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Research Ethics

Eight core principle guide our practice throughout the research process, from choosing the study to presenting and using the results:

  • Beneficence: the study can make a significant contribution to the field of museums and free-choice environments.
  • Competence and quality of work: Audience Focus Ltd undertakes research and evaluation studies that they have the expertise to carry out and ensure that its design is of high quality, and its conclusions and recommendations are based on reliable and valid evidence.
  • Informed consent: respecting the right of the study participants to be fully informed about the purpose of the study and how the results are going to be used; gaining their own consent as well as the consent of an adult in the case of children; respecting their privacy and anonymity, and treating the information gathered as confidential; and building relationships of trust with the participants.
  • Cultural sensitivity: being sensitive to the language and meanings of the research participants by using methods that support that.
  • Reciprocity: making sure research participants can gain something from taking part in the study. When possible, Audience Focus Ltd tries to embed evaluation in the activity being evaluated - be it an exhibition, a programme or other resources so that it fits with participantsagenda for the visit.
  • Avoidance of harm: research participants are not harmed in a direct or indirect way, including affecting their self-esteem and values or feeling they are being judged or looking bad.
  • Advocacy and dissemination: sharing the research results with the community of free-choice learning organisations and advocating on behalf of the study participants.
  • Ownership and use of data and findings: Audience Focus Ltd uses the data collected for each study in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the informed consent forms signed with the participants. We are also committed in working with our partners in applying the results in ways that will benefit their audiences.
© Audience Focus Limited, 2004