Research method needs both practical & ethical consideration.

  • Will method lead to appropriate/valid results or will it bias them?

The questions posed can lead respondents to provide certain answers, e.g. “What is your religion?” – to avoid leading should be asked – “Do you have a religion?” followed by “If so, what is it?”.

Ethical consideration with the above would be; are you conducting valid research?

  • Will research require access to vulnerable group e.g. children?

May be fine e.g. with teacher researching a learning-related project although likely to require permission from school & maybe parents.

  • Will research deal with sensitive company data?

Permission must be obtained before using company data.

Companies are usually okay with this if they are paying the student fees but would usually expect that the data be anonymised first.

When using data is this way it is necessary to ensure that any experiments are repeatable, verifiable and can be validated by others.

Many projects are company-sponsored and use company data but consideration should be given to these requirements before undertaking research and submitting a proposal.

When using a survey to obtain data, researcher should consider that respondents are busy and not very likely to make it a priority. Therefore, surveys should be issued to a captive group (fellow students, co-workers) or a significantly large number issued or be designed in such a way as to minimise the time required to complete. Need to ensure that the survey still provides ethically valid results.

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