- Involvement — Who should be involved as participants in the research process?
- Who has the substantive knowledge you need for the research?
- What are the risks and rewards of involvement?
- Power — Who has the power in the relationship?
- Who is benefiting from the research?
- Will some community members benefit at the expense of others?
- Who decides the research questions and process?
- Affect — Who will be affected and how will they be affected by the research process and findings?
- Consent — Do participants fully understand the intent of the research and how the information will be used?
- Be mindful of literacy levels and language differences.
- Explain your project fully and honestly up front.
- Confidentiality — How are participants protected against risks of participation?
In small communities, direct quotations can be identifying even though the person's name is withheld.
- Conflict — Researchers may inadvertently cause conflict between community members.
- Communities consist of a diverse set of individuals, stakeholders, and interests who all have different perspectives and opinions.
- Knowing the spectrum of interests you are working with will allow you to better navigate the social dynamics of the community in which you are working.
- Accountability — How will the research be given back to the community?
- Community members expect some benefit when a researcher enters their community.
- Community members may fear that sensitive data will stigmatize their community.
- How the research benefits the community must be determined by the community, not the researcher.
- Access — How will your research findings be released?
- Communities must have access to the research results.
- Most small rural communities don't have access to academic articles and journals so other methods of dissemination must be used
- Research Fatigue — Has the community you are working in been overstudied?
- Is there a risk of the community becoming overwhelmed by too many students?
- Are community members free to choose or reject student involvement?
- Participation — Just because you are living in the community and observing life, doesn't mean you are conducting community-based participatory research
- Have you considered each of topics 1 - 9?
- How have you planned to address the ethical implications listed above?
Ethics in Community-Based Research
Flicker, Sarah "Ethical Dilemmas in CBPR"
Maritime Center of Excellence for Women's Health
Research Ethics & Environmental Health
Walker, Beverly "Action Research in Management-Ethical Dilemmas"
Wilmsen, Carl. "Perils on the Road to Participatory Research in Community Forestry."