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This is the "Ethical clearance" page of the "The research process" guide.
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This Libguide provides a systematic guide to the different phases and activities of a master's or doctoral research project and introduces the researcher and research student to relevant Library sources, tools and services offered along the way.
Last Updated: Jun 6, 2017 URL: http://libguides.sun.ac.za/researchprocess Print Guide RSS Updates

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Ethical issues during the research

The following ethical issues should be considered during the research process:

  • The ethics of recording data
  • The right of respondents to end involvement in the research
  • The disclosure by respondents of sensitive material
  • The use of information and communication technology
  • The ethics of ethnographic fieldwork
  • The ethics of the research interview
  • Ethics in the use of questionnaires

Source:
Oliver, Paul. 2003. The student's guide to research ethics. Maidenhead and Philadelphia: Open University Press.

 

Ethics and the research process

It is important to consider ethical issues from the early stages of a research project. From the beginning of the design process, provisional decisions are usually taken about the nature of the research sample, and of the methodology. These decisions imply the way of interacting with persons involved in the research project.

It is important to preserve the humanity and dignity of participants. Research should avoid causing harm, distress, anxiety, pain or any other negative feeling to the participants. Participants should be fully informed about all relevant aspects of the research, before they agree to participate.

The scope of the confidentiality of the data provided, and of the anonymity of the respondents, should be clarified with the participants. If these conditions are not met, the ethical acceptability of the research project could be questioned.

Source:
Oliver, Paul. 2003. The student's guide to research ethics. Maidenhead & Philadelphia: Open University Press.

 

Ethics at Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (SU) is committed to applying the values of equity, participation, transparency, service, tolerance and mutual respect, dedication, scholarship, responsibility and academic freedom in all its activities (as contained in the SU Vision Statement). This includes, by definition all the research conducted at the University.

SU is also of the view that good science assumes ethical acceptability according to internationally acceptable norms and that the responsibility for this lies with every person conducting research under auspices of SU.

The University has four Ethics Review Committees namely:

  1. Research Ethics Committee: Human Research (Non-Health),
  2. Health Research Ethics Committee: Human Research and Clinical Trials,
  3. SU Animal Care and Use Committee,
  4. Research Ethics Committee: Environment- and Bio-safety,

all functioning under the Senate Research Ethics Committee.

Source:
Division of Research Development: Research integrity and ethics
More information, documents and procedures: http://www0.sun.ac.za/research/research-integrity-and-ethics.html

 

Ethical issues before the research commences

The following ethical issues (in social sciences) should get attention before the research commences:

  • The way to identify and recruite potential respondents
  • Obtaining informed consent: participants should be fully informed about a research project
  • Potential disadvantage or harm which might affect respondents
  • Researching vulnerable groups of people
  • Obtaining relevant permission to conduct research
  • Reaching agreement with institutions or organizations in which research will be conducted

Source:
Oliver, Paul. 2003. The student's guide to research ethics. Maidenhead and Philadelphia: Open University Press.

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