Making it right: conducting ethical research using NPC’s Well-being Measure

Anyone that is involved in research and evaluation – from academics to project managers – should always take time to ensure that their studies are designed and conducted in a way that is ethical.

Like more generally in life, ‘ethics’ in research relates to questions about what is right and wrong. At NPC’s Well-being Measure, we are very keen to promote good ethics in research, which is why we provide guidance on the subject. We outline the main issues you might want to think about relating to how you ask young people to participate, their confidentiality and avoiding harm.

None of this is anything out of the norm. Research ethics is mostly common sense, and is usually in everyone’s best interest. Conducting an ethical review of your research is like assessing any proposal – in essence it involves working out whether what you are doing is right or wrong, ensuring its integrity, and protecting the young people involved.

Ethics is important because, like all your work, your research is built on trust. So it is well worth making sure you meet the standards expected.

You can read our guidance on conducting ethical research here. For another example of how to conduct ethical research, see the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s guide here.

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About John Copps

John is part of NPC's research and consulting team and is the founder of NPC's Well-being Measure, a social business that provides an online tool to measure young people’s well-being. He has eight years experience of research and consulting, and is passionate about how data can be used to improve the performance of organisations. John is a regular contributor to NPC's blog and has also contributed to pieces for BBC Radio, the Guardian, and the Financial Times. John is a governor of a secondary school.
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