Reporting and dissemination

What you should think about when you are writing

When you are writing, it can be helpful to imagine that the people who provided your data are looking over your shoulder and reading what you write.  That might be participants that you’ve studied directly, or (in the case of secondary analysis or reviews) the researchers that carried out the work you have drawn on in your study.  What would they think?  How would they feel about what you are saying?  Is it fair to them?

Ask a critical friend to review your work. This is always a useful exercise, but in terms of research ethics specifically, they could use the following checklist of questions to answer:

  • Do the researchers address the readers’ ethics concerns about the work?
  • Do the researchers treat their research respondents as objects or as participants?
  • How did the researchers think about and try to resolve any ethics problems?
  • What do they say about consent?
  • Do they thank the people who helped with their research in their report?