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Becoming an ethical researcher
Becoming an ethical researcher

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Session 3: Meeting obligations in research


Introduction and aims

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Figure 1 Obligations are linked to our responsibilities, duties, needing to be compliant with regulations, policies, guidance and the business of others

Welcome to Session 3 of Becoming an ethical researcher.

In this session, you will look at the wider contexts in which research projects are set, in order to explore further how researchers have obligations and associated responsibilities to a wide range of other individuals. These external expectations of researchers ensure there is accountability for a researcher’s actions and behaviours.

The ideas covered build on previous sessions where you thought about the potential beneficiaries of a project and the micro, meso and macro layers of those who might be involved in research.

This session covers legal obligations a researcher needs to be mindful of as well as how research guidance has developed to support researchers in their ethical decision-making. Thinking from the perspectives of the various stakeholders can help in anticipating issues and making more confident, respectful and responsible research decisions when planning research.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • identify to whom researchers are accountable
  • understand the practical implications of showing a duty of care
  • identify legal obligations which include those for data protection, respecting copyright and safeguarding
  • explore strategies for addressing unanticipated issues during research by thinking through and being alert to a researcher’s multiple responsibilities.