From subject to fellow researcher: reconceptualising research relationships to safeguard potentially vulnerable survey participants

West-Oram, Peter G N, Brooks, Caroline and Jenkins, Valerie (2020) From subject to fellow researcher: reconceptualising research relationships to safeguard potentially vulnerable survey participants. American Journal of Bioethics, 20 (10). pp. 72-74. ISSN 1526-5161

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Abstract

In this open peer commentary, we suggest that the dilemma encountered by Levinson et al. arises as a consequence of conceptual and practical decisions, which collectively, inappropriately dilute authority and accountability for survey data. We argue that it ma y be possible to reduce the ethical dilemmas encountered by Levinson et al., (2020) if not eliminate them entirely, by reconceptualising the inherent value of survey participants, their status and role in research. We suggest that when designing surveys, researchers should frame potential respondents as active collaborators and contributors of data, rather than merely as passive “subjects”. This shift in positioning delivers a conceptual foundation to proactively establish norms and expectations which respect participant privacy and anonymity, while safeguarding public safety.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Research Ethics
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2020 07:47
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2020 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/93161

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