Sensitive research

Definition: Research that poses a threat to those who are or have been involved in it, including the researchers, the participants, and the wider society. This threat can be physical danger (e.g. suicide) or a negative emotional response (e.g. depression) to those who are involved in the research process. For instance, research conducted on victims of suicide, the researcher might be emotionally traumatised by the descriptions of the suicidal behaviours. Indeed, the communication with the victims might also make them re-experience the traumatic memories, leading to negative psychological responses.

Related term: Anonymity

References: Lee (1993), & Albayrak-Aydemir (2019)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir, Valeria Agostini, Mahmoud Elsherif, Helena Hartmann, Graham Reid

Note that we are currently working on an automated mechanism to link references cited above with their full-length version that can be found at with all references used so far.