A substantial part of the project is the initial requirements gathering through interviews with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Following JISC guidelines and academic best practice, the project team regarded that all interviews should be structured within an ethical framework.
The framework was based around the current ethical guidance within Brunel University when dealing with projects that involve human subjects. The principles were adapted to fit the purpose, scope and type of information seeked from the interviewees. These were:
- clear communication of the purpose of the project
- information on how the information would be used
- reassurance on confidentiality and anonymity including secure storage of recordings and transcripts
- option to view draft report of interviews before dissemination
- signed consent including the option to withdraw at any point in time
To allow interviewees to understand what was asked of them, information about the project and consent forms were issued in advance of the interview. The ethics document that we’ve been circulating to participants can be found here.