7 Methods: the ethical conduct of research with human participants
Research with human participants is not a value-free area. For reasons of morality, decency and respect for human rights, only certain types of research, conducted in certain ways, are now considered to be acceptable practice.
To protect the interests of those involved in research with humans, institutional procedures and professional codes of practice have increasingly come to govern the ways in which studies are conducted and how information is handled once it has been acquired by a research project. These procedures and codes of practice collectively fall within the concept of ‘research ethics’. This is a term that refers to principles guiding the systematic design and critical analysis of research with humans, with the intent of ensuring that harm to the research participant is minimised and that good is maximised.