Ethical Use of Human Data

Some MSc projects could make use of human subjects and/or data about people. When conducting research involving human participants or personal information, it is important that the research is conducted in line with ethical research principles. Under the University's policy on research ethics, all research projects which involve human participants, human tissues, or personal information should receive formal ethical approval before they commence, unless:

The first supervisor of the project should obtain ethical approval prior to the use of human subjects or human data. Using human subjects/human data without ethics approval could constitute research misconduct. Here is the flow chart for the University Ethics Approval Process. This approval process is performed online.

Ethical approval is not required to use data from Twitter as long as the Twitter data is available in the "public domain". Twitter ids should be anonymised (e.g. hash Twitter handles to some other string) when doing so will not violate Twitter's Terms and Conditions.

Third-party Evaluation of Software

For MSc projects, prior approval from the Research Ethics Committee has been obtained for third-party evaluation of software, programs, and applications developed on the project. In other words, if you develop software and wish to have your friends, colleagues, family members, etc. test the software and give feedback, this is possible, provided you follow the guidelines below.

For third-party evaluation of software:

  1. Explicitly confirm (where appropriate in your documents related to the project) that the CS Department ethical procedure for COMP702 projects 3rd party evaluation is to be (or has been) followed.
  2. Use the COMP702 Project 3rd Party Evaluator Information Sheet and the COMP702 Project 3rd Party Evaluator Consent Form templates.