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participants’ permission to disclose personal information to third parties and are required to ensure that such parties are permitted to have access to the information. Tey are also required independently to confirm the identity of such persons and must keep a record of any disclosures. Disclosure may be written, electronic, verbal or any visual means.

27 Te Data Protection Act also confers the right to private citizens to have access to any personal data that is stored in relation to them. Researchers seeking to exploit legal exclusions to these rights must have a clear justification for so doing.

28 Researchers must ensure that data is kept securely and that the form of any publication, including publication on the Internet, does not directly or indirectly lead to a breach of agreed confidentiality and anonymity.


29 Researchers who judge that the effect of the agreements they have made with participants, on confidentiality and anonymity, will allow the continuation of illegal behaviour, which has come to light in the course of the research, must carefully consider making disclosure to the appropriate authorities. If the behaviour is likely to be harmful to the participants or to others, the researchers must also consider disclosure. Insofar as it does not undermine or obviate the disclosure, researchers must apprise the participants or their guardians or responsible others of their intentions and reasons for disclosure.

30 At all times the decision to override agreements on confidentiality and anonymity must be taken after careful and thorough deliberation. In such circumstances it is in the researchers’ interests to make contemporaneous notes on decisions and the reasoning behind them, in case a misconduct complaint or other serious consequence arises.

31 Te Association considers it good practice for researchers to debrief participants at the conclusion of the research and to provide them with copies of any reports or other publications arising from their participation. Where the scale of the research makes such a consideration impractical, alternative means such as a website should be used to ensure participants are informed of the outcomes.

Responsibilities to Sponsors of Research

32 A sponsor of research is considered to be any person or body that funds research (e.g. a research charity or government body) or facilitates it by allowing and enabling access to data and participants (e.g. an examinations body).

33 Te Association expects researchers to bring its Ethical Guidelines to the attention of all sponsors of research.

34 Written agreements are considered the norm for funded or commissioned research. Such agreements should wherever possible and especially in the case of publicly funded research take into account the need of a democratic citizenry to be informed by the results of these enquiries. Tey should minimally cover the purpose of the research, the research methods to be used, any conditions of access to data or participants, ownership of data, the researchers’ right to publish, requirements for reporting and dissemination, deadlines for completion of the work and the accounting for the use of funds. In recognition of the dynamics of research, agreements should also include provision for negotiating changes sought by either the researchers or the sponsors.

35 Researchers must fulfil their responsibilities to sponsors to the highest possible standards. It is in the researchers’ interest that respective responsibilities and entitlements should be

8 Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research

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