- Tom Clark, Tom ClarkLecturer in Research Methods, The University of Sheffield
- Liam FosterLiam FosterSenior Lecturer in Social Policy & Social Work, The University of Sheffield
- and Alan BrymanAlan BrymanProfessor of Organizational and Social Research, Formerly of The University of Leicester
Ethics play a vital part of the research process. They provide a set of value-based principles that enable research to be conducted in an appropriate manner. Research ethics help ensure that the relationships built during the process of conducting social research are respectful and constructive, and that the student’s project does not endanger either the student or those he or she comes into contact with. This chapter provides an introduction to the practice of ethics in social research. It provides an outline of basic ethical practice, before discussing the nature and purpose of ethical review boards. It demonstrates how ethical rules of thumb are often more complicated when encountering them ‘in the field’. Finally, it explores how ethics also informs the process of writing up research.