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Nurse Res. 2005;12(3):42-51.

Researching students: an ethical dilemma.

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School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia.


Students may be perceived as an accessible source for research, but their use as research subjects is not without ethical problems. These difficulties are increased when the researchers are also responsible for teaching the students they are researching. In this paper, Eileen Clark and Terence McCann reflect on the ethics of conducting research on their own students. They identify sources of ethical concern and discuss how these may be managed. Their experience is that lecturers can carry out research on their own students, even at small campuses, in an ethical manner They highlight the importance of opening a dialogue with the ethics committee at the institution.

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