What Are Dissertation Research Ethics for Surveys & Interviews?

Glad to know that you have stepped into the research phase of your life. No doubt, research is fun for those who remain curious to know more about the happenings of this world. Suppose you are the kind of person who frequently asks questions like why, how, which, what, and where the incident happened. Or, if you think about the solution to the highlighted problem, then you should pursue your career as a researcher or scientist. However, before conducting large- industrial-scale research, it will be worth noting to start with small academic research. Academic research asks you to follow a complete code of conduct or proper protocol to save you and others from some natural disasters. The set of rules and guidance necessary to complete academic research is termed research ethics. Moreover, these rules also vary greatly among different research methods. Thus, the article is all about making you aware of some dissertation research ethics for survey and interview research.

Dissertation research ethics:

As per the oxford dictionary’s definition of the term ethics, it is the moral principles that govern human behaviour for performing any activity. Basically, an activity can be performed in many ways, but the ethics suggest the doer to keep in mind some facts to save everybody in the surrounding. To put it in another way, dissertation research ethics are the rules and regulations that students and research faculty in the University have to follow while conducting any research-related activities. These ethics are important to make visible the very fine line of difference between do’s and don’ts in academic research.

Though even the secondary researcher also has to follow certain ethics, studies involving humans and other living participants for collecting primary data pay special attention to dissertation research ethics. It aims to prevent human rights violence. Interviews or surveys are the types of research methods that directly involve humans in seeking advice, getting opinions/ feedback, and sharing lived experiences. So, the research committee bounds all the researchers to follow the following dissertation research ethics while collecting data from participants.

Informed consent:

Before inviting participants for interviews and asking them to participate in a survey, it is important to tell them about all vital components of the research project. For example, what is the purpose of conducting a survey or interview research? What potential benefits and harms can one get as a result of the research? What kind of role do you want participants to play in a research project? Knowing all these things before giving final consent about participation is the basic right of all participants. However, hiding any important point from the participants to ensure their participation in a research project is considered unethical. So, informed consent or taking the participants’ approval is a part of dissertation research ethics.

Voluntary participation:

In many cases, it has been witnessed that after knowing all thin and thick about a research project, despite participants’ unwillingness to participate in research, they are forced to give responses. This act is against voluntary participation- an important postulate of dissertation research ethics. The ethical committee of research makes it compulsory to give rights to participate in research freely. Moreover, giving options for participants to step back in case they feel uncomfortable at any point of interviews is also the main point of voluntary participants of dissertation research ethics.


Anonymity refers to the act of keeping youself unaware of the identity of the participants. Simply, it means you must know the participants to avoid biasness. The best way to guarantee anonymity is not to mention the name, address, and any other personal information of the participants. In surveys, keeping the participants anonymous is a bit easier, but while conducting face-to-face interviews, the collected responses’ interpretation is largely affected by the personality, experience, and other traits of the respondents. So, the only way to minimise this sort of biasness is to record responses without interpretation at the time of interview. Later on, interpreting all responses collectively works well in order to keep the participants anonymous.


In some research designs, getting personal information from participants is vital to reach the expected research outcomes. In such a project, anonymity must be replaced by confidentiality. Confidentiality simply means that you know who your participants are, but you remove the information revealing their identity from your final dissertation copy or research paper. Protecting participants’ privacy is one of the very basic research ethics. However, you are allowed to save their data for later use but in fully password-protected files.

Potential for harm:

The last but important concern of research ethics is to make sure nobody gets harmed from any part of a research project; this is what they call a potential for harm. The concern can be taken into consideration by keeping in mind some psychological, physical, legal, social, or personal rights harms. It is best to consider all possible types of harms while constructing questions for interviews and surveys.

All masters and doctorate dissertations must have a separate section for reporting whether all of these dissertation research ethics are followed while conducting survey or interview research. Mostly, it must be added in the last of the third chapter of a dissertation ‘research methodology’; otherwise, the dissertation can be rejected by the ethical research committee at your University. Thus, if you feel any difficulty in composing this section of the dissertation, then instead of skipping the section, you must seek help from Dissertation Writing Services.

Final thoughts:

In light of what has already been discussed, dissertation research ethics for primary research design primarily focus on conserving the human rights which are participating. It emphasises a number of concerns, but the article discussed informed consent, voluntary participation, anonymity, confidentiality, and potential for harm. While reporting results, avoiding data fabrication, plagiarism, fake data interpretation, and personal errors are also some ethics that every researcher, no matter whether expert or novice, just needs to focus on.

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