Ethics and fieldwork

When I was commenting on the human subjects research procedures that students in the summerschool went through, I noted some of the important elements that such procedures completely ignore–such as the risks for the researchers of doing human subjects research. These procedures, with all the big apparatus that they mobilise, can actually be counterproductive to helping students and researchers to develop a sensibility to the range and dynamic nature of other ethical issues besides the moment supreme of informed consent and eventual anonymity in publications.

While boards may not be paying much attention to this, the Qualiti group at Cardiff have been busy. A report has just been published at the outcome of an inquiry led by Professor Mike Bloor that focused on the risk to the well being of researchers in qualitative research (so a bit broader than fieldwork, but then narrowness was one of my gripes!).

The report can be found here, on the Qualiti site. The report was also briefly noted in The Higher Education Supplement.

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