research ethics

Social Care Research Ethics Committee

Website that offers information about the Social Care Research Ethics Committee (REC), types of studies it reviews, how to apply for research ethics review, and who to contact for further help.

The Social Care REC is a group of people appointed to review research proposals to assess formally if the research is ethical. This means the research must conform to recognised ethical standards which include respecting the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of the people who take part.

Young Digital

Web resource for anyone with an interest in using digital media for research, consultation or participation activities with children and young people.

It contains information and advice about:

  • the technical aspects of using digital media in research with children
  • some of the methods that are available
  • ethical issues and how to deal with them
  • analysis and dissemination with digital media
  • involving young people as co-producers.

Deliberate research as a tool to make value judgements

Paper that compares deliberative research to more traditional methods of studying the values of the general public, such as in-depth interviewing, attitudinal surveys, and participatory approaches, and reveals that deliberative designs involve a number of assumptions, including a strong fact/value distinction, an emphasis on ‘outsider’ expertise, and a view of participants as essentially similar to each other rather than defined by socio-demographic differences.

Research governance and ethics for adult social care research: procedures, practices and challenges

Review that describes the development of research governance arrangements in social care settings over the past decade and examines some of the consequences – both problems and opportunities – created for people who are interested in research: that is, people who undertake research, take part in it, and use it within adult social care settings.

Ethnic diversity and inequality: ethical and scientific rigour in social research

This research addresses the increasing need for research to inform policy and practice development that is sensitive to the diversity of the UK's multiethnic population. Emphasis was given to the importance of ensuring that any guidance developed and promoted should be regularly appraised in light of the evolving social world and ethical and scientific standards. Research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in March 2011.

Research governance in children's services: the scope for new advice

This project was commissioned by the former DCSF to inform the development of guidance on research governance in children’s services. The overarching aim was to contribute to the development of a more coherent and transparent system, that is proportionate to the governance needs and ethical risks in research with users of children’s services.

Commissioning and managing external research : a guide for child care agencies

This pamphlet on commissioning research brings together papers from two Research in Practice seminars. Its central message is that research commissioned by child care agencies, including service evaluations, can bring clarity to children and family work provided certain considerations are borne in mind when planning and conducting studies and using the results. They include holding a sharp focus on the questions to be explored, choosing sympathetic, responsive researchers and having the skills to manage the contract.

methodology.co.uk website

This website, run by the publishers SAGE, aims to provide support for "researchers, students and university teachers who are interested in learning more about anything to do with research methods". It covers both qualitative and quantitative approaches and tailors the resources available according to the needs of each type of user. The website lists journals, organisations, software, mailing lists, conferences and websites that may be of interest, as well as books.

Researching recovery from mental health problems

This is one of a series of discussion papers designed to help generate debate on how best to promote and support recovery from long-term mental health problems in Scotland. It discusses some of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to research and argues that qualitative methods are suitable for the generation of rich, narrative accounts of lived experiences that may aid the identification of factors promoting recovery.

Growing up in Scotland (GUS): the impact of children's early activities on cognitive development summary report

The Growing Up in Scotland study (GUS) is an important longitudinal research project aimed at tracking the lives of a cohort of Scottish children from the early years, through childhood and beyond.

The study is funded by the Scottish Government and carried out by the Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen). Its principal aim is to provide information to support policy-making, but it is also intended to be a broader resource that can be drawn on by academics, voluntary sector organisations and other interested parties.