Ethical because it encourages an environment of trust,

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Last updated: May 11, 2019

Ethical considerations in research arecritically about choices and actions, especially in decision making whichdistinguish between right and wrong.  It determines the difference betweenacceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Ethical standards will preventagainst the fabrication or falsifying of data and therefore, promote thepursuit of knowledge and truth which is the primary goal of research. Ethical behavior is also critical for collaborative work because it encouragesan environment of trust, accountability, and mutual respect amongresearchers.  This is important when considering issues related to datasharing, co-authorship, copyright guidelines, confidentiality, and many other issues,in order for the public to support and believe in the research.  Other guidelinessuch as human rights, animal welfare, compliance with the law, conflicts ofinterest, safety and health standards and so forth, must be followed by theresearcher.

  These ethical issues are greatly impact the integrity of theresearch project and affected the chances to receive funding if researcher cannotachieve this requirement.Ethical considerations are so important in research, so that manyprofessional associations and agencies have adopted codes and policies for theoutline of ethical behavior and guide researchers.  The examples of codesaddress issues is a honesty, objectivity, respect for intellectual property,social responsibility, confidentiality, non-discrimination and many others. It provides basic guidelines, but researchers will still be facing withadditional issues that are not specifically addressed and this will requiredecision-making on the part of the researcher in order to avoidmisconduct.  The resources on this page address includes many of thoseissues and the case studies used in these resources provide excellent examplesof these types of issues. One of the most important ethical considerations in research is the use ofhuman subjects.  To address these considerations, most institutions andorganizations have developed an Institutional Review Board (IRB).

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  An IRBis a panel of people who help to ensure the safety of human subjects inresearch and who can assist in making sure that human rights are notviolated.  They review the research methodology in grant proposals toassure that ethical practices are being utilized.  The use of an IRB alsohelps to protect the institution and the researchers against potential legalimplications from any behavior that may be deemed unethical. Examples of some of these issues include voluntary participation andinformed consent.   The voluntary participation requires that people notbe coerced into participating in research. It requiredof informed consent wherebyparticipants must be fully informed about the procedures and risks involved inresearch and must give their consent to participate.

Harmcan be defined as both physical and psychological.  Ethical standards also protect theconfidentiality and anonymity of the subjects. Goodresearch practice often requires the use of a no-treatment control group – agroup of participants who do not get thetreatment or program that is being studied. But when that treatment or programmay have beneficial effects, the personsassigned to the no-treatment control may feel of their rights to equal accessto services are being curtailed.

 

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