Supervising and Writing a Good Undergraduate Dissertation

Doing the Right Thing: A Practical Guide to Ethics for Undergraduate Researchers

Author(s): Moira Maguire, Brid Delahunt and Ann Everitt-Reynolds

Pp: 109-131 (23)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608051762113010011


This chapter provides practical support and guidance to students around the ethical dimensions of undergraduate research with human participants. Ethical considerations are perhaps the most important aspect of any research project involving human participants, especially as they speak of the rights of individuals and groups within society. Ethics in research is as much about the process as the final product and emphasis is put on maintaining integrity throughout the life-cycle of the project. Although ethical issues can be challenging, novice researchers are expected to conform to the same principles, standards and norms as more experienced researchers. With this in mind, the principles that guide ethical decision-making are initially outlined and their application to each stage of the research process is subsequently discussed. This discussion is further enhanced through the provision of expert tips and the use of audio clips from students illustrating how ethical issues can be managed within projects.

Keywords: Academic integrity, anonymity, confidentiality, data protection, ethical principles, ethical research, informed consent, internet research, ongoing consent, online survey, participants, qualitative research, quantitative research, research process, right of withdrawal, risk of harm, supervision, undergraduate, undergraduate dissertation, undergraduate research.

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