This is no low risk game: social science researchers reflect on their work

Divya Bhagianadh, Supriya Bandekar, Deapica Ravindran, Sachin Nikarge

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2010.025


The ethics of conducting social science research is a largely unexplored field in India even years after the development of guidelines on this activity. It is often believed such enquiry does not pose any risk to participants; no experimental drugs are administered, no blood samples are taken, and no invasive tests are conducted, so the ethical dilemmas that biomedical researchers commonly face do not exist in this type of research. Some ethics committee members seem to view social science research as “just a bunch of questions”, approving these proposals without proper review. However, people can and do face harm as a result of their participation in such research. And researchers often face difficult decisions related to the ethics of their work.

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