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Ethics and governance in social work research in the UK

Dominelli, Lena; Holloway, Margaret


Lena Dominelli

Margaret Holloway


The application of formal research ethics and governance structures in social work research have lagged behind those applicable in health, although in the UK, social care has been deemed to be covered by those that were used in the NHS. Whilst this link is useful, it does not facilitate researcher involvement in the small-scale qualitative studies that feature in social work more than in health. Our exploration of the subject reveals that the dominance of the natural sciences paradigm in the social science is evident nationally, regionally and internationally. So, in this sense, the UK follows the usual paths that favour quantitative studies. In this article we explore the trajectory of governance structures in social work research in the UK to argue that social work needs its own ethics and governance structures, but that some agreement should be sought with other professions, particularly in those projects that cross professional and discipline boundaries so that social work research does not have to undergo dual processes for ethical approval. This implies a broader recognition of social work research ethics and governance structures than currently exist. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.


Dominelli, L., & Holloway, M. (2008). Ethics and governance in social work research in the UK. The British journal of social work, 38(5), 1009-1024.

Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2007
Online Publication Date Dec 13, 2006
Publication Date Jul 1, 2008
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal British journal of social work
Print ISSN 0045-3102
Electronic ISSN 1468-263X
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 5
Pages 1009-1024
Keywords Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Health(social science)
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British journal of social work following peer review. The version of record -- Lena Dominelli and Margaret Holloway. Ethics and Governance in Social Work Research in the UK Br J Soc Work (2008) 38 (5): 1009-1024 -- is available online at: .
Contract Date Nov 13, 2014


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