SRA Research Ethics Guidance (2021)

I am joint author of SRA’s latest guidance on doing research and evaluation in an ethical way, and mainly drafted the chapter on informed consent.

This guide does not claim to be exhaustive and makes it very clear that the points here were developed from previous guides, practice contexts and the work of others, with the aim helping researchers in a practical sense. The extensive references allow readers to follow up any particular topic further.  

In keeping with the application of ethical principles in any social research or evaluation project, the guide is not a rigid set of rules, but rather explains the most common considerations, which have been developed over years, including preventing harm, informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, limiting bias, etc.

While the guide aims to be comprehensive and equip researchers with the main points to apply in practical situations, it cannot anticipate every single ethical question which may emerge in the context of a particular research study. Rather it gives a set of issues to reflect on and discuss with colleagues and others, and/ or bring to the SRA’s Research Ethics forum for more deliberation.