The JOMEC School Research Ethics Committee is established to consider, approve or otherwise issue guidance on research ethics and has a reporting duty to the JOMEC School Board and the Cardiff University Research Ethics Committee (UREC). It is established to aid and support staff and student researchers in maintaining exemplary ethical standards in research within the School and to foster a culture among staff and students that is sensitive to ethical considerations where research with people is concerned.
The links on the right-hand side of this page give you further information about research ethics. When planning academic research please pay particular attention to the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC’s) Research Ethics Framework (REF).
When planning journalistic research please carefully consider the Press Complaints Commission’s ethics guide, OFCOM’s Broadcasting Code, and the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines.
The ethics committee aims to ensure that no physical or psychological harm is caused to researchers or participants during the research process.
It pays particularly close attention to research which works with young people and vulnerable adults (such as the very young, some disabled people, some people who are mentally ill, or people with severe learning difficulties), especially where it is difficult to secure adequate informed consent from all participants. Particular care is required of researchers when planning such work.
It may also be necessary for researchers to secure a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check before doing some kinds of research with such groups.
Doing research on the internet raises many issues. The article “Techno-research and cyber-ethics: challenges for ethics committees” (from Research Ethics Review Vol. 3, No 3, pp69-108 2007) provides you with some ideas as to how to approach your research on the internet.
You will have to consider how you present yourself, for example, will you be open with other users about your approach or is this “covert” research? You will need to consider if your research will involve communicating with those under the age of 16 as this also has ethical implications.
Each research project is required to meet the University’s health and safety requirements. See further information about Cardiff University's Health & Safety Policies. Of note for researchers in our field is the policy on Lone Working.
The JOMEC Ethics Committee wants to know that the safety and wellbeing of research participants is assured, that the applicant is aware of any possible ethical issues in carrying out the research and that steps have been taken to ensure that best practice is followed.
The Committee does not normally interview students or staff when considering proposals, although in some cases we may invite a researcher to attend a one-off meeting.
Researchers may also ask for the opportunity to address the Ethics Committee. Members the Committee must withdraw from consideration of any submission in which they are researchers or supervisors. The central University Research Ethics Committee will provide general advice to the JOMEC Research Ethics Committee and will refer the matter back to them with advice on which to make particularly difficult decisions.