BootcampC: Ethical barriers to commercial exploitation

Ethical barriers to commercial exploitation

Section 3 of 5

Crowd croppedImage: Crowd [cropped], geralt, Public Domain

There may be ethical reasons why you cannot commercially exploit your research outputs.  For example, if your research involves human participants, you may not be able to make commercial use of their data without their clear consent. Research data that doesn’t involve people may have other sensitivities which can restrict what you can do with it; for example, if your dataset includes information on rare or endangered plants or animals, or information which may have an impact on national security.

To ensure that you are acting ethically, make sure that your consent forms include a clause on commercial use of data. This should be done at the project planning stage. Contact the RED Research Governance Team for advice on constructing consent forms, and information on what to do if your data contains other types of sensitive information.

1. Clara has collected data on the growth and location of certain endangered plants in the UK. She has been approached by a company wishing to licence her dataset and incorporate it into a publicly-accessible gazette of UK wildlife. Is this permitted?