The New Brunswick Declaration: A Declaration on Research Ethics, Integrity and Governance resulting from the 1st Ethics Rupture Summit, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

The Ethics Rupture Summit was a gathering in October 2012 of researchers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, who are committed to enhancing ethical research practice, and supporting innovative alternatives to the regulation of research ethics that might achieve this end.

Signatories of the New Brunswick Declaration:

affirm that the practice of research should respect persons and collectivities and privilege the possibility of benefit over risk. We champion constructive relationships among research participants, researchers, funders, publishers, research institutions, research ethics regulators and the wider community that aim to develop better understandings of ethical principles and practices;

believe researchers must be held to professional standards of competence, integrity and trust, which include expectations that they will act reflexively and responsibly when new ethical challenges arise before, during, and long after the completion of research projects. Standards should be based on professional codes of ethical practice espoused by the full diversity of professional associations to which those who study human experience belong, which include the behavioural, health and social sciences, arts and humanities;

encourage a variety of means of regulating ethical conduct involving a broad range of parties in promoting and ensuring ethical conduct, such as participant communities, academic journals, professional associations, state and non-state funding agencies, academic departments and institutions, and oversight ethics committees;

encourage regulators and administrators to nurture a regulatory culture that grants researchers the same level of respect that researchers should offer research participants;

seek to promote the social reproduction of ethical communities of practice. Effective ethics education works in socially-embedded settings and from the ground-up: it depends on strong mentoring, experiential learning and nurturance when engaging students and novice researchers with ethics in research settings;

are committed to ongoing critical analysis of new and revised ethics regulations by: highlighting exemplary and innovative research ethics review processes; identifying tensions and contradictions among various elements of research ethics governance; and seeing that every venue devoted to discussing proposed ethics guidelines includes critical analysis and research about research ethics governance, and

shall work together to bring new experience, insights and expertise to bear on these principles, goals, and mechanisms.

 13 February 2013