Ethical and Legal Factors

  • You need to think about how your system might disadvantage or put its users at risk
  • You need to highlight how the following three factors will influence your project
    • Ethical considerations
      • What ethical issues will the participant or researcher face
    • Moral considerations
      • What moral issues will the participant or researcher face
    • Legal (law) considerations
      • What laws directly impact on your project
      • For most researchers the Data Protection Act (1998) is important as you are storing other peoples data
  • You need to show that you have considered and mitigated these factors


Key Information


Basic Ethical Principles

  • Participants
    • Interests in the topic which you are investigating creating basis
    • Pre-medical conditions which the test might inflame
    • Legal rights (Human Rights Act (1998))
  • Informed Consent
    • Tell the participant of the aims and procedures of the research
    • Explain what they will need to do
    • Explain what they will experience
    • Obtain their agreement to take part via signature
    • Store signed consent forms separately to maintain confidentially
  • Deception within Consent
    • Do not do it, unless you have a really good reason
    • Get ethical consent
  • Debriefing
    • Give the participation an opportunity to feedback about their experience
    • Give the researcher an opportunity check on the participation
    • Provide true information if deception was necessary originally
  • Withdrawal from Investigation
    • Tell the participant of their right to withdraw from the research at any stage
      • Including during or at the end of their involvement
    • Give the participant a name and contact details to use
  • Confidentiality
    • Reassure participants that information will not be disclosed to others
      • other than within the context of the research
      • or at a minimum will be made anonymous
    • Anonymity is critical if publishing quotations from transcripts used in qualitative research.


    Leave a Reply