Human Research Ethics

This list of topical resources is collated and maintained by the Bioethics Research Library of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, as part of a growing collection intended to help beginning scholars and researchers explore bioethics.


Many organizations are involved in the process of protecting human subjects, including the following:

The expansion of clinical trials since the end of World War II has generated discussions on the ethical issues in research including:

  • institutional review boards (IRBs)
  • informed consent for research
  • scientific misconduct
  • experimentation with “vulnerable populations”
  • children
  • women
  • prisoners
  • the mentally ill
  • those living in developing countries.

Protecting human subjects has been the subject of historic documents such as the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Belmont Report, and guided by regulations such as the Common Rule, and the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects.

Key Resources

This alphabetical index provides links to external documents such as codes, laws, regulations, rules and guidelines for research. CODEX by the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics

Bioethics Resources for Investigators & Research Ethics Committees – A collection of resources for scientific investigators conducting research in the developing world, and ethics committees reviewing it.