Ethical concerns-please help


Please help and give me advice regarding the following situations.

1) If the respondents agreed to record the interview but at the end of the interview asked the researcher to erase the recording after transcribing, ( in one case, I think it is not about trust since he knows me and we had a good relationship, rather interviewing was the first time for him and he said he allowed recording to help me not missing important thing and focusing on our discussion but asked to delete recording after transcribing). My concern is should I proceed, is it okay? the alternative would be not recording at all and missing important data. But in such cases, for some interviews, I would only have interview transcripts and not recordings (audio files). I should mentioned that I have faced difficulties in recruiting participants to take part.

2) I am planning to conduct interviews via phone and email, how can I account for informed consent? Would an informational sheet sent previously to participants in which ethical statements were included be enough? there is a box in which they can click on to confirm their agreement to participate.

I hope you would share your experiences and/or views. Thanks


1) If a participants asks you to erase the recording then you must do so, it would be unethical to keep it. You should check that they are happy for you to use the transcript of the interview in your analysis. Don't worry that other participants will ask you to do the same, it's quite rare (in my experience) for them to withdraw their data.

2) Put together a consent form and email it to participants before they do an interview. Ask them to provide an electronic signature and email it back, or to sign it and post it back. You can't rely on the info sheet you sent them earlier, unless you included a statement such as 'your involvement in an interview means that you are providing your consent to be involved in this study' or something similar.


Thanks Charls. To clarify, yes, they are happy and it is okay to use the transcript of the interview in my analysis. They only asked for erasing the recording after transcribing but it is okay for them to let me analyse the interview transcript. So, if you got me right, they do not want to withdraw their data since they welcomed using the data transcript for the purpose of data analysis. What they only asked for is erasing the recordings. I have written this for clarification. I would like to hear from you Charls as well as form others in this forum. Thanks a lot.