Learning and educational
technology research unit
• Ethics in the form of moral choices and decisions cover the
whole process of research from the choice of the topic all the
way to the implications of the research results.
• The researcher has to follow a good research practice, which
prioritize respect towards human self-determination and
dignity (Pelkonen & Louhiala 2002).
• According to Chirstians (2000) research ethics include:
Ensuring the privacy
• A researcher should:
• Be able to view her/himself as a member of a university
community and promote critical thinking and the prerequisites
• Be loyal towards colleagues and appreciate their work.
• Be genuinely interested in obtaining new information and
aspiring to produce as reliable knowledge as possible.
• Respect human dignity, and in carrying out research, avoid
abusing anyone's autonomy, integrity or rights.
• Be careful and honest in conducting research and reporting
• Neither borrow without permission nor take credit for the
research ideas, plans, discoveries or results of others
• Use research knowledge responsibly and strive to ensure
that knowledge acquired through research is used ethically.
(Toolbox of research/ University of Oulu)
• A researcher should carry out his work honestly, carefully
and precisely. Research must be planned, conducted and
reported openly according to the requirements set for
scientific knowledge. (for basic information about
referencing, see further Hirsjärvi, Remes & Sajavaara
• When research is being carried out by a group of several
researchers, it is a good idea to make a written
agreement about how the group is going to function.
• Funding sources for research and different linkages are
to be declared when reporting on the research.
• The target group has to become familiar with research
purposes and implementation before conducting the
• Informing the target group (TENK 2009)
• Researcher’s contact information (providing opportunity for further
• Subject and purpose of study
• Data collection and timetable
• Use, storage and disposal of the data
• Voluntary participation
• Conducting a research requires trust between the
researcher and the participants.
• Researcher has to tell honestly the aims and the
objectives to the participants.
• The information obtained is processed and stored
• When writing the research report, researcher must
protect the anonymity of the participants.
• The participants are given the opportunity afterwards to
contact the researcher.
• Confidentiality <-> open nature of the science
• Respect and ensuring of privacy in all phases of the
research process (Ball 2006)
• Adequate information when recruiting to participate in the study,
voluntary participation (Ball 2006)
• Ensure anonymity of participants when processing, reporting and
storing the data. (Mäkelä, 1987).
• Research publications: citations from interviews/ discussions etc.
(Ball 2006 Advisory Board 2009)
• The purpose of the study: ‘Whose needs I try to answer
with this study’ (Syrjäläinen 1995).
• Responsibilities towards participants, funders and
• The researcher must be truly interested in doing a
research and be strict in the research work (Pietarinen
• The results has to be presented in the right light and the
purpose has to be the progression/ development on
science/ theory/ scientific discussion (Pietarinen 2002)
• Respect towards other researchers’ work (Pietarinen
• Anything essential is not added or left out to the research
report (Pietarinen 2002)
Check list 1(2)
Inform your target group
Get permissions and consents
Inform the participants about the results
Evaluate the impact of your research into the participants
Try to create good and trustful atmosphere
Be honest in every phase in your research
Remember professional secrecy
Give your contact information to the participants
Check list 2(2)
Replace all identifiers with codes.
Ensure the anonymity of participants when you use citations
from your data.
Respect self-determination of the participants.
Store you data decently (where and how long).
Bring out the names of the funders in your research report.
Describe the research process in detail.
Argue choices you made from ethical viewpoint.
Justify the purpose of your study.
Report the results strictly.
• Present criteria.
• Reflect the choices you made based on criteria you have
• Be honest.
• Formulate three groups
• Read the material given to your group and supplement
• What aspect concerning research ethics was presented in
• What viewpoints are missing in the checklist?
• How you could use the cheklist in your own research (master
• Coffey, A. 2000, Ethical Issues in Writing and
Representation Esitelmä Kasva tutkijakoulussa
• Cristians, C. G. 2000. Ethics and Politis in Qualitative
Research. In Denzin & Lincoln, Handbook of Qualitative
Research. London: Sage, p. 133- 155.
Leena Syrjälä 2006