Ethics in research

Department of History Ethics Protocol

Note: This protocol is meant to supplement rather than replace the established University procedures regarding ethics. In any case where this protocol is inconsistent with University policy, the University policy shall prevail.

Certain types of research involving living human beings require prior ethics approval by a research ethics committee. For historians, this means especially oral history interviews and surveys, but can also mean (in certain cases) ethnographic observation, research involving private online social networking or other sites, and even work with the private papers of living people.

Ethics review involves ensuring that the research will be undertaken in accordance with the rights of the participants and the obligations of the researcher. It is not a review of the scholarly merit of the research project, but rather of the protection of the participants in the project. 

All research by members of the Concordia community, wherever it takes place, is subject to the policies contained in the TCPS. The History Department Ethics Committee and the Office of Research can help answer questions about when ethics review is required and how to compile a complete application.

Review by the History Department Ethics Committee, currently headed by Dr. Eric Reiter generally requires about one week, though review might take longer during peak times. The university Human Research Ethics Committee meets once a month throughout the year, generally during the second week of each month. Applications may be submitted at any time, but must be submitted by the beginning of the month to make the agenda for that month’s meeting.

To whom do I submit my application?

Some guidelines

Ethics and Oral History

For guidance on what is needed in an ethics package and some models specific to oral history interviewing, please read the guidlines provided by the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling

For Ethics (including models)

For Training Webinars (interviewing, transcription)

Submitted applications involving oral history interviews must include a project proposal, interview guide, and consent form.   Sample forms and guides can be located at the bottom of the Research Ethics page of the COHDs website:  please click here.

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