The purpose of this article is to examine the controversial research method of covert research. Firstly, we will analyze this technique in light of the ethical dilemmas it entails, revisiting what it is said about the method in several codes of conduct. Secondly, we will examine the different covert research methods that are often employed in social sciences; these include studies where informed consent is given on the bases of false information, and studies where no informed consent whatsoever is sought from the participant , as it is the case with covert observation and participant covert observation. Finally, we’ll dive into the arguments put forward by fellow researchers for and against covert research. We conclude that covert research can be a powerful social research resource as long as the study that makes use of it is conducted within a careful ethical framework.
Keywords: covert research | ethics | research methodology | informed consent