Linguistics and English Language

Research and ethics guidance

Links to helpful resources

Research procedures

On-campus research

Due to the ongoing reorganisation of research facilities in PPLS, it is essential that any new on-campus research study should contact to confirm that a suitable research room is available, prior to submitting the ethics application.

Off-campus research

All off-campus research, whether conducted locally (in/around Edinburgh), within the UK or overseas requires travel and fieldwork risk assessments which can be found from the link below. These should be submitted to the school for approval by emailing the School Operations Team:

All research

All research conducted in LEL involving collection of data from live participants or use of pre-existing data with potential ethical implications must first obtain ethical approval in order to protect participants’ interests and to maintain academic standards.

The LEL Research Ethics Committee is responsible for ensuring that all research carried out in LEL has been subjected to the necessary ethical review. The Committee is composed of 10-12 members of the unit, with their areas of expertise spanning the diverse sub-fields of Linguistics and English Language. Occasionally, the committee will call upon outside individuals if their expertise would help in the review of a particular proposal.

Ethics application

To learn how to apply for ethics approval for you project, please visit the LEL Research Ethics Information page, where you will find information about informed consent (including examples of consent forms), data management, recruitment, GDPR compliance, ethics with external bodies, debriefing and more.

When you are ready to submit your ethics application materials, please go to the PPLS Ethics Submission Portal. Please note that undergraduate and MSc students must have their supervisors submit the application on their behalf.

Ethics for knowledge exchange and impact activity

If you are planning on carrying out a Knowledge Exchange and Impact (KEI) activity and you are unsure as to whether or not it requires ethical approval, please consult this information on Ethical knowledge exchange and impact practices.

Policies, Code, and Recommendations

All ethics applicants should familiarise themselves with University policy and the relevant ethics code and recommendations.

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

British Association for Applied Linguistics

British Psychological Society

Research misconduct

What is research misconduct?

The University of Edinburgh Research Misconduct Policy defines research misconduct to include (but not limited to):

  • fabrication: making up results or other outputs (e.g., artefacts) and presenting them as if they were real
  • falsification: manipulating research processes or changing or omitting data without good cause
  • plagiarism: using other people’s material without giving proper credit
  • misrepresentation: for example, misrepresentation of data, of interests, of qualifications or experience, or of involvement, such as inappropriate claims to authorship or attribution of work
  • breach of duty of care: breach of confidentiality such as disclosing the identity of individuals or groups involved in research without their consent; improper conduct in peer review such as failing to disclose conflicts of interest; or not observing legal and ethical requirements or obligations of care
  • failure to meet ethical, legal and professional obligations: for example, failure to declare competing interests; misrepresentation of involvement or authorship; misrepresentation of interests; breach of confidentiality; lack of informed consent; misuse of personal data; and abuse of research subjects or materials
  • improper dealing with allegations of misconduct: failing to address possible infringements such as attempts to cover up misconduct and reprisals against whistle-blowers.

How to raise a concern

To get more information, refer to the University's Research Misconduct Policy found under the "How to raise a concern" link below. If you suspect research misconduct within the School, adhere to the college-specific procedure on the same page. The University's Whistleblowing Policy ensures your protection.

How to raise a concern