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Key areas of research ethics: What are ethical incentives and beneficence?

This key area explains the concept of beneficence and outlines some important considerations that arise relating to research with children and young people. It furthermore gives a general introduction to the topic and addresses a number of key researcher questions to provide more in-depth information about this principle under relevant headings. We also provide links to related resources. 

  • What is beneficence, and how is this considered and understood in the context of different research projects?

  • How can I ensure that my research is conducted in accordance with this principle?

  • What aspects might introduce conflict with the concept of beneficence?

On this page, you also find resources to help you to understand more about beneficence in researching children and young people. The resources include key readings, webinars, blogs, animated films, links to our Zotero library and more. 


Research should be conducted according to the principle of beneficence, which in plain language, means that researchers working with children and young people should aim to maximise the benefits of their research for these people. Benefits for individual research participants and for the broader groups and communities to which these participants belong should be considered. Researchers should, in general, strive to ensure that their work can improve the status, rights and well-being of children and young people. Potential research benefits include the development of evidence-based knowledge to support these goals. Researchers should also consider whether and how the knowledge they produce will be accessible to children and young people or relevant to their lives. 

A reading list and other resources you may want to check out...

Watch the CO:RE animated movie to help researchers explain kids' rights as research participants

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Video: "Have you been invited to participate in research? Then you should watch this film."; a resource for researchers working with children and young people. | License: CC-By-NC-SA | If you should have trouble loading this video or want to see this movie in other languages, you can watch it here on our YouTube channel. | Please cite as: Staksrud, E., Ní Bhroin, N., Torp, I.S., & Johannessen, L.O. (2022). Have you been invited to participate in research? Then you should watch this film. Retrieved DD Month YYYY, from

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