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Secondary use of empirical research data in medical ethics papers on gamete donation: forms of use and pitfalls

Veerle Provoost (UGent)
(2015) MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW. 33(1). p.64-77
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Abstract
This paper aims to provide a description of how authors publishing in medical ethics journals have made use of empirical research data in papers on the topic of gamete or embryo donation by means of references to studies conducted by others (secondary use). Rather than making a direct contribution to the theoretical methodological literature about the role empirical research data could play or should play in ethics studies, the focus is on the particular uses of these data and the problems that can be encountered with this use. In the selection of papers examined, apart from being used to describe the context, empirical evidence was mainly used to recount problems that needed solving. Few of the authors looked critically at the quality of the studies they quoted, and several instances were found of empirical data being used poorly or inappropriately. This study provides some initial baseline evidence that shows empirical data, in the form of references to studies, are sometimes being used in inappropriate ways. This suggests that medical ethicists should be more concerned about the quality of the empirical data selected, the appropriateness of the choice for a particular type of data (from a particular type of study) and the correct integration of this evidence in sound argumentation. Given that empirical data can be misused also when merely cited instead of reported, it may be worthwhile to explore good practice requirements for this type of use of empirical data in medical ethics.
Keywords
Descriptive analysis, Empirical ethics, Methods, Bioethics

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MLA
Provoost, Veerle. “Secondary Use of Empirical Research Data in Medical Ethics Papers on Gamete Donation: Forms of Use and Pitfalls.” Ed. Jonathan Ives & Veerle Provoost. MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW 33.1 (2015): 64–77. Print.
APA
Provoost, Veerle. (2015). Secondary use of empirical research data in medical ethics papers on gamete donation: forms of use and pitfalls. (J. Ives & V. Provoost, Eds.)MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW, 33(1), 64–77.
Chicago author-date
Provoost, Veerle. 2015. “Secondary Use of Empirical Research Data in Medical Ethics Papers on Gamete Donation: Forms of Use and Pitfalls.” Ed. Jonathan Ives and Veerle Provoost. Monash Bioethics Review 33 (1): 64–77.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Provoost, Veerle. 2015. “Secondary Use of Empirical Research Data in Medical Ethics Papers on Gamete Donation: Forms of Use and Pitfalls.” Ed. Jonathan Ives and Veerle Provoost. Monash Bioethics Review 33 (1): 64–77.
Vancouver
1.
Provoost V. Secondary use of empirical research data in medical ethics papers on gamete donation: forms of use and pitfalls. Ives J, Provoost V, editors. MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW. Springer; 2015;33(1):64–77.
IEEE
[1]
V. Provoost, “Secondary use of empirical research data in medical ethics papers on gamete donation: forms of use and pitfalls,” MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 64–77, 2015.
@article{7125967,
  abstract     = {This paper aims to provide a description of how authors publishing in medical ethics journals have made use of empirical research data in papers on the topic of gamete or embryo donation by means of references to studies conducted by others (secondary use). Rather than making a direct contribution to the theoretical methodological literature about the role empirical research data could play or should play in ethics studies, the focus is on the particular uses of these data and the problems that can be encountered with this use. In the selection of papers examined, apart from being used to describe the context, empirical evidence was mainly used to recount problems that needed solving. Few of the authors looked critically at the quality of the studies they quoted, and several instances were found of empirical data being used poorly or inappropriately. This study provides some initial baseline evidence that shows empirical data, in the form of references to studies, are sometimes being used in inappropriate ways. This suggests that medical ethicists should be more concerned about the quality of the empirical data selected, the appropriateness of the choice for a particular type of data (from a particular type of study) and the correct integration of this evidence in sound argumentation. Given that empirical data can be misused also when merely cited instead of reported, it may be worthwhile to explore good practice requirements for this type of use of empirical data in medical ethics.},
  author       = {Provoost, Veerle},
  editor       = {Ives, Jonathan  and Provoost, Veerle },
  issn         = {1321-2753},
  journal      = {MONASH BIOETHICS REVIEW},
  keywords     = {Descriptive analysis,Empirical ethics,Methods,Bioethics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {64--77},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  title        = {Secondary use of empirical research data in medical ethics papers on gamete donation: forms of use and pitfalls},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40592-015-0029-8},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2015},
}

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