Ethical Issues in Covert, Security and Surveillance Research

ISBN: 978-1-80262-414-4, eISBN: 978-1-80262-411-3

ISSN: 2398-6018

Publication date: 9 December 2021


(2021), "Prelims", Iphofen, R. and O'Mathúna, D. (Ed.) Ethical Issues in Covert, Security and Surveillance Research (Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity, Vol. 8), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xxi.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Ron Iphofen and Dónal O'Mathúna


These works are published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of these works (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at

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Series Editor: Dr Ron Iphofen, FAcSS, Independent Consultant, France

Recent volumes:

Volume 1: Finding Common Ground: Consensus in Research Ethics Across the Social Sciences, Edited by Ron Iphofen
Volume 2: The Ethics of Online Research, Edited by Kandy Woodfield
Volume 3: Virtue Ethics in the Conduct and Governance of Social Science Research, Edited by Nathan Emmerich
Volume 4: Ethics and Integrity in Health and Life Sciences Research, Edited by Zvonimir Koporc
Volume 5: Ethics and Integrity in Visual Research Methods, Edited by Savannah Dodd
Volume 6: Indigenous Research Ethics, Edited by Lily George, Juan Tauri and Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald
Volume 7: Ethics and Integrity in Research with Children and Young People, Edited by Grace Spencer

Editorial Advisory Group

  • Professor Robert Dingwall, FAcSS, Dingwayy Enterprises Ltd and Nottingham Trent University, UK

  • Dr Nathan Emmerich, Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University and Queens University Belfast, UK

  • Professor Mark Israel, University of Western Australia, Australia

  • Dr Janet Lewis, AcSS, Former Research Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK

  • Professor John Oates, FAcSS, Open University, UK

  • Associate Professor Martin Tolich, University of Otago, New Zealand

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Independent Consultant, France



The Ohio State University, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2022

Open access. Editorial matter and selection © 2022 Ron Iphofen and Dónal O'Mathúna. Individual chapters © belongs to the respective chapter authors. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. These works are published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of these works (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at

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ISBN: 978-1-80262-414-4 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-411-3 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80262-413-7 (Epub)

ISSN: 2398-6018 (Series)


About the Editors vii
About the Contributors ix
About the Series Editor xv
Series Preface Ron Iphofen (Series Editor) xvii
Acknowledgements xxi
Introduction: Ethical Issues in Covert, Security and Surveillance Research
Ron Iphofen and Dónal O'Mathúna 1
Chapter 1 Surveillance Ethics: An Introduction to an Introduction
Kevin Macnish 9
Chapter 2: Science, Ethics, and Responsible Research – The Case of Surveillance
Alfonso Alfonsi and Maresa Berliri 17
Chapter 3: Research Is Not a Private Matter
Paul Spicker 29
Chapter 4: Covert Research Ethics
Marco Marzano 41
Chapter 5: Taking Shortcuts: Correlation, Not Causation, and the Moral Problems it Brings
Kevin Macnish 55
Chapter 6: The Big Data World: Benefits, Threats and Ethical Challenges
Marina Da Bormida 71
Chapter 7: Health Data, Public Interest, and Surveillance for Non-health-related Purposes
Mark Taylor and Richard Kirkham 93
Chapter 8: Privacy and Security: German Perspectives, European Trends and Ethical Implications
Hartmut Aden 119
Chapter 9: A Framework for Reviewing Dual Use Research
Simon E. Kolstoe 131
Chapter 10: Security Risk Management in Hostile Environments: Community-based and Systems-based Approaches
Daniel Paul and Alex Stedmon 145
Chapter 11: Conducting Ethical Research in Sensitive Security Domains: Understanding Threats and the Importance of Building Trust
Alex Stedmon and Daniel Paul 159
Chapter 12: Covert Aspects of Surveillance and the Ethical Issues They Raise
David J. Harper, Darren Ellis and Ian Tucker 177
Guidance Notes for Reviewers and Policymakers on Covert, Deceptive and Surveillance Research
Ron Iphofen, Simon E. Kolstoe, Kevin Macnish, Paul Spicker and Dónal O'Mathúna 199
Index 211

About the Editors

Ron Iphofen, FAcSS (British), is an Independent Consultant based in France with international recognition for expertise on research ethics and professional standards in research. Since 2008, he has presented at over 200 national and international events for universities, government, research institutes and the European Commission (EC) and European Research Council (ERC). He has served in the Universities Sector of the Association for Research Ethics UK. He has acted as consultant, adviser and/or delivered training on research ethics for the Scottish Executive, UK Government Social Research, National Disability Authority (Ireland), National Centre for Social Research, Social Research Association, Audit Commission, Food Standards Agency, Ministry of Justice, BIG Lottery, Local Authorities’ Consortium, UK Research Integrity Office, Skills Development Scotland, ANR (French Research Funding agency), SSRC (Canada) and many others. His primary consultative activity at present is for the EC Ethics Unit, Directorate General for Science and Innovation, the Research Executive Agency and the ERC.

Dónal O'Mathúna (Irish) is Associate Professor at The Ohio State University, USA, in the College of Nursing and the Center for Bioethics in the College of Medicine. He is the Director of the Cochrane Affiliate at Ohio State’s Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Cochrane US Network, which reflects his long-standing involvement with Cochrane, a major producer of reliable health evidence. His interests in bioethics focus on ethical issues in humanitarian settings, disasters and pandemics. He is Visiting Professor of Ethics in the European Masters in Disaster Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy. He has led funded research projects into humanitarian research ethics, and has contributed to ethics initiatives and guidelines with the World Health Organization, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and other international agencies. He has co-edited three volumes addressing various ethical issues in disasters, and has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles.

About the Contributors

Hartmut Aden is a Lawyer and Political Scientist. He is Professor of German and European Public Law, Public Policy and Public Administration at the Berlin School of Economics and Law/Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht (HWR Berlin), Vice President for Research of HWR Berlin and member of the Berlin Institute for Safety and Security Research (FÖPS Berlin). He is the founding Academic Director of the MA Programme in International Security Management established in 2018.

Alfonso Alfonsi has more than 35 years of experience at international level in social research, training, evaluation and scientific networking. His expertise includes urban development, poverty and social exclusion, religion and modernisation, science ethics and science policies, social and cultural change and socialisation of scientific and technological research. He works as an Expert for organisations of the UN system (such as United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, HABITAT, WORLD BANK and United Nations Development Programme), for the European Union and for Italian bodies (such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Research Council, Lazio Regional Government and Puglia Regional Government). In this framework, he has directed and/or participated in several research projects in Europe, Africa and Asia.

He serves as Science Ethics Expert for the European Commission, by participating in expert groups and evaluation panels (in Seventh Framework Programme and in HORIZON 2020 frameworks).

He participated as an expert in UN high level encounters and other international partnerships, contributing in the drafting of position papers and in the formulation of policy documents and manifestos. He has coordinated international multi-stakeholder networks for development, such as the Network on Services for the Urban Poor of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council or the UN-Habitat International Forum of Researchers on Human Settlements.

Maresa Berliri is a Sociologist who has participated in several research projects focussed on the relations between science and society; Responsible Research and Innovation in research performing organisations; social subjectivity on the web and privacy protection; internet governance and digital transition; active citizenship and relations between states and citizens; women in political, scientific and entrepreneurial organisations; and in poverty and social exclusion. Among these projects, it is worth highlighting: CONSENT (consumer sentiment regarding privacy on user generated content service in the digital economy), MAPPING (managing alternatives for privacy, property and internet governance) and RESPECT (rules, expectations and security through privacy enhanced convenient technologies). She is currently involved in some H2020 Projects including: PRO-RES (PROmoting integrity in the use of RESearch results) and RESBIOS (RESponsible research and innovation grounding practices in BIOSciencies).

Marina Da Bormida is an R&I Lawyer and Ethics Expert in Italy. She obtained her degree in Law and PhD degree in Legal Issues of the Information Society. She specialised in legal, ethical and societal themes related to information and communication technology research and technological developments in the framework of R&D national and European projects in a wide range of domains (e.g. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, digital lifestyle, Internet of Things, Factories of the Future and Smart Manufacturing, Cloud Computing, Smart Contracts and Blockchain), with consolidated experience and long-term scientific collaboration with well-known research institutions.

Dr Darren Ellis is a chartered Psychologist, Senior Lecturer at the University of East London and Course Leader of the Psychosocial Community Work programme. He is co-author of Emotion in the Digital Age: Technologies, Data and Psychosocial Life (Routledge, 2020) for Routledge’s Studies in Science, Technology and Society Series and Social Psychology of Emotion (Sage, 2015). He co-edited After lockdown, Opening Up: Psychosocial Transformations in the Wake of Covid-19 (Palgrave, 2021) for Palgrave’s Studies in the Psychosocial and Affect and Social Media: Emotion, Mediation, Anxiety and Contagion (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018) for Rowman and Littlefield’s Radical Cultural Studies Series. He has published articles on a wide range of topics including surveillance studies, for example: ‘Stop and Search: Disproportionality, Discretion and Generalisations’ (2010, Police Journal), ‘The Affective Atmospheres of Surveillance’ (2013, Theory and Psychology) and ‘Techno-securitisation of Everyday Life and Cultures of Surveillance—Apatheia’ (2020, Science as Culture).

David J. Harper is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Programme Director (Academic) of the Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, UK. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of books including Psychology, Mental Health and Distress (Red Globe Press, 2013), Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy (Wiley, 2012) and Deconstructing Psychopathology (Sage, 1995). He has published journal articles and book chapters on public understandings of surveillance, discourses of paranoia, conspiracy and surveillance in clinical and popular cultures and the history of psychological and psychiatric involvement in national security interrogations.

Richard Kirkham is an Administrative Justice Lawyer whose main research area of interest is on redress mechanisms in the administrative justice system and judicial review. His recent publications include Executive Decision-making and the Courts: Revisiting the Origins of Modern Judicial Review (Hart Publishing, 2021, edited with T. T. Arvind, Daithí Mac Síthigh and Lindsay Stirton), A Manifesto for Ombudsman Reform (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020, edited with C. Gill) and The Oxford Handbook of Administrative Justice (OUP, Forthcoming, edited with M. Hertogh, R. Thomas and J. Tomlinson).

Simon E. Kolstoe, is a Reader in Bioethics at the University of Portsmouth, and chair of the UK’s Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC). Following a PhD in Biochemistry and ten years conducting Medical Research, his academic and research interests are now focussed on how Ethics, Governance and Integrity processes impact the reliability and effectiveness of medical and human participant research. He also chairs research ethics committees for the UK Health Security Agency and Health Research Authority.

Kevin Macnish is Digital Ethics Consulting Manager with Sopra Steria. A former Analyst and Manager at the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the the US Government Department of Defense (US DOD), he gained his PhD in Digital Ethics from the University of Leeds in 2013. He has been interviewed by BBC national television and radio and has spoken at both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in relation to digital ethics. Prior to joining Sopra Steria, he was Assistant Professor in Ethics and IT in the Philosophy Department at the University of Twente where his research and consultancy work focussed on the ethics of privacy, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. He published The Ethics of Surveillance: An Introduction (Routledge, 2018) and Big Data and Democracy (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). He has published more than 30 academic articles and chapters in his areas of interest, including the chapter on cybersecurity ethics in the forthcoming Handbook on Digital Ethics (Oxford University Press) and is a frequent speaker at international trade and academic conferences. He is an independent Ethics Expert for the European Commission, visiting PhD Supervisor at the University of Twente and a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Research Advisory Board.

Marco Marzano is Professor of Sociology of Organizations at the University of Bergamo, Italy. His research focusses on religion, Catholicism, cancer, illness narrative and organisation theory. In terms of methodological approaches, he is interested in ethnography, qualitative research, investigative methods and covert research. He has a strong interest in social research ethics. He is the author of numerous international publications in different languages (English, German, Italian and soon Polish and French) and he has been a visiting professor at many universities in different countries around the world (from the UK to the USA, from Brazil to Argentina, from the Czech Republic to Romania). He has participated in numerous international conferences, sometimes as a keynote speaker.

Daniel Paul is a Security Risk Management Consultant, with a specialism in crisis management and security for high-risk environments. He started out his career in the British Army before briefly working a project manager for the humanitarian sector. It was here he realised he had a passion for keeping others safe and moved into the security management field. He completed his PhD in 2019, where he studied the role of knowledge management in keeping humanitarian workers safe when working in dangerous environments. His PhD provided a knowledge management framework for eliciting and sharing security specific information within organisations in order to improve security risk management systems. He also holds a Bachelors in International Security and Disaster Management. Alongside consultancy work, he lectures at Coventry University in Disaster Management. He runs modules in disaster preparedness, humanitarian essentials and lectures on the topics of security management, disaster response and risk management.

Paul Spicker is a writer and commentator on Social Policy. His published work includes 20 books, several shorter works and over 100 academic papers. His studies of housing and welfare rights developed from his early career; since then, his research has included studies related to benefit delivery systems, the care of old people, psychiatric patients, housing management and local anti-poverty strategy. He is a consultant on social welfare in practice, and has done work for a range of agencies at local, national and international levels. After teaching at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Dundee, he held the Grampian Chair of Public Policy at Robert Gordon University (RGU) from 2001 to 2015, and was Director of its Centre for Public Policy and Management. He is now an Emeritus Professor of RGU.

Alex Stedmon, CSci CPsychol CErgHF AFBPsS FCIEHF FRSA, is a Professor of Human Factors specialising in security and defence. He has also been elected as President of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (2022) and been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor role in the Psychology Department at Cardiff University. He previously worked for the Ministry of Defence before a move into academia where his research focussed on human factors issues of technology use and contextual methods for investigating public safety in various security environments. He was a Technical Lead on a Strategic Security Project in the run up to the London Olympics and has conducted pioneering research in deception, safeguarding public spaces and novel collaborative networks for security. He has contributed to winning over £33million of research funding to date and has over 230 mainly peer-reviewed publications. He was the lead Editor of the first book on Counter-terrorism and Hostile Intent: Human Factors Theory and Application (Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015). During his university career, he was chair of various ethics committees and Deputy Director of Ethics for the Faculty of Engineering at Coventry University. In 2019, he retired from academia to work as a consultant for various international clients and conduct expert witness roles for the courts.

Mark Taylor is an Associate Professor in Health Law and Regulation at Melbourne Law School and Deputy Director of the research group HeLEX, which focusses on the legal and regulatory frameworks governing new health technologies. His own research is focussed on the regulation of personal information with emphasis on health and genetic data. He seeks to develop a concept of privacy that is capable of reconciling individual and community (privacy) interests with a broader (public) interest in access, use and management of personal health information.

Ian Tucker is Professor of Health and Social Psychology at The University of East London. His research interests include mental health, emotion and affect, digital media and surveillance. He has published empirical and theoretical work on care and recovery in a range of environments for mental health support, digital peer support in mental health and surveillance. He is currently working on a UKRI MARCH Network+ project exploring the impact of digital platforms in relation to ‘community assets’ (e.g. arts and creative communities) and experiences of mental ill-health. He is co-author of Social Psychology of Emotion (Sage, 2020) and Emotion in the Digital Age: Technologies, Data and Psychosocial Life (Routledge, 2020), for Routledge’s Studies in Science, Technology and Society Series.

About the Series Editor

Ron Iphofen, FAcSS, is Executive Editor of the Emerald book series Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity and edited Volume 1 in the series, Finding Common Ground: Consensus in Research Ethics Across the Social Sciences (2017). He is an Independent Research Consultant, a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Medicine. Since retiring as Director of Postgraduate Studies in the School of Healthcare Sciences, Bangor University, his major activity has been as an Adviser to the European Commission (EC) and its agencies, the European Research Council (ERC) and the Research Executive Agency on both the Seventh Framework Programme and the Horizon 2020. His consultancy work has covered a range of research agencies (in government and independent) across Europe. He was Vice Chair of the UK Social Research Association (SRA), updated their Ethics Guidelines and now convenes the SRA’s Research Ethics Forum. He was Scientific Consultant on the EC RESPECT project – establishing pan-European standards in the social sciences and chaired the Ethics and Societal Impact Advisory Group for another EC-funded European Demonstration Project on mass transit security (SECUR-ED). He has advised the UK Research Integrity Office, the National Disability Authority of the Irish Ministry of Justice, the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, the Scottish Executive, UK Government Social Research, National Centre for Social Research, the Audit Commission, the Food Standards Agency, the Ministry of Justice, the BIG Lottery, a UK Local Authorities’ Consortium, Skills Development Scotland, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR the French Research Funding agency) among many others. He was founding Executive Editor of the Emerald gerontology journal Quality in Ageing and Older Adults. He published Ethical Decision Making in Social Research: A Practical Guide (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 and 2011) and coedited with Martin Tolich The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Ethics (Sage, 2018). He is currently leading a new €2.8M European Commission-funded project (PRO-RES) that aims at promoting ethics and integrity in all non-medical research (2018–2021).

Series Preface

Ron Iphofen (Series Editor)

This book series, Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity, grew out of foundational work with a group of Fellows of the UK Academy of Social Sciences who were all concerned to ensure that lessons learned from previous work were built upon and improved in the interests of the production of robust research practices of high quality. Duplication or unnecessary repetitions of earlier research and ignorance of existing work were seen as hindrances to research progress. Individual researchers, research professions and society all suffer in having to pay the costs in time, energy and money of delayed progress and superfluous repetitions. There is little excuse for failure to build on existing knowledge and practice given modern search technologies unless selfish ‘domain protectionism’ leads researchers to ignore existing work and seek credit for innovations already accomplished. Our concern was to aid well-motivated researchers to quickly discover existing progress made in ethical research in terms of topic, method and/or discipline and to move on with their own work more productively and to discover the best, most effective means to disseminate their own findings so that other researchers could, in turn, contribute to research progress.

It is true that there is a plethora of ethics codes and guidelines with researchers left to themselves to judge those more appropriate to their proposed activity. The same questions are repeatedly asked on discussion forums about how to proceed when similar long-standing problems in the field are being confronted afresh by novice researchers. Researchers and members of ethics review boards alike are faced with selecting the most appropriate codes or guidelines for their current purpose, eliding differences and similarities in a labyrinth of uncertainty. It is no wonder that novice researchers can despair in their search for guidance and experienced researchers may be tempted by the ‘checklist mentality’ that appears to characterise a meeting of formalised ethics requirements and permit their conscience-free pursuit of a cherished programme of research.

If risks of harm to the public and to researchers are to be kept to a minimum and if professional standards in the conduct of scientific research are to be maintained, the more that fundamental understandings of ethical behaviour in research are shared the better. If progress is made in one sphere everyone gains from it being generally acknowledged and understood. If foundational work is conducted everyone gains from being able to build on and develop further that work.

Nor can it be assumed that formal ethics review committees are able to resolve the dilemmas or meet the challenges involved. Enough has been written about such review bodies to make their limitations clear. Crucially, they cannot follow researchers into the field to monitor their every action; they cannot anticipate all of the emergent ethical dilemmas nor, even, follow through to the publication of findings. There is no adequate penalty for neglect through incompetence, nor worse, for conscious omissions of evidence. We have to rely upon the virtues of the individual researcher alongside the skills of journal reviewers and funding agency evaluators. We need to constantly monitor scientific integrity at the corporate and at the individual level. These are issues of quality as well as morality.

Within the research ethics field new problems, issues and concerns and new ways of collecting data continue to emerge regularly. This should not be surprising as social, economic and technological change necessitate constant re-evaluation of research conduct. Standard approaches to research ethics such as valid informed consent, inclusion/exclusion criteria, vulnerable subjects and covert studies need to be re-considered as developing social contexts and methodological innovation, interdisciplinary research and economic pressures pose new challenges to convention. Innovations in technology and method challenge our understanding of ‘the public’ and ‘the private’. Researchers need to think even more clearly about the balance of harm and benefit to their subjects, to themselves and to society. This series proposes to address such new and continuing challenges for both funders, research managers, research ethics committees and researchers in the field as they emerge. The concerns and interests are global and well recognised by researchers and commissioners alike around the world but with varying commitments at both the procedural and the practical levels. This series is designed to suggest realistic solutions to these challenges – this practical angle is the unique selling proposition for the series. Each volume will raise and address the key issues in the debates, but also strive to suggest ways forward that maintain the key ethical concerns of respect for human rights and dignity, while sustaining pragmatic guidance for future research developments. A series such as this aims to offer practical help and guidance in actual research engagements as well as meeting the often varied and challenging demands of research ethics review. The approach will not be one of abstract moral philosophy; instead it will seek to help researchers think through the potential harms and benefits of their work in the proposal stage and assist their reflection of the big ethical moments that they face in the field often when there may be no one to advise them in terms of their societal impact and acceptance.

While the research community can be highly imaginative both in the fields of study and methodological innovation, the structures of management and funding, and the pressure to publish to fulfil league table quotas can pressure researchers into errors of judgement that have personal and professional consequences. The series aims to adopt an approach that promotes good practice and sets principles, values and standards that serve as models to aid successful research outcomes. There is clear international appeal as commissioners and researchers alike share a vested interest in the global promotion of professional virtues that lead to the public acceptability of good research. In an increasingly global world in research terms, there is little point in applying too localised a morality, nor one that implies a solely Western hegemony of values. If standards ‘matter’, it seems evident that they should ‘matter’ to and for all. Only then can the growth of interdisciplinary and multi-national projects be accomplished effectively and with a shared concern for potential harms and benefits. While a diversity of experience and local interests is acknowledged, there are existing, proven models of good practice which can help research practitioners in emergent nations build their policies and processes to suit their own circumstances. We need to see that consensus positions effectively guide the work of scientists across the globe and secure minimal participant harm and maximum societal benefit – and, additionally, that instances of fraudulence, corruption and dishonesty in science decrease as a consequence.

Perhaps some forms of truly independent formal ethics scrutiny can help maintain the integrity of research professions in an era of enhanced concerns over data security, privacy and human rights legislation. But it is essential to guard against rigid conformity to what can become administrative procedures. The consistency we seek to assist researchers in understanding what constitutes ‘proper behaviour’ does not imply uniformity. Having principles does not lead inexorably to an adherence to principlism. Indeed, sincerely held principles can be in conflict in differing contexts. No one practice is necessarily the best approach in all circumstances. But if researchers are aware of the range of possible ways in which their work can be accomplished ethically and with integrity, they can be free to apply the approach that works or is necessary in their setting. Guides to ‘good’ ways of doing things should not be taken as the ‘only’ way of proceeding. A rigidity in outlook does no favours to methodological innovation, nor to the research subjects or participants that they are supposed to protect. If there were to be any principles that should be rigidly adhered to they should include flexibility, open-mindedness, the recognition of the range of challenging situations to be met in the field – principles that in essence amount to a sense of proportionality. And these principles should apply equally to researchers and ethics reviewers alike. To accomplish that requires ethics reviewers to think afresh about each new research proposal, to detach from pre-formed opinions and prejudices, while still learning from and applying the lessons of the past. Principles such as these must also apply to funding and commissioning agencies, to research institutions and to professional associations and their learned societies. Our integrity as researchers demands that we recognise that the rights of our funders and research participants and/or subjects are to be valued alongside our cherished research goals and seek to embody such principles in the research process from the outset. This series will strive to seek just how that might be accomplished in the best interests of all.


This open access collection was made possible and commissioned under the auspices of the EU-funded PRO-RES Project. PRO-RES is a European Commission-funded project aiming to PROmote ethics and integrity in non-medical RESearch by building an evidence-supported guidance framework for all non-medical sciences and humanities disciplines adopting social science methodologies. The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 788352. The editors are consortium partners and the authors for the chapters represent a range of stakeholders committed to the aims of the project – including other consortium partners. The editors wish to express their gratitude for the care and commitment demonstrated by the authors to this collection in addressing the sensitive and complex ethical issues raised in this research arena.