Ethics and Risk
The key to recruiting participants and obtaining successful interviews is to gain their trust and respect. To achieve that, the initial contact with a group or individual included a clear statement of the research goals, format, and ethical considerations. I made it clear that their involvement in the research is voluntary, their participation in the study is anonymous, and the results will be presented in a way that assures confidentiality.
Identity protection. The participants were informed that they can cease participation up to four weeks after they receive the transcript and ask that their data be destroyed. The interviews were recorded with a Galaxy 5 password-protected Android smartphone. A few hours after the interview, the audio files were erased from the smartphone. The data were stored in a password-protected and encrypted Google for a business server. The recordings and transcripts were anonymized, and a separate digital file not stored on the computer was used to connect transcripts, recordings, and participants. That measure assured that even in the case of the computer being hacked, the anonymity of participants would be assured.
The ethics for this study were approved by Lancaster University’s Department of Educational Research. The ASA Committee on Professional Oversight was informed about the project.