Research Methods: Considering Ethics in your research

Eira Patterson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Reciprocity: What does your research ‘give back’?

The research process is often associated with a cost for participants, most frequently in the form of the time that they have to give up in order to be involved in the research. Therefore it is important to consider how the research can ‘give back’ in some way to the participants, either directly or indirectly. There are potential difficulties associated with financial incentives for taking part in research, in particular where potential participants are under financial constraints. In this situation offering monetary gains can then in itself become an ethical issue, as it puts potential participants under pressure to take part in the research, which they may otherwise have chosen not to do. However there are other forms that this reciprocity can take, for example in education research there are often benefits for participants in being involved in intervention programmes.