Does your project need approval?
If your research project consists solely of “desk research” – in other words, if it does not bring you into direct or indirect (e.g. via the internet or by telephone) contact with other people as part of the research process – it is unlikely that ethical issues will arise beyond the normal issues of academic honesty, plagiarism and so on.
However, if your research involves contact with other people – for example as interviewees, survey respondents or members of a focus group – ethical issues automatically arise and in some cases (e,g, minors, people with disabilities) may be complex. Your basic guiding principle in all such cases must be that the people you come into such contact with are not the “subjects” of your research but your partners or participants in the research process, and as a result they must be treated with all the respect a partner deserves.
It is the task of the School Ethics Committee to ensure that proper guidelines are laid down and procedures established and followed so that all research undertaken in the School is carried out in an ethical manner.
General guidelines relating to research ethics can be found in the Ethical Issues document and the agreed procedures followed for securing approval for research projects where such ethical issues arise are outlined under Approval Process on this website.