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© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This chapter explores ethics in qualitative research. It outlines the broad ethical principles that underpin good research and the aspects of ethical practice that qualitative researchers are especially likely to need to consider when designing, conducting, and disseminating their research. The chapter explains ways of thinking about research ethics, beginning with some overarching philosophical principles, before moving on to discuss situational and relational aspects of ethical research practice. Formal codes of ethics, and practice guidelines developed by professional bodies and institutions, highlight three core concerns that researchers working with human subjects should attend to, namely: informed consent, confidentiality, and anonymity. The chapter also outlines how these apply to qualitative research. It also explores ethics associated with doing research. Although the requirements of research ethical review processes described in the chapter can help the researcher avoid many ethical issues in advance, ethical questions and dilemmas can arise during the conduct of a project.

Original publication





Book title

Qualitative Research in Health Care

Publication Date



27 - 41