I will have to get the ethics review board’s approval before I can do my experiment. Sounds like it’s too early to think about that – but I hear that process can take some time, and I don’t need to be delayed for a stupid reason like that.

Still, I can’t fill out the form until I have some more details about my project – especially who the subjects are and what questions exactly I’ll be asking them. And I have to figure out how I’m going to find the participants. So for now I’m just making sure I see all the roadblocks and delays before I get to them.

One piece of good news is that I won’t need to do the same at Liverpool, at least this suggests that I don’t:

The remit of the Committee on Research Ethics is research projects involving
research on human participants, or human tissues, or databases of personal  information to be carried out by University staff or students on University premises, or at any other location where there is no other acceptable provision for ethical consideration.

One interesting part in a fellow’s submission to the ethics board said that (1) the data is anonymized and (2) even that is to be destroyed after 5 years (erm…).

It makes perfect sense that the data should be anonymized but that will make it difficult to use version control for the project. I am a big fan of Subversion. Perhaps I will keep the raw data in a password-protected zip file checked into svn (or something even more secure).

Destroying data gathered during a scientific experiment seems like heresy to me. I would really rather not do this, even though noone may ever look for the source of my conclusions. But perhaps there are reasons to get rid of it that I don’t know.