ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0104.v1
Online: 7 June 2018 (07:35:48 CEST)
Community peer review is a method that extends the ethics of consent into scientific practices. It gives communities affected by scientific research the ability to determine whether research may cause them harm and be part of determining how knowledge should best circulate to reduce or eliminate that harm. This paper introduces the method of community peer review by first looking at the concepts of consent and refusal, then outlining the steps to community peer review, using a case study of community meetings on a study of plastic ingestion by fish to elucidate the details of each step. Steps include: hiring a community member to the team; researching the social, cultural, and economic contexts of the community; identify the community; ensure skills for community conversation are in place; call the community meeting; conduct the community meeting; and analyze feedback for consent and refusal. Community peer review is premised on the idea that research is not inherently good and can cause harm, and that the best people to know whether and what kinds of harms are likely to occur are community members rather than researchers. The second premise is that the researcher’s “right” to research never supersedes a community’s right to not be harmed.