7 Summary of Session 6
Exiting research ethically
This course has been designed to walk you through the research process, highlighting the ethical dimensions of all stages of research. A virtuous researcher starts to think about ethics when the focus for the research is being chosen and continues their ethical thinking through to after the study has been reported.
You have seen how each researcher is faced with a unique context and set of issues, and will need to weigh up the options to them and make decisions according to their own values, maintaining an awareness of relevant guidance and legal obligations. Thinking ahead, planning and keeping ethical actions in mind means that research will be valid and inform the field. It will also leave those who have been involved with the research more informed about what research might involve, how this can be a valuable and constructive experience and leave behind an appetite for research. A researcher can engage with their research confidently by:
- getting to know their topic
- reading how other researchers have approached this kind of research
- identifying all those who are likely to be involved or affected by their research and getting to know their agendas, interests and preferences
- making themselves aware of relevant legislation, regulations and ethical guidelines
- being committed to keeping their promises whilst also being flexible to responding to issues which appear to challenge these
- having support from others to think through ethical decision-making.
Activity 10 Take-aways from Session 6
List the ten top tips you would offer to a researcher to be a virtuous and ethical researcher. Keep this list for use should you want to carry out your own research, or in case you are asked to advise or comment on research carried out by others.
Well done! You have now completed the course. The course team hope you have found the content and activities useful and wish you well for the future, whether as a researcher or a critical consumer (reader or other stakeholder) of research.