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Visual ethics: ethical issues in visual research

Wiles, Rose, Prosser, Jon, Bagnoli, Anna, Clark, Andrew, Davies, Katherine, Holland, Sally ORCID: and Renold, Emma ORCID: 2008. Visual ethics: ethical issues in visual research. [Working Paper]. NCRM Working Paper, National Centre for Research Methods,. Available at:

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This review outlines the key ethical issues with which visual researchers need to engage, drawing on literature from established visual researchers as well as practical illustrations from current research projects being undertaken within the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). Its focus is on the ethical issues associated with research using photographs, film and video images (created by researchers, respondents or others) rather than other visual methods. It is intended as an introduction to assist researchers in identifying what ethical issues might arise in undertaking visual research and how these might be addressed. The review commences with an outline of research ethics frameworks, professional guidance, regulation and legal rights and duties which, to varying degrees, shape visual researchers’ ethical decision making. It then goes on to explore the core ethical issues of consent, confidentiality and anonymity and discusses the ethical considerations that these raise with examples of how these can be managed. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the ethical issues raised in relation to the construction and consumption of images. The authors stress the importance of researchers engaging with theories (or approaches) to research ethics in their ethical decision making in order to protect the reputation and integrity of visual research.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Publisher: National Centre for Research Methods,
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:48

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