Social research ethics protocol checklist

This checklist, developed by Learning for Sustainability, is designed to ensure ethical considerations are being taken into account throughout a project cycle. With an emphasis on participatory, community-based and action research approaches the checklist can be used as a self-check by researchers, or as the basis for a peer-review of your project with one or more external social researchers. 


"It is advisable for researchers to routinely check their projects to ensure they are meeting ethical requirements. Checklists both act as an aide-mémoire to good research practice, and are frequently required procedure prior to seeking approval from ethics committees. Such protocols are likely to be increasingly employed as standard datasets to ensure compliance with research governance requirements. The following checklist and information form is intended to support ethical considerations throughout a project. Such a checklist prompts the making of clear statements of intent, mechanisms of approach and consideration of hazard arising from research in a manner which can be understood by the public and research professionals alike. While some of the items appear to be beyond the scope of ethics alone, any matter that may affect the success of research is of indirect ethical interest if it may expose respondents or researchers to exploitation or risk.

This form has been designed as a starting guide for researchers who are working independently and so do not have access to an institutional committee-based ethics process. The research ethics checklist has been designed to be particularly relevant for those undertaking participatory, community-based and action research approaches."


Learning for Sustainability (2013), Social research ethics protocol checklist. Retrieved from

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