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Becoming an ethical researcher
Becoming an ethical researcher

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6 Summary of Session 3

In this session, you have thought further about planning research by examining the range of obligations to which a researcher is accountable and how a researcher can show academic leadership in meeting their various responsibilities. You have been introduced to a range of ethical guidance for researchers in the social sciences. This guidance is regularly updated and designed to alert readers to issues they should consider and guide their decision-making.

This session, as with the guidance, makes clear that researchers need to ensure that they abide by key legislation, particularly around protecting personal and sensitive data, as well as safeguarding those involved with the research. This means that researchers are clear that they have an obligation to share in the care of others in society, in particular children and vulnerable adults. Issues can arise during the conduct and reporting of research, and a researcher needs to continue to act with integrity to meet the expectations of others and their promises.

In the following sessions, you will be thinking further about conducting research ethically, about how power and relationships are key considerations and how responsibilities do not end with the collection of data.

Activity 8 Preparing a list of resources

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Referring to your notes from this session, create a list of documents you would need to refer to when designing research, even if this is a general list of key information rather than specific types of documents and links.

You are now halfway through the course. The Open University would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for future improvement in our optional end-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which you will also have an opportunity to complete at the end of Week 6. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

You can now go to Session 4.