Kristine Bærøe, Associate Professor at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen
A couple of months ago a new Research Ethics Act was implemented in Norway. The rationale for replacing the preceding regulation was to strengthen legal responsibilities of researchers and institutions for promoting acceptable research . According to the new regulation, researchers are held legally responsible for ensuring that they ‘act with caution to ensure that all research is conducted according to recognised research ethical norms’ . At the same time ‘institutions are responsible for: a) necessary training of candidates and employees in recognised research ethical norms and b) that everyone who conducts or participates in the research is familiar with recognised research ethical norms’ . The lawmakers have explicitly left it to the researcher community to define what is covered by ‘recognised norms’ , but implicitly the community will also have to define what should go into ‘necessary training’.