Reporting and dissemination

Final points

Include a discussion of your approach to research ethics in your writing, or indicate where your reader can find out more. Journal editors may not publish research that is unethical and it is increasingly the case that ethics of research are described in writing.

1.  Your participants

You have responsibilities to your participants.  What did you promise them when you sought their consent?  Anonymity? How will you ensure this in your reporting?  Reporting back on the results (e.g. through a newsletter or website)?  How would they feel if they read outputs from your study?

2.  Your funder

You have responsibilities to your funder.  What are the reporting requirements in your contract?  Are you allowed to report in other ways (e.g. conferences or academic papers) before the funder’s report is accepted?  Do you need their permission to disseminate the research?  Could your research have an adverse impact on their reputation?  What is the intellectual property agreement?  Many funders now prioritise impact and ask for dissemination to be specified in funding applications.  Revisit your proposal and look at what you said you would do.

3.  Where you work

You have responsibilities to your colleagues and your institution.  Have you got agreements on authorship that are fair to everyone involved in the research?  Are there any institutional requirements or permissions necessary for reporting?  Do study outputs need to be read or signed off by anyone in your institution?