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Becoming an ethical researcher
Becoming an ethical researcher

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6 Summary of Session 2

Planning ethical research

In this session you have considered how there are many people involved in research who can both inform and potentially benefit. This places a responsibility on the researcher to become informed about the study context when planning the focus and design of their study. This shows how decisions about research design are linked to ethical considerations to ensure a study is defensible.

A researcher should be able to present a balanced argument for why their study should be considered worthwhile, why they have a warrant to proceed with their research requests and how they have considered possible risks of harm and mitigated against this.

In Session 3, you will think further about the ethical obligations a researcher has when planning their research. By thinking about the research plans from different stakeholder perspectives, a researcher can anticipate additional possible issues, consider alternatives and make responsible and respectful decisions. This will help researchers to negotiate with gatekeepers for permission to access a context and approach potential participants for their consent.

In the next session you will be thinking about issues that arise as researchers move into their studies, either in the field or as part of desk-based research.

Activity 8 What is involved in planning ethical research?

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes
  1. With reference to your notes from this session’s study, create a mind map summarising the factors a researcher needs to consider when planning research (see Activities and tools [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] for more information on how to create mind maps).
  2. Take an image or screenshot of this mind map and store it safely so that you can return to it in the following weeks (see Taking screenshots for help with this). You can share this image with other learners by uploading this to the course forum thread and also see what others took away from this session.

    Note: In this forum post you may want to use an image, for advice on how to upload images to forum review our advice page.

You can now go to Session 3.