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Becoming an ethical researcher
Becoming an ethical researcher

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3 Who are you as a researcher: insider or outsider?

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Figure 5 It’s important to be aware of your presence, position and power

Who are you as a researcher? You are researching people in contexts and, whether you are new or known in a research setting, you will have a different impact on those in the setting as you engage in your study. The research may change or be impacted upon because of your identity. This is an aspect of a researcher’s positionality.

A key point, therefore, is to be aware of your presence, position and power as you seek permission to carry out research. Positionality relates to how your values, identity, status, experiences or political beliefs might influence the design or data analysis. It is important to be transparent about if and how your position shaped your choice of topic or interpretation of data, and to declare any conflicts of interest.