Ethics and Science in the Participatory Era

A Vignette-Based Delphi Study

Published in: Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics [Epub July 2017]. doi: 10.1177/1556264617717828

Posted on on July 26, 2017

by Elizabeth Bromley, Lisa Mikesell, Dmitry Khodyakov

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Participatory researchers rely on relationship-based ethical considerations to address ethical challenges, but little is known about how these considerations shape day-to-day decision-making. We presented vignettes describing ethical dilemmas to health researchers with varying degrees of experience in participatory research in an online modified-Delphi panel. Panelists rated potential solutions to dilemmas and provided rationales for choosing solutions in text boxes and discussion boards. Panelists agreed on a preferred solution for three of five vignettes. Panelists indicated that ethical research decision-making should be inclusive of diverse perspectives. Panelists prioritized scientific goals above participatory ones and viewed tenets of scientific validity as value-free. Panelists indicated that participatory research ethics would be difficult to codify, but that vignette-based learning could support didactic objectives.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.