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“The value of research depends as much on its
ethical veracity as on the novelty of its discoveries”
(Walliman, 2006: p. 147)
What are ethics?
Refers to the rules of
conduct of carrying out
Ethical issues are
present at all stages of
Essential part of the
Proposed methodology, methods of data
collection, and approach to ethical issues
scrutinised by peers
Judgements are are made in accordance with
principles and relevant codes of ethics
Codes of Ethics
Declaration of Helsinki
4 Key Principles
Protection of the interests of participants
Voluntary participation based on informed consent
Conﬁrms to national laws
See Denscombe (2010)
Do no harm
Protection of vulnerable participants
Rights of Participants
Sites where access is convenient
Who does this include/exclude?
Not an aim of qualitative research, but
Issues of inclusiveness
Research on a group vs research with a group
Children as participants
Research on children vs research with children
Adults instigate research/guard access
Children as co-researchers
What is informed consent?
What age can children give
Can very young children give
Who has right to consent on
behalf of children/vulnerable
Active consent vs failure to
Meaning of deception?
Is deception ever
Is deception desirable?
Purposes of deception
Access & Gatekeepers
Contacts and power relationships
Pressure to take part?
Adults gatekeep access to children
Motivation/Purpose of consent on behalf of
How do you encourage participation?
Characteristics of research participants
Characteristics of researcher
Location of research
Research aims to beneﬁt
Who does research beneﬁt
Do beneﬁts justify methodology/methods/sample?
Participants should be
Limits to conﬁdentiality
Arise during course of
Can they be
How you respond to
Research ethics - balance - likelihood of harm -
beneﬁts of research
Reﬂect on ethical issues of in/famous research
Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods, 4th
ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Denscombe, M. (2010) The Good Research Guide:
for small-scale social research projects 4th editon,
Maidenhead: Open University Press
Walliman, N. (2006) Social Research Methods,