regulations about ethics are becoming more clear but unfortunately also challenging and time consuming. Therefore three aspects to keep in mind before you start a study:
- If human participants are included in a study an ethical approval is necessary
- The ethics committee of hospitals, institutions, universities might be sufficient for internal purposes. However, for publishing this might be different and Editors might ask for a “more formal” assessment.
- Resources: Ethics committees ask for money. An ethical approval takes time until the final decision is made. You have to invest some time in creating all files and filling in all forms.
A discussion on such issues was recently published in the BMJ.