Ethics Dumping – How not to do research in resource-poor settings
Keywords:Equitable Research, Ethics Dumping, Double Standards, Research Ethics, Exploitation
Ethics dumping is a global phenomenon involving the ‘off-shoring’ of research. Research that would be prohibited, severely restricted or regarded as highly patronizing in high-income regions is instead conducted in resource-poor settings. Twenty-eight case studies of ethics dumping were examined through inductive thematic analysis to reveal predisposing factors from the perspective of researchers from high-income regions. Six categories were agreed and further illuminated: Patronizing conduct, unfair distribution of benefits and/or burdens, culturally inappropriate conduct, double standards, lack of due diligence and lack of transparency. The ultimate aim of the paper is to deepen understanding of these highly unethical practices amongst academics who stand against poverty, leading to their further reduction.