Clinical Psychologist Professor Douglas Wassenaar of the School of Applied Human Sciences, has been appointed Editor of the international Journal of Empirical Research on Health Research Ethics (JERHRE).
The journal is the only one in the field of human research ethics dedicated exclusively to empirical research. Its distinguished editorial and advisory board brings a range of expertise and international perspective to provide high-quality double-blind peer-reviewed original articles.
Wassenaar stated, ‘It is an honour to assume responsibility for this journal. JERHRE has a unique footprint among bioethics journals because it publishes empirical research relevant to research ethics questions and debates. JERHRE thus aspires to provide an evidence base for many research ethics questions that were previously only addressed conceptually.’
It was a gradual progression from author to reviewer to associate editor over time for Wassenaar. Many of his recent papers have found a home in JERHRE.
‘I have received strong technical and moral support from the outgoing editor Dr Joan Sieber, and from UKZN’s Professor Anthony Pillay, a seasoned editor of another SAGE journal, who has given me valuable advice and reassurance about the responsibilities and many technicalities involved in editing an international journal,’ he said.
Asked about how he plans to take the Journal forward, Wassenaar said: ‘This journal goes beyond debate and principles, which remain important in resolving research ethics issues, and complements these with empirical data.
‘I hope to continue the excellent foundation laid by Dr Sieber, and to increase high quality contributions from developing countries to supplement the journal’s coverage of issues related to health research in the developed world.’
The journal produces five issues a year in print and online. The next issue appears next month.
*Professor Douglas Wassenaar is the Director of SARETI, the South African Research Ethics Training Initiative, a US National Institutes of Health/Fogarty- funded programme offering master’s-degree training in research ethics at UKZN. Wassenaar chaired the UKZN Biomedical Research Ethics Committee from 2008 to 2015 and currently chairs the Human Sciences Research Council’s Research Ethics Committee.
He is a member of the WHO/UNAIDS Vaccines Advisory Committee. From 2003-2012 he chaired the WHO-UNAIDS African AIDS Vaccine Programme’s (AAVP) Ethics Law and Human Rights Group. He is a consultant to the HIV and AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group (HAVEG) and a research ethics consultant to several African research and ethics programmes. He has conducted ethics reviews for the European Union and served on the Biomedical Ethics and International Public Engagement Committees of the Wellcome Trust.
He has conducted research ethics workshops in more than 20 countries and facilitated a retreat for the Ethics Review Committee of the World Health Organization. He has authored or co-authored more 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 chapters in books and is the Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on several research and training grants from funders such as the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health, UNAIDS, EDCTP and the Wellcome Trust.