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Becoming an ethical researcher
Becoming an ethical researcher

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1 Showing respect in research

Described image
Figure 2 Respecting the views and preferences of others, however seemingly vulnerable: inspiration from the disabled artist Frida Kahlo

In Session 2 you were introduced to the idea of data as a gift. Data, whether in the form of numbers, images or words, needs to be handled with care and respect. Data collection from a survey, from social interaction online or from observing someone’s home or classroom raises different ethical challenges.

Respect refers to individuals as well as groups and to each and every person’s contribution during the research process. It is not just about saying ‘thank you’. Participants who provide the data trust that a researcher will put it to good use. They need to not take from it more than they have permission for, neither should it be misused. So, although it might seem obvious that research will be designed to have benefits, without a researcher showing ethical awareness, there is a risk of unintentionally causing harm before, during or after the research.