Ethical issues concerning the recruitment of university students as research subjects

Albert F. G. Leentjens*, James L. Levenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To discuss the ethical issues in the recruitment of university students as research subjects. Methods: Narrative review and discussion. Results: The recruitment and inclusion of students in university research projects raise ethical issues specific to this population. Students may be required or coerced to participate, receive course credits for their participation, and their privacy may be violated. Some ethically questionable procedures are standard practice at some universities, and endorsed by their institutional review boards and faculties. Some changes will not be easy to achieve because this implies a change of organization of research and will affect funding and output. Conclusion: The authors call for international standards to be set for research with students, that are in line with applicable standards in research with other subjects, such as medically ill patients, on which researchers, members of institutional review boards and editors can base their policies, opinions and decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Ethics
  • Recruitment
  • University students


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