Research Ethics Checklist

  • prepared by Dr. Cara Zaskow

    This checklist is designed to alert investigators to their ethical obligations when they conduct research on human participants, and to secure their assurance that these obligations have been fulfilled.

    Investigators must answer the questions below before the research is implemented. If any of the answers selected are underlined (Yes or No), you MAY be proposing an unethical project. You should discuss and resolve the matter with your instructor. Their signature at the end of the checklist will indicate approval to proceed with the project.

    Your name(s) (please print) ________________________________

    Title of project:_________________________________________

    Number and title of course: _______________________________

    Name of instructor:______________________________________


    Please respond to the following questions by circling the appropriate answer.
    1. Will the participants be informed of the nature of their involvement in the collection of data - of all features of the research that reasonably might be expected to influence willingness to participate? YES      NO
    2. Will the participants be told that they can discontinue their participation at any time? YES NO
    3. Does the study involve concealment from and/or deception of the participants? YES NO
    4. Will deception be used in order to obtain agreement to participate? YES NO
    5. Will the participants in your study be aware that they are participants? YES NO
    6.Will participants or their guardians be asked to sign Consent Forms?
    a) If not, will participants/guardians be giving verbal consent?
    7. Will information on your participants be obtained from third parties? YES NO
    8.Are you and/or your associate(s) in a position of power vis-à-vis the participants? YES NO
    9. Is any coercion exerted upon participants to participate? YES NO
    10. Is confidentiality of the participant's identity positively ensured? YES NO
    11. In cases where there is a possibility that the participant's identity can be deduced by someone other than the investigator, is the participant's right to withdraw his/her data respected? YES NO
    12. Will the investigator fulfil all the promises made to the participants? YES NO
    13. Does the study involve physical stress (or the participant's expectation thereof), such as might result from heat, noise, electric shock, pain, sleep loss, deprivation of food and drink, drugs, alcohol? YES NO
    14. Does the study involve the induction of mental discomfort in the participants (examples:  fear, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, shame, guilt, embarrassment, becoming aware of personal weaknesses)? YES NO
    15. Will all necessary measures be taken to protect the physical safety of the participants (from dangers such as faulty electrical equipment, poor grounding, lack of oxygen, falls, traffic and industrial accidents, the possibility of hearing or vision loss, and so forth? YES NO
    16. Does the study involve participants who are legally or otherwise not in a position to give their valid consent to participate (examples:  children, prison inmates, mental patients)? YES NO
    17. Will non-coded information obtained on individual participants be disclosed to third parties? YES NO
    18. Could publication of the research results possibly interfere with strict confidentiality? YES NO
    19. Could publication of the results possibly harm the participants - either directly or through identification with his/her membership group? YES NO
    20. Are there other aspects of this study that may interfere with the protection of the well-being and dignity of the participants? YES NO
    21. Will the researcher make all efforts to ensure a normal human relationship between participant(s) and investigator after the collection of data has been terminated? YES NO
    22. In cases in which a participant is dissatisfied or complains about the research procedures, will the investigator explain to the participant that he may express his feelings to the Chairman of the Department? YES NO