What is CORE?

Research that involves pervasive sensing and/or computational methods raise new ethical challenges for both scientists and Institutional Review Boards. In response, we asked stakeholders to design a solution and, subsequently, built Connected and Open Research Ethics. CORE has three main features including a: 1- Network 2- Q&A Forum and, 3- Resource Library.

What can CORE do for you?

Mobile Imaging, pervasive Sensing, Social media and location Tracking or “MISST” strategies can be used to study and improve human health, but navigating the ethics and regulatory review process is challenging. The CORE brings researchers, ethics board members, technologists and other stakeholders together to share their expertise and experiences to shape best practices. 

The CORE Network

Join the CORE Network to connect with others who share an interest in the ethical design and appropriate review of research using MISST strategies.

The CORE Q&A Forum

The CORE Q&A Forum is where you can post questions or share your expertise by responding to a post.

The CORE Resource Library

The CORE Resource Library is where you can share policy and give/take snippets of IRB-approved research protocol and consent language.

Working together, we can shape the ethics of 21st century research.


I learned about the CORE through PRIM&R, and have found it to be a great network for getting feedback on big data and emerging technologies research ethics and processes.The CORE Resource Library has a lot of approved study and participant materials that I’ve used to help guide the creation of materials for the HUMAN Project at New York University. 

Sara Meeder
Compliance Specialist
Kavli HUMAN Project
Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision-Making
New York University


In our Designing Health Lab, we use new and emerging technologies (e.g., smartphones, wireless sensors, cloud computing, big data, etc) in our research with a particular focus on physical activity and healthful eating. We have integrated the CORE into the work-flow of our laboratory. By uploading language from our IRB approved research protocols and informed consent documents, students joining the lab or colleagues wanting to conduct similar procedures can easily access these documents saving considerable time.

Eric Hekler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, UC San Diego


Digital health is an exciting field that is rapidly changing. But keeping up to date with best practices can be challenging with new technologies constantly evolving. The CORE is the first resource I recommend to everyone conducting research as it offers a supportive community with easy access to experts as well as an impressive library of IRB examples to both guide and inspire.

John Torous, MD
Staff Psychiatrist and Clinical Informatics Fellow
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
Editor, JMIR Mental Health

CORE provides an valuable resource for investigators and IRBs for research involving mobile technology and direct monitoring of research subject activities. In a field that is rapidly evolving and complex, the ability to provide relevant and reliable information is a primary component of the CORE website.

Anthony Magit, MD
Director, Human Research Protection Program
Clinical Professor
UC San Diego

Pervasive sensing technology has great potential for collecting large amounts of objective data on individuals’ behavior and environment. Using this technology requires careful consideration of participants’ privacy and confidentiality. The CORE is an invaluable resource because it allows members of the research community–from investigators to IRBs–to learn from others and share information on how to best address these issues.

Kristin N. Javaras, D.Phil., Ph.D.
Assistant Psychologist, McLean Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Start using CORE today!

The snippets (or excerpts) of IRB-approved research protocols and informed consent documents, as well as links to the external resources provided on the CORE Resource Library are made available for guidance purposes only. The CORE project personnel and the University of California San Diego are not responsible for the completeness or quality of the information provided on the Resource Library or Forum. Users are expected to use their own discretion and consult their respective Institutional Review Board to identify risks and ethical practices specific to their studies.
Third-party content on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Content not licensed under a Creative Commons license (e.g., blog posts, presentations, etc.) are protected by copyright law and permission to use must be obtained from the copyright owner to use this material. Contact nebeker@eng.ucsd.edu with questions.

Get started with the CORE Tutorial.