Ethical Concerns

Ethical Concerns Guidelines for Conducting Interviews During the course of your study you may wish to administer questionnaires or surveys or conduct interviews.  You must consult with your supervisor with regard to good practice and ethical issues which are likely to arise as a result of your study.  All questionnaires and surveys must be presented to your supervisor for approval before being administered. In the case of interviews it is imperative that you are totally explicit with the interviewee with regard to the nature of your study.  The information given by an interviewee is a ‘gift’ and as such you must treat the interviewee with the upmost courtesy and respect.  The following are guidelines of good practice for interviews: You must be professional, punctual, courteous and considerate in all your dealings with intervieweesYou must plan your interview so that you are not wasting people’s timeYou must present the interviewee with a written document which identifiesthe nature and purpose of your studythe context in which the interview data may be accessed (e.g. library, online, published)the steps you are taking to securely store and/or dispose of the dataYou must attain written consent from the intervieweeThe interviewee may withdraw their consent at any time, no questions asked.  If this happens you must accept their decision with grace.Once permission has been withdrawn you must not use any information you may have gained up to that pointYou must establish in writing whether or not you are at liberty to reveal the interviewee’s identityIf the interviewee requests anonymity you must use a pseudonym and be vigilant not to reveal any information in your study which might reveal the identity of the individualFollowing the interview you must prepare a written account of the interview and send this to the interviewee for approval.  It is entirely possible that you could misapprehend or misrepresent a person’s opinion.  It is important to give the interviewee an opportunity to redress any inaccuracies in your account.If you are recording the interview you must gain the interviewee’s consent in writing in advance. If you are proposing to deal with children or vulnerable adults then you need to be extremely vigilant with regard to the ethical implications of your study.  Research of this kind must be carefully reviewed by your supervisor and must not be undertaken without approval. Finally when dealing with individuals outside of the Institute, it is most important that you do not put your own safety at risk.  If you are arranging to meet an individual off campus ensure that you take steps to ensure your personal safety by meeting in a safe location. 


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