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Associate Professor Martin Tolich

Martin Tolich PhotoMA (Auck) PhD (Calif)

Sociology Programme

Contact details

Room 6C16, Richardson Building
Tel +64 3 479 8755

Martin Tolich specialises in the Sociology of Research Ethics in general and qualitative research ethics in particular. His current writing involves editing a Sage Handbook of Ethics in Qualitative Research and the fourth edition of Social Science Research in New Zealand for AUP. On a practical side Martin is founder of an innovative not-for-profit New Zealand Ethics Committee which is currently going global. NZEC is establishing an ethics committee for those unaffiliated (to universities) conducting disaster research internationally. His emerging teaching specialism is Public Sociology by way of creating research based internships for senior sociology students. Martin's ongoing research interest examines the ethical challenges researching vulnerable persons “social DNA”. These are New Zealand families where an ancestor was imprisoned for conscientious objection (CO) in either of the world wars and how family members inherit and live with this social stigma social DNA.


I co-ordinate and teach:

SOCI 201: Sociological Research in Practice
SOCI 306: Public Sociology
SOCI 401: Qualitative Research Ethics

Postgraduate supervision

  • Public Sociology
  • Qualitative Research Ethics
  • Work and Society

Current and recent students

Penelope Kinney (PhD)

Transitioning to the community: explaining a transition process within New Zealand/Aotearoa forensic psychiatric services

Jin Yi Louisa Choe (PhD)

Unconscious bias in New Zealand's education system

Darryl Grant (PhD)

When research is a dirty word: Sovereignty and bicultural politics in Canada, Australia and New Zealand ethics policies

Roland Daniher (MA)

Scary Uncertainty: An Analysis of Social-Role Control among Community-Dwelling Retirees in New Zealand



Tolich, M. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative ethics in practice. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 217p.
Sieber, J. E., & Tolich, M. B. (2013). Planning ethically responsible research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 264p.
Tolich, M., & Davidson, C. (2011). Getting started: An introduction to research methods. Auckland, New Zealand: Pearson, 222p.
Davidson, C., & Tolich, M. (Eds.). (2003). Social science research in New Zealand (2nd ed.). Auckland, New Zealand: Pearson Education New Zealand, 440p.

Journal Articles

Tolich, M. (2015). An astute guinea pig in a first-in-human clinical trial: Lessons for IRBs and the disenfranchisement social science literature. Journal of Clinical Trials, 5(4), 233.
Tolich, M. (2014). What can Milgram and Zimbardo teach ethics committees and qualitative researchers about minimizing harm? Research Ethics, 10(2), 86-96.
Tolich, M., & Tumilty, E. (2014). Making ethics review a learning institution: The Ethics Application Repository proof of concept - Qualitative Research, 14(2), 201-212.
van den Hoonaard, W. C., & Tolich, M. (2014). The New Brunswick declaration of research ethics: A simple and radical perspective. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 39(1), 87-98.
Pope, C. C., De Luca, R., & Tolich, M. (2010). How an exchange of perspectives led to tentative ethical guidelines for visual ethnography. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 33(3), 301-315.
Tolich, M. (2010). A critique of current practice: Ten foundational guidelines for autoethnographers. Qualitative Health Research, 20(12), 1599-1610.
Tolich, M. (2009). The principle of caveat emptor: Confidentiality and informed consent as endemic ethical dilemmas in focus group research. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 6(1), 99-108.
Tolich, M., & Hapuku, J. (2009). Number-8-wire ethics: A New Zealand ethics committee's response to lengthy international clinical trial information sheets. New Zealand Medical Journal, 122(1293).
Tolich, M., & Fitzgerald, M. H. (2006). If ethics committees were designed for ethnography. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 1(2), 71-78.
Tolich, M. (2004). Internal confidentiality: When confidentiality assurances fail relational informants. Qualitative Sociology, 27(1), 101-106.
Tolich, M. (2002). Pakeha ″paralysis″: Cultural safety for those researching the general population of Aotearoa. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, (19), 164-178.