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Engaging in experimental work in governance and politics raises a set of ethical concerns that researchers and practitioners in this area must face. The EGAP network adopted a statement of research principles during the EGAP IV meeting which was then ratified by the membership following the EGAP V meeting in June 2011. A pdf of these principles is here and the text is provided below.

EGAP Research Principles

The members of the Evidence in Governance and Politics network (EGAP) seek to support sound and ethical practice in the conduct of experimental research on governance and politics and in the use of such research for policy and decision-making in the public and private sectors.

We pledge ourselves to maintaining high standards of scientific competence and integrity in conducting, analyzing, and reporting our work; in our relations with research participants; with our partners; with those who eventually use the research for decision-making purposes; and with the general public. To do so we subscribe to the following principles.


  1. Human Subjects Protection
    We are committed to the protection of human subjects implicated in our research. In cases in which researchers are engaged alongside practitioners an agreement should state which party, if either, has primary responsibility for the intervention. Researchers should disclose the role that they play in the design of interventions implemented by practitioners or third parties.
  2. Transparency
    To maintain transparency and limit bias in reporting, researchers should seek to register research designs, hypotheses and tests in advance of data collection and analysis. In presentation of findings, researchers should distinguish between analyses that were planned ex ante and those that were conceptualized ex post.
  3. Rights to Review and Publish Findings 
    In collaborations between researchers and practitioners it should be agreed in advance, and not contingent upon findings, what findings and data can be used for publication. In cases in which such agreement is not made in advance, and unconditional on findings, this fact should be noted in publications.
  4. Publication of Data
    In collaborations between researchers and practitioners, researchers and practitioners should agree in advance that data used for analysis will be made publicly available (subject to masking of identifiable information) for replication purposes within a specified time period after data collection.
  5. Remuneration
    Researchers should normally not receive remuneration from project implementers whose projects they are studying. In cases in which researchers receive remuneration from such agencies, this fact should be disclosed in footnotes to publications.