PERR 2 has the same basic objective as the First Edition of providing the theory and practical knowledge needed to plan ethically responsible research. However, it has broadened this objective in myriad ways, including the following. It:
· Explains the sensible origins of ethical requirements that have become senseless rules in some research contexts;
· Explores conflicts of interest between research and institutional objectives;
· Examines the sources of ethical research behavior beyond mere adherence to regulations;
· Bases its recommendations on evidence-based ethical problem solving;
· Introduces ethical theory and shows how theories of normative ethics relate to major national guidelines governing human research;
· Examines the special problems that arise when ethical requirements based on the medical model of human research are applied to field research and qualitative research;
· Examines the proper role of methodologies in addressing research problems and related ethical problems;
· Explores ethical and regulatory issues in greater depth in relation to specific research methods;
· Examines many of the emerging issues that were not discussed in 1992, e.g., conflict of interest, internet research, generic research, data sharing, experimental economics, and many others;
· Presents multiple viewpoints on controversial issues (i.e. Milgram's Obedience Studies, Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment, Humphreys' Tearoom Trade);
· Makes extensive use of internet resources;
· Provides major guidance to IRBs and investigators so that they can indeed plan ethically responsible research instead of resorting to one-size-fits-all rules that may be highly ineffective in some contexts and cultures. It is about planning for the unexpected before, during and after the research is conducted, and understanding the inherent uncertainty that surrounds any such plans.
· Seeks to spell out the responsibilities equally for researchers, IRBs, and the various institutions including research institutions, relevant scientific and professional societies, and seek to promote the establishment of a more collegial, trusting relationship among these various stakeholders.
A major theme in the book is problems that arise after review by an IRB.