Guardians of research: negotiating the strata of gatekeepers in research with vulnerable participants

Kay, Lynda ORCID: 0000-0001-5693-9533 (2019) Guardians of research: negotiating the strata of gatekeepers in research with vulnerable participants. PRACTICE Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education, 1 (1). pp. 37-52. doi:10.1080/25783858.2019.1589988

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Gatekeepers are an integral part of an ethical process of seeking authorisation for research. The number of gatekeepers, and the negotiations between researchers and gatekeepers, become more complex for research which includes children and young people (CYP) and other vulnerable groups. Ethical researchers and gatekeepers share a desire to protect CYP from harm. This paper examines the multifaceted nature of gatekeepers and the positive and negative influences upon their decision-making. The traditional view of the gatekeeper, as benevolent protector, has been challenged within literature. Indeed, gatekeepers are sometimes presented as being predisposed to take an antagonistic stance towards research proposals, owing to a heightened anxiety regarding risks of harm for CYP. This is problematic for researchers endeavouring to plan proactively for seeking permissions from gatekeepers. This paper offers a novel contribution to these debates with a model of the strata of gatekeepers, designed to support researchers with those proactive preparations. This paper focuses on the educational context, but nevertheless contributes to the debates across wider fields of study, working to mitigate vulnerable participants becoming marginalised on topics which are salient to them.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gatekeepers; Research ethics; Reflexive ethical framework; Vulnerable participants; Consent; Access; REF2021
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Lynda Kay
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2019 15:46
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 17:00

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