The regulation of research by funding bodies: An emerging ethical issue for the alcohol and other drug sector?

P Miller, D Moore, J Strang

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The degree to which funding bodies can and do control the content and dissemination of research products raises important issues which need to be openly debated by the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector. Current policies relating to censorship and other means of controlling research topics or output are explored alongside an examination of how some institutions, particularly some academic journals, deal with such issues. We argue that regulation of research by funding bodies clearly contravenes the scientific ideal of freedom of information and open access to knowledge. Using international ethical guidelines, we also demonstrate that regulation raises concerns in relation to the ethical concept of beneficence. A number of examples specific to harm reduction strategies are presented in order to demonstrate how censorship might conceivably increase the harms associated with drug use. The commentary closes with recommendations concerning the establishment the prevalence of censorship and other forms of control over research in the AOD sector, and the role that ethics committees, journal editorial boards and professional societies might play in resisting the imposition of unacceptable conditions on publication of findings. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12 - 16
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

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