Increasing Transaction Costs: Criminology Research and Human Subjects Review

Joseph F. Donnermeyer, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT
Over the past two decades, the cost of criminology research has risen dramatically. One major influence is the increasingly difficult nature of the human subjects review process. Criminological research focuses on issues that require strict confidentiality and anonymity in order to prevent adverse impacts on human subjects. However, has human subjects review gone too far and viewed by scholars as just another bureaucratic hoop through which they must jump? How will this growing cynicism impact the future criminology research. The author reviews personal experience in the conduct of in-school surveys of substance use, focus group studies of drugs courts, and victimization surveys to examine the transaction costs of human subjects review. Included is a consideration of practical approaches to meeting both the goals of research and regulations of university-based human subject committees.

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Updated 05/20/2006