OJPP  Vol.10 No.4 , November 2020
The Vulnerable Researcher Phenomenon
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to address challenging issues in protecting researchers in risky situations. Method: A case study addressed the importance of risk prevention and researcher safety. In six interviews, a social scientist shared feelings of vulnerability when she conducted ethnographic research with sex workers and gang members. Results: Qualitative results explain the concerns from the eyes of a vulnerable researcher in six factors: Support, Safety, System Connection, Situations, and Struggles. The vulnerable researcher phenomenon is defined as the emotional labor faced by the researcher in situations that are dangerous and risky. Implications: While taking care of the research subjects’ well-being, researchers must also be reminded that ethical behaviors in their field also include self-protection. Social scientists must advocate for a standard protocol in IRB applications to include protecting researcher safety and ensuring identity privacy.
Cite this paper: Tang, X. , Cheung, M. , Zhou, S. and Leung, P. (2020) The Vulnerable Researcher Phenomenon. Open Journal of Philosophy, 10, 511-527. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2020.104036.

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