Ethics in Qualitative Research (Miller, Birch Mauthner, & Jessop, 2012), now in its second edition, uses a feminist framework to present a variety of issues pertinent to qualitative researchers. Topics include traditional challenges for qualitative researchers (e.g., access to potential participants, informed consent, overlapping roles), as well as those that have garnered more attention in recent years, particularly with regard to uses and consequences of technological advances in research. The book is critical of committees whose function it is to review proposed research and grant research ethics approval (e.g., University Research Ethics Committees [URECs], Research Ethics Boards [REBs], and Institutional Review Boards [IRBs]). The authors of this book are situated within the United Kingdom. The editors take the position that ethics oversight by the researchers themselves is preferable and that such boards and committees are not well equipped to review qualitative research. A rebuttal to this position is presented within this review. Ethics in Qualitative Research provides a good overview of ethical issues that researchers face and is effective in merging theory with practice. It would be strengthened by avoiding the debate over URECs or by offering concrete suggestions for how URECs can improve their reviews of qualitative research.


Research Ethics, Qualitative Research, UREC, REB, IRB, ESRC, TCPS 2, OHRP

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