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Becoming an ethical researcher
Becoming an ethical researcher

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4.1 Internal changes

In the next case study, you will reflect on the way the COVID-19 pandemic affected a study, but let’s start with less dramatic challenges. Minor hiccups may be small-scale at the micro or meso level yet still inconvenient to a researcher, such as:

  • a low response rate
  • participants withdrawing due to sickness
  • wishing you could reword your interview questions as respondents are not offering the kind of data you anticipated
  • finding you cannot record a session due to technical issues
  • being unsure how to code data which does not seem to fit in with the rest
  • coming across attitudes that make you uncomfortable and challenge your expectations.

If such minor challenges to your research occur, you might be able to adjust plans using such things as extra time or advice from others in the research team or a supervisor/tutor. You may need to reflect on your planning, ethical considerations and the integrity of your research as you find a solution that may enable you to continue.