Demos.science is committed to ensuring its platform and services are used in a manner that respects, protects and promotes the rights, dignity and welfare of all persons involved in the research process (whether as participants or members of the Demos community). As an initiative of research staff at the Mahidol Oxford Research Unit based in Bangkok Thailand, Demos.science complies with the University of Oxford Policy on the ethical conduct of research involving human participants and personal data and the Code of Practice and Procedure on Academic Integrity in Research.
In traditional research environments, there are three tiers of ethical review and oversight, depending on the nature of the research study:
In the early, beta-phase of Demos we will approach the ethics oversight of studies in accordance with these tiers.
A waiver of ethical review may be granted if the Demos study involves:
Where a Demos study envisages a minimal risk to its participants, an expedited ethical review may be granted. However, the determination of minimal risk will be made by an established institutional ethics review board, based on the following indicative criteria:
If a Demos study does not fall within the criteria of ‘waiver’ or ‘expedited review’, a full research application to an established institutional EC will be made by the Demos team; and only after ethical approval is obtained will the Demos research study commence.
The Demos team will support the research team throughout the ethical review process and provide on-going ethical support and reflection throughout the study process.
The broader aim of Demos, however, is to create a global research platform, in which the community has ownership over the research process. In this spirit, the long-term aim is to foster a swarm-sourced ethics and oversight process, in which the ethical approval and oversight are obtained by consensus within the Demos community.