Research Ethics – Paul Poiret and the Un-corseted Dress


  • What possible issues could there be for the research?

The fact that this is a research on fashion in the beginning of the 20th century makes it more difficult to find items of clothing from that era available these days in a good condition. This means the research needs to be carried out in dedicated locations, such as museums or vintage shops and as such there may be restrictions in terms of capturing photographs or closely analyse (or even touch) the fabrics used for those garments.

  • How to ensure the researcher remains objective?

The key is to keep the focus on the research topic or subject in an impartial manner. Documenting facts only is vital, although there may be a tendency for the author to input some of their personal preferences and opinions. Should such information be captured in the research the author needs to clearly explain the comments are merely of a personal nature, distinct from a factual analysis of the topic.

  • How to ensure the sources of information are accurate?

Relying on validated documents, such as books, newspapers and magazines duly dated. If the resources are online, a deeper level of caution must be applied as not all sources of information online go through the same level of scrutiny as a formal publication.

  • What responsibility do you have towards your research / data subject?

In any research it is imperative that the Data Privacy Act is understood and respected. The consequences of disregarding the DPA principles may be disastrous for the author of the research. A data subject is “an individual who is the subject of personal data” (2017, Edinburgh, BCS Foundation Course: Data Protection Act 1998 – Chapter 29 (Sections relating to Definitions, First and Second Principles, Amberhawk, pages 1 – 6) and consent may be required for their data to be processed. In this research there shouldn’t be any issues with DPA data processing principles as the sources used are all in the public domain.

  • What is the justification and/or benefits of conducting such research?

This research relates to a course assignment and will help further understanding the fashion in the 1900’s within the political and socio-economic context of that era.

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