Statement of ethical research practice

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This page sets out ethical research principles for the ‘Public Connection’ project. The principles adhere to, and were partially adapted from, the guidelines for research of the following organisations:

  • The British Psychological Society
  • The British Sociological Association
  • The Association of Internet Researchers
  • The Market Research Society

Values

1) The research team aim to safeguard the interests of those involved in or affected by their work, to ensure that their methods of investigation are appropriate, to report their findings accurately and truthfully, and to consider the consequences of their work or its misuse for those they study and other interested parties.

2) Participants in this research  shall be treated as the subjects, rather than the objects of research, and their rights shall be respected fully.

Research practice

1) Freely given written consent will be sought from all people participating in the research who will be given written information, in non-technical language, on what the research is about, who is undertaking it, why it is being undertaken, how it will be communicated and how the data will be stored and shared with other researchers. Furthermore, the researcher will make clear to the participants that they can refuse to take part or withdraw from the research at any point and that they may reject the use of data-gathering devices, such as tape recorders.

2) The privacy of those participating in the research will be respected; to protect the participants further, all identifiers will be removed from the data and pseudonyms will be used.

3) Each interview will conclude with a careful debriefing during which the researcher will discuss the experience of the interview with the participants in order to monitor any unforeseen effects.

4) Feedback on research findings will be provided to those people who participated in the research as part of acknowledging their contribution and seeking their views on outputs and dissemination.

5) The data collected during the research will be stored at the London School of Economics and Political Science in a secure manner with only the Research Team having access to it and, after the completion of the project and in accordance with the requirements of the funding agency (ESRC), will be deposited in the ESRC Data Archive.

6) The research involves collaboration with the funding agency (ESRC). All reports will be shown to the funding agency in draft form, and any comments will be carefully considered in preparing the final version of such reports for publication. Such reports are likely to be the basis for publications for research purposes. The Research Team retains the responsibility for the final version of any such report or publication, and would normally retain copyright except where otherwise agreed. 

22 December 2003

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