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Regulations and Ethical Considerations for Working with Human Participants in Physics and Astronomy Education Research Documents

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Regulations and Ethical Considerations for Working with Human Participants in Physics and Astronomy Education Research 

written by Jessie C. Antonellis, Erik Brogt, Sanlyn R. Buxner, Erin F. C. Dokter, and Thomas M. Foster

Physics and astronomy education research (PAER) relies upon human beings. While this statement may seem self-obvious, this reliance brings with it many ethical and legal implications. In the United States, various federal laws and foundation statutes require that before any research begins, someone has reviewed the research protocols to ensure the protection of the research subjects. This task frequently falls to an Institutional Review Board. This article will introduce the troubling history that led to the federally protected rights of research subjects and how institutions safeguard those rights. As an education researcher you are responsible for protecting those rights and this article will introduce you to the help that is available to get you through the morass of regulations. Finally, the article ends with a few case studies to highlight the ethical and legal issues in PAER.

Published March 19, 2012
Last Modified March 19, 2012

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