Researching researchers: Lessons for research ethics

Rose Wiles, Vikki Charles, Graham P. Crow, Sue J. Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is widespread debate about ethical practice in social research with most social researchers arguing that situational relativist approaches are appropriate for resolving the ethical issues that emerge. In this article, we draw on research conducted on an ESRC-funded study of informed consent in social research to explore the ethical issues that are raised when conducting research with one's peers. The study involved conducting focus groups and telephone interviews with academic and non-academic researchers. The ethical issues emerging from the study related to consent, data ownership and the management of confidentiality and anonymity. Participants' responses to these issues and the ways that we managed them are discussed. We conclude by exploring the implications of this study for research more generally and argue that the increased regulation of research needs to enable researchers to attend reflexively to the social context in which consent takes place. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-299
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • Confidentiality
  • Informed consent
  • Peer research
  • Research ethics


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