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I am conducting a research trip to another country where i will meet with academics (individually and as groups), industry professionals and other experts to explore different aspects of a particular issue. The meetings will take the form of semi-structured interviews. I will be writing an article on my return analysing my findings. As the research is overseas, my University requires I go through an Ethics Approval process, which includes consideration of informed consent and of participant anonymity.

I want to keep the consent process as streamlined as possible and I am trying to determine an appropriate process that works for both industry experts and academics.

I can see that industry professionals might prefer any references I make to anything they have said to be anonymized, either to "a spokesperson for xxx company" or to "a senior industry figure" or "a customer services manager". Or they might be happy to have their contributions on the record. And academics are more likely to prefer to be named.

So, in asking for consent to record interviews and use the information for my research, do I need to ask each participant whether they want their contributions to be a) attributed or b) anonymized?

I should note that when other academics have visited my research group for discussions and to find out about our research, no one has ever asked for participants to give their consent for the discussion, and it seems odd in the context of an academic discussion.

Could I justifiably apply the consent procedure only to non-academic interviewees?

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    If you are writing an article, then it is research and ethics review is required, which will lead to a requirement of consent. If you have a conversation with someone and you do not intend to write an article about it or otherwise disseminate your findings from the conversation, then it is definitely not research and you are not required to get an ethics review or formal consent. The fact that the research is overseas does not determine if you must get the ethics review, but the review process might differ. Feb 16 '20 at 5:38
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If you've had to go through ethics approval process, you are bound by the protocols that you come up with them. We've carried out interviews with other academics and are bound by ethics, and when I have been interviewed by other academics, I have gone through the ethics process.

I would be skeptical if somebody was carrying out a research interview with me without obtaining formal approval from me.

As for your question:

So, in asking for consent to record interviews and use the information for my research, do I need to ask each participant whether they want their contributions to be a) attributed or b) anonymized?

Your ethics board will probably approve the protocol you want to use. But yes, when I obtain permissions from interviewees, I usually ask three questions: (a) do they of their own free will agree to the interview; (b) do they agree to be interviewed; and (c) do they agree to have quotations in the paper that are attributed to them/anonymized to them/etc. (the last part depends on the study)

Sometimes a study has a mixture of anonymous and named participants.

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