Ethics in educational research: review boards, ethical issues and researcher development

Head, G. (2020) Ethics in educational research: review boards, ethical issues and researcher development. European Educational Research Journal, 19(1), pp. 7220-83. (doi: 10.1177/1474904118796315)

167723.pdf - Accepted Version



Educational research, and research in the Social Sciences more generally, has experienced a growth in the introduction of ethical review boards since the 1990s. Increasingly, universities have set up ethics review procedures that require researchers to submit applications seeking approval to conduct research. Review boards and the rules and conditions under which they operate have been criticised as obstructive, unnecessarily bureaucratic, and even unethical. At the same time, review boards and their procedures have been acknowledged as contributing to consideration of the ethical conduct of research. This paper explores the issues related to ethical review and examines the wider ethical considerations that may arise during the research process. The paper concludes that a purely administrative process of review is inadequate to ensure the ethical conduct of research, especially qualitative research. Rather, it is argued that ethical research entails the resolution of a potential series of ethical dilemmas as they arise during research. As such, the ethical conduct of research is a matter of researcher formation and development.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Head, Dr George
Authors: Head, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:European Educational Research Journal
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1474-9041
Published Online:29 August 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in European Educational Research Journal 19(1): 72-83
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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