All Researchers (including students undertaking research projects), should familiarise themselves with the following guidance:
- Research Ethics Code of Practice
- Online Ethics Checklist – What to Expect (This useful guide provides an overview of the questions the checklist will prompt you to answer)
- How to prepare your participant information sheet – see also PI sheet template below.
- Data Protection at BU – link to guidance and BU policies (including how to report a data breach (this includes ‘near misses’)).
Keeping your information secure
BU has guidance and infograpics on keeping you and BU safe and other useful guidance and policies on protection against unauthorised recording, access, use, disclosure, modification, loss or destruction of information. If you intend to use mobile devices – please refer to the Mobile Device Security Guide.
The Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect on 25 May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Act 1998 and together with the GDPR, forms part of the data protection regime for the UK. To keep up to date on latest developments, BU have provided a number of online training resources.
If you’re collecting data outside of the UK, you need to be aware of restrictions regarding the transfer of data to and from the UK. To help navigate this complicated area of law, there is a useful website https://www.dlapiperdataprotection.com (made available from DLA Piper) which compares data protection laws from around the world; for the transfer of data please click on the tab ‘Transfer’.
If you’re working and travelling aboard to carry out research, please refer to the latest Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice as part of the risk assessment process.
Participant Information Templates
- Participant Information Sheet template (PI Sheet) – make sure you read the associated ‘How to prepare….’ guidance
- Participant Agreement Form template (PAF) (general use)
- Participant Agreement Form template (PAF) (focus groups)
- Participant Agreement Form template (PAF) (interviews)
- Participant Agreement Form template (PAF) (parent/guardian)
- Exemplar Participant Assent Form (kindly provided by Dr Fiona Ling)
- Exemplar Participant Information Sheet/Assent Form (kindly provided by Mark Moseley, PGR)
- External guidance on how to produce an information sheet for children (http://www.hra-decisiontools.org.uk/consent/examples.html) – please refer to section ‘Children and Young people (UK wide)‘
- Global kids Online provides tools and example participant agreement forms for working with children and schools (http://globalkidsonline.net/tools/qualitative/)
Research activities such as data collection should not commence before the online ethics checklist (including participant information/agreement forms if relevant) has been approved.
If seeking informed consent from participants, we recommend that you use (where appropriate) the approved versions of the PI Sheet and PAF (above) for receiving informed consent. See relevant ‘review process‘ (staff, postgraduate researchers, undergraduate and postgraduate taught students)’ for procedure if modifications to your research protocol (including participant documents) are required.
OTHER USEFUL DOCUMENTS
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Guidance
- Ethics Guidelines for Internet-mediated Research
- Ethics Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People
- Research Ethics Supplementary Guide For Reference by Researchers Undertaking Journalism and Media Production Projects
- Research Data Mangement
Useful links on the anonymisation of data and the use of anonymised data:
- Guidance from the UK Data Service:
- Guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office:
Research Data Management (RDM)
BU aims to make our research data as openly accessible as possible. Data will be registered and discoverable via BORDaR, BU’s research data repository. To find our more, please visit our website or if you have any queries, please contact the RDM team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.