16 Introduction: Reviewing Your Ethics

As a researcher, you are accountable for many different types of integrity: the fidelity to “truth,” to your discipline, and accountability to those who inform your study (participants) during and after your research is completed. These multiple obligations put the researcher in many “binds,” where one’s loyalty to their code of conduct (“truth”) can hurt his/her/their loyalty to another code (“harm to participants or your discipline”), resulting in considerations too complex to be evaluated entirely alone. That is why research institutions have established oversight through research ethics boards (REB’s), which ensure that the work done by affiliates is ethically sound.

As an advanced undergraduate student, we expect that you have taken research methods courses and have a good understanding of the importance and principles of research ethics. Accordingly, this chapter will not repeat those details. If you are unfamiliar with research ethics or need a refresher, please visit the Tri-Council Policy Statement. Our focus here is on the practicalities of deciding whether you need ethics approval and how to obtain it (if you need it) drawing on UBC’s Research Ethics Board (REB) procedures and processes (which should be fairly similar across REBs in Canada). The chapter will also outline what the components of typical ethics applications are, and then provide some additional tips for a successful application. The final two sections will refer directly to UBC policies regarding research and applying for REB approval.



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Practicing and Presenting Social Research Copyright © 2022 by Oral Robinson and Alexander Wilson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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