issues should not be an obstacle for researchers, but a call to engagement. Ethical issues can be managed in the same way researchers manage other risks: by safeguarding exposure to threats or hazards: the task is to reduce risk and to develop means to safeguard shared societal values. The objective of this Risk-Benefit Analyses and Ethical Issues guidance document is to help researchers comply with the requirements of the Ethics Reviews organized by the European Commission. It identifies the most common ethical issues – research on humans, data protection, animal testing, dual use etc. –, gives definitions and illustrates with examples. It provides researchers with practical tips how to ensure ethically sound research and assists them with enlisting the relevant European and international legislation for consultation.