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A-Z of research ethics guidance

Guidance to help you align your research to current ethics and integrity best practice.

This A-Z is designed to provide a broad range of guidance on a broad range of research ethics-related topics.

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Anonymisation and pseudonymisation

It is important to provide research participants with assurances about how their data will be used and their options for their name and other personal details being held securely within the project and not being made public. This guidance provides further details of the differences between anonymisation and pseudonymisation.

See the guidance here

Please see Informed consent.

Covert and deceptive research and debriefing

It is important to consider whether your project involves covert or deceptive research. Covert research is done without informing those that are the focus of the research that they are being researched. Deception involves misrepresentation of the research to participants or withholding information about the full or true purpose of the research.

See the guidance here


Data collection - interviews

Used widely in qualitative research, interviews can offer a flexible context for data collection to be conducted face-to-face, over the telephone, or using online methods. If you are planning to conduct interviews as part of your research project, it is important to bear in mind the ethical considerations outlined in the guidance.

See the guidance here

Data collection: using online survey tools

When collecting data for research or research-related purposes it is important to consider information security and our legal obligations when selecting the best tool for your project. The guidance provides information and considerations when using various online platforms.

See the guidance here


Please see Covert and deceptive research and debriefing.

Deceptive research

Please see Covert and deceptive research and debriefing.

Ethics Committees

Research projects which are not eligible for proportionate review at Departmental/Faculty level will be reviewed by one of the Research Ethics Committees/Review Body.

Focus groups

Please see Online interviews and focus groups.


Obtaining freely given informed consent is a fundamental ethical principle. The particular process will vary from study to study depending on the research context and the population being recruited. This guidance will help you obtain appropriate informed consent from research participants.

See guidance here


Please see Data Collection - interviews.


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Online interviews and focus groups

The guidance outlines the ethical considerations of conducting online interviews and provides information to help you comply to data protection regulations.

See guidance here

Open Research

Open research (also commonly called open science) refers to the idea that research should be conducted in a way that is transparent, verifiable, and reproducible. Here are five ways you can incorporate open practices into your research.

See guidance here

Overseas - conducting research

International collaboration is vital to the success of the university research strategy. See guidance here


Participant information materials

It is important to provide clear information about your research project to all potential participants involved in your study. You should develop suitable materials for your specific research context and population under study, there is no ‘one size fits all’. This guidance provides helps you develop suitable participant information materials for your research project.

See the guidance here

Participant recruitment

Successful recruitment of study participants is essential for the overall success of a research study. The recruitment process involves identifying potential research participants and providing them with the information to establish their interest to join a proposed research study. The guidance provides details and considerations of various recruitment strategies

See the guidance here.

Proportionate review

Projects where the potential to do harm is classified as minimal, a proportionate review. This applies to Staff as well as all Doctoral Student projects.


Please see Anonymisation and Pseudonymisation.


Please see Participant recruitment.



Including a succinct justification for your chosen sample size is important for the Research Ethics Committee to understand that a credible plan is in place, and importantly that participant involvement is required. The guidance outlines different methods of sampling in research.

See the guidance here


Please see Data collection: using online survey tools.

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