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Can an ethics officer role reduce delays in research ethics approval? A mixed-method evaluation of an improvement project

Overview of attention for article published in BMJ Open, January 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (86th percentile)

Mentioned by

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42 tweeters
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1 Google+ user

Citations

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7 Dimensions

Readers on

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26 Mendeley
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2 CiteULike
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Title
Can an ethics officer role reduce delays in research ethics approval? A mixed-method evaluation of an improvement project
Published in
BMJ Open, January 2016
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011973
Pubmed ID
Authors

Mary Dixon-Woods, Chris Foy, Charlotte Hayden, Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, Stephen Tebbutt, Sara Schroter, Dixon-Woods, Mary, Foy, Chris, Hayden, Charlotte, Al-Shahi Salman, Rustam, Tebbutt, Stephen, Schroter, Sara

Abstract

Frustration continues to be directed at delays in gaining approvals for undertaking health research in the UK. We aimed to evaluate the impact of an ethics officer intervention on rates of favourable opinions (approval) and provisional opinions (requiring revision and resubmission) and on the time taken to reach a final opinion by research ethics committees (RECs), to characterise how the role operated in practice, and to investigate applicants' views. Mixed-method study involving (i) a 2-group, non-randomised before-and-after intervention study of RECs assigned an ethics officer and a matched comparator group; (ii) a process evaluation involving a survey of applicants and documentary analysis. 6 RECs and 3 associated ethics officers; 18 comparator RECs; REC applicants. Rates of provisional and favourable opinions between ethics officer and comparator RECs did not show a statistically significant effect of the intervention (logistic regression, p=0.26 for favourable opinions and p=0.31 for provisional opinions). Mean time to reach a decision showed a non-significant reduction (ANOVA, p=0.22) from 33.3 to 32.0 days in the ethics officer RECs compared with the comparator RECs (32.6 to 32.9 days). The survey (30% response rate) indicated applicant satisfaction and also suggested that ethics officer support might be more useful before submission. Ethics officers were successful in identifying many issues with applications, but the intervention did not function exactly as designed: in 31% of applicants, no contact between the applicants and the ethics officer took place before REC review. This study was a non-randomised comparison cohort study. Some data were missing. An ethics officer intervention, as designed and implemented in this study, did not increase the proportion of applications to RECs that were approved on first review and did not reduce the time to a committee decision.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 42 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 26 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 26 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 5 19%
Other 5 19%
Researcher 5 19%
Student > Master 4 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 3 12%
Other 4 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Unspecified 7 27%
Medicine and Dentistry 6 23%
Social Sciences 5 19%
Nursing and Health Professions 2 8%
Business, Management and Accounting 1 4%
Other 5 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 October 2016.
All research outputs
#717,325
of 13,739,494 outputs
Outputs from BMJ Open
#1,612
of 12,328 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#21,308
of 261,677 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMJ Open
#56
of 407 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,739,494 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,328 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 18.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 261,677 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 407 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.