Is the planned research methodology acceptable?
The choice of research method and approach can have consequences that are problematic for participants of the research and the broader social and natural environment. Methodological choices also influence the possible findings and thus the relevance and consequences of the project. The following methods should be considered:
Justification / appropriateness of the methodology
Justification of the methodology is part of normal research work. There are differences between disciplines with regards to the perceived importance of methodology. From an RRI perspective it is important to specifically consider the consequences that choices of methodology have for the conduct and side effects of the research.
Lab health & safety
Ensuring the health and safety of researchers and others involved in research is paramount to ensure acceptability of the research process.
Responsible Research – Managing Health and Safety in Research
Risk assessment and risk management are part of project management. The degree to which they are required depends on type of project and funder. Risk management can be done explicitly or implicitly. From the perspective of responsiveness in RRI, explicit risk assessment and mitigation strategies are desirable to allow for broad feedback on research approaches.
Data management strategies are crucial. Appropriate data management is required to ensure transparency of findings and conclusion. On the other hand, data may include personal information and therefore raise data protection and privacy issues, as well as questions of intellectual property. In addition there is a political push in the UK for open data to maximise the impact of research.
UK Data Archive
Ethical approval/Informed consent
Most research requires ethical approval by an appropriate university or other committee. Ethics approval tends to based on biomedical ethics with the core principle of informed consent. There is a debate about the extent to which the biomedical paradigm can be applied to ICT research. Ethics review can comprise all of the issues discussed in this section, in addition to questions concerned to the way in which respondents are treated.
Human Research Ethics Approval
Ethics and informed consent in online social network research
Digital technologies for supporting the informed consent of children and young people in research: the potential for transforming current research ethics practice
Rethinking informed consent