Research ethics for doing research projects

For some courses at Open Polytechnic you will need to do original research. This page includes information and resources about research ethics.

Sometimes you may need to use human participants in your research. The ethics around doing this need to be carefully considered.

Your course will give you some information about research ethics, but this page includes additional resources and information to help you understand what you need to do.

We encourage you to watch the ethics videos below (or read their transcripts) before starting any research project.

 Ethics and integrity in research

This video will give you information about when you need to consider ethics, why and the principals that underpin ethics.


Scenario 1 – Alex conducts research in the workplace

This video shows a scenario with ethical considerations when doing research in a work place.  

Transcript - Video 2 - Alex conducts research in the workplace (PDF)


Scenario 2 – Aicha and cultural contexts

This video shows a scenario where ethical issues and risks are considered. 


Applying ethics principles

This video gives information about how to apply ethics principals, including creating information sheets for participants and getting consent. 


Research ethics checklist

You will have guidance on how to design and/or carry out research from your course, but the checklist linked to below may also be helpful.

If you read through and answer each of the questions for your project but find you are unsure about the answers, you can:

  • contact your course leader or academic/research supervisor
  • re-read the relevant pages in your course
  • watch the ethics videos on this page
  • consult the ethics section of a research methods textbook

consult any professional or industry codes of ethics or codes of conduct. For example:


Other resources

Open Polytechnic Library

The Open Polytechnic Library  has a lot of resources on research, research methods, data collection and analysis, and so on. Try these searches:

  • Try searching for your discipline area. For example, environment or information studies
  • Try searching for your approach. For example, quantitative + research
  • Search for the course numbers LIS705, 73213, 71234, or 72397

Research using a kaupapa Māori approach

If you want to conduct research using a kaupapa Māori approach, these resources may be helpful:

Kaupapa Māori approach from the Open Polytechnic Library:

You could also look at:

  • Smith, B. (2018). Research with Māori: Learning from Kaupapa Māori research. Chapter 3 in M. Tolich & C. Davidson (Eds.), Social science research in New Zealand: An introduction (pp. 46–57). Auckland University Press.

Pasifika research


Got a question?

If you want to talk with someone about research ethics, contact The Library and Learning Centre | Te Whare Pukapuka Wāhanga Whakapakari Ako. 

Contact the Library and Learning Centre