Research Methods: Considering Ethics in your research

Eira Patterson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

What you need to consider to ensure high ethical standards

Considerations that you need to take into account when planning ethical research:

  • respect the rights and dignity of participants in the research

  • gain informed consent prior to starting the research

  • ensure anonymity and confidentiality at each stage of the research

  • carry out analysis of the findings with honesty and integrity

(Cresswell, 2013)

For research in education, professional guidelines are provided by the British Education Research Association:

British Education Research Association Ethical Guidelines (2018)

All guidelines provided by professional associations are intended to be non-prescriptive in order to enable researchers to interpret them in ways that meet the needs of their own research project and their beliefs and moral stance in relation to research ethics (Goodwin, Pope, Mort and Smith, 2003). However this in itself can be problematic for a new researcher as the ethical considerations of research are diverse and complex. This Guide is designed enable you to understand key principles underpinning ethics in social science research and to inform your decision-making in relation to the ethical issues related to your research project.

Further information:

University of Leicester: Ethical appraisal framework