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H809 – OU’s Research Ethics website (A6.4)

March 27, 2011

The OU website is really a rich source of information and although I am studying the sixth year with the OU do I still explore new areas, like e.g. the OU’s Research Ethics website. I should really explore the website in greater detail, if I only had more time 😦

I browsed a little bit around on the website and found valuable information, although like mentioned before as  more I find out about the topic and see the detailed and lengthy forms from the OU, as more I am worried to manage all that :-S.  A vocational school differ from a university in so far that they do not really conduct any research, thus I cannot really expect any support and advise from this side. But, let’s look on the bright side, there is plenty of material out there in the Internet, including the OU website, which provides valuable information regarding this topic.

I found the paper from the OU helpful with their ‘Ethics Principles for Research Involving Human Participants‘. Here in short their 6 principles:

  1. Compliance with protocol
  2. Informed consent
  3. Openness and integrity
  4. Protection from harm
  5. Confidentiality
  6. Professional codes of practice and ethics

The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section is as well really helpful. They explain when you need approval for your research, and how to apply. They also explain which guidelines to follow, what a protocol is as well as data protection, but also how to obtain consent. Again the OU provides documents that highlight what you should include in your consent form. They also answer questions like why we refer now to participants and not longer to subjects, or if OU research is covered by insurance. Quite interesting for our subject is the question, respectively the answer about web surveys. Dr. Claire Hewson produced a useful document – Conduction research on the internet.

Well, I guess if you go for your PhD or EdD this topic is from even greater interest, but first things first 😉

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