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How do you conduct research?

Governance and ethics

There are guidelines and rules in place to ensure research is completed safely and effectively. Ethical considerations in research are a set of principles that guide your research designs and practices. Scientists and researchers must always adhere to a certain code of conduct when collecting data from people. These codes work to:

  • protect the rights of research participants
  • enhance research validity
  • maintain scientific and academic integrity

Research governance sets out the rules, regulations and standards of good practice that exist to ensure the quality of a given piece of research.

Some other key things to consider are:

  • if you undertake research in health and social care, independent ethical review is a legal requirement
  • before you start the process however, make sure your research is actually research

Here you can find tools and resources that outline how to do research safely and effectively:

You can find further information and resources to support research and ethics applications here:

Learn more about the collaborations and networks that provide oversight to the governance of research:

Systematic review

A systematic review is research that aims to identify, select and synthesise all research published on a particular question or topic. Select the following link to watch a video produced by Cochrane that helps explain what systematic reviews are.

Further information and guidance on how to prepare systematic reviews can be found here:

  • Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions provides guidance to authors on preparing reviews:
  • Cochrane Evidence for Everyday Allied Health is an evidence blog for the allied health professions:

Service evaluations

Service evaluation is used to judge or define current care. A service evaluation answers the question: “What standard does this service meet?”. The results should produce internal recommendations to improve current care. Results of service evaluation are not intended to be generalised beyond the area in which they were produced. The skills and methods needed to conduct a rigorous service evaluation are often the same as skills and methods that are used in research.

You can check that your service evaluation is not classed as research and does not need ethical approval using this tool.

Although service evaluation does not require ethical approval it should always be conducted in an ethical way. Select the link to learn more about ethical guidance Learn more.

For information on all aspects of doing a service evaluation select the following links: