Ethical issues that need to be addressed

Various ethical issues need to be addressed during a research project. In order to address these issues, researchers have to:

  1. recognise issues of respect, fairness, and dignity for all those who are involved in or affected by the research (Connolly 2003:27, Sullivan and Cain 2004:603).
  2. provide a thorough description of the research process so that potential participants have the information needed to make an informed, voluntarily consent (or assent in the case of minors, or provide permission in the case of institutions/organisations) (Connolly 2003:14-15, Cottingham & Jansen 2005:4, Duma, Khanyil and Daniels 2009:53).
  3. ensure the safety of the participants (Cottingham & Jansen 2005:3, Duma, Khanyil and Daniels 2009:53).
  4. honour and maintain anonymity, confidentiality and privacy (Connolly 2003:23, Duma, Khanyil and Daniels 2009:53, Ellsberg & Heise 2005:53).
  5. ensure beneficence, by minimising risks and maximising benefits of a study (Connolly 2003:23, Duma, Khanyil and Daniels 2009:53)/
  6. take precautions to avoid inadvertent reinforcement of negative social stereotypes concerning particular groups, unfair exploitation of vulnerable research participants, and to ensure that no distress is caused to people who have suffered traumatic events (Flaskerud & Winslow 1998, Sullivan & Cain 2004).
  7. protect the physical and psychological well-being of their participants in order to ensure that participation do not result in in distressing ethical misfortunes (Duma et al 2009).
  8. provide arrangements for support, if needed, before, during, and after the research for participants who have experienced traumatic events (I believe failure falls under this issue) (Cambell & Wasco 2005).
  9. make appropriate appropriate support mechanisms for researchers and participants alike, including briefing sessions and the opportunity to meet with the researcher (Connolly 2003:27).
  10. ensure that information about the research is ommunicated in a way that is meaningful to the individuals concerned (Aitken, Gallagher and Madronio 2003:340-341)
  11. gain written and verbal consent (assent if younger than 18 with permission from parents, caretakers) (Connolly 20013:30)
  12. inform participants prior to the research of sensitive questions that will be asked during interviews, as well as the procedures thereof ((Ellsberg & Heise 2005:35)
  13. guarantee confidentiality, anonymity and privacy (Ellsberg & Heise 2005:35)
  14. be aware of cultural differences that may exist between the researcher and the participants (Duma, Khanyil & Daniels 2009:53)
  15. ensure that, if an interpreter is involved, that the interpreter speak the same dialect as the participant (Bot 2005:176-179)
  16. ensure that interpreters receive training on documents, topics, background, objectives and purpose of the study, length of the interviews and procedures for maintaining confidentiality (Bot 2005:176-179)
  17. put strategies in place to deal with the participants’ immediate and ongoing emotional needs, and where necessary, refer them in the case of a crisis to relevant support services (Connolly 2003:34)
  18. locate and contact vulnerable research participants without endangering their safety (Duma, Khanyil & Daniels 2009:56-57)
  19. ensure that interviews will be conducted in a private and safe settings (Connolly 2003:34).
  20. I will add as I find reference to more issues …..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *