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In biostatistics or psychological statistics, a research subject is any organism (animal or plant) that is observed for purposes of research. In survey research and opinion polling, the subject is often called a respondent.

In human subject research, one highly important topic is informed consent and human subject protection. There are many guidelines, all to insure that the subject is clearly informed of what the study will be, their participation, any possible consequences, that they can quit any time without consequences, who to contact with questions, and so forth. All research involving human subjects should include some aspect of human subject protection.

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