Ethicalconsiderations in research are critically about choices and actions, especiallyin decision making which distinguish between the right and wrong.
Itdetermines the difference between acceptable and unacceptable situations. Ethicalstandards will prevent against the fabrication or falsifying of data andtherefore, promote the pursuit of knowledge and truth which is the primary goalof research. Ethical behavior is also critical for collaborative workbecause it encourages an environment of trust, accountability, and mutualrespect among researchers. This is important when considering issuesrelated to data sharing, co-authorship, copyright guidelines, confidentiality,and many other issues, in order for the public to support and believe in theresearch. Other guidelines such as human rights, animal welfare, compliancewith the law, conflicts of interest, safety and health standards and so forth,must be followed by the researcher. These ethical issues are greatly impactthe integrity of the research project and affected the chances to receivefunding if researcher cannot achieve this requirement.
Ethical considerationsare so important in research, so that many professional associations andagencies have adopted codes and policies for the outline of ethical behaviorand guide researchers. The examples of codes address issues is a honesty,objectivity, respect for intellectual property, social responsibility,confidentiality, non-discrimination and many others. It provides basicguidelines, but researchers will still be facing with additional issues thatare not specifically addressed and this will require decision-making on thepart of the researcher in order to avoid misconduct. The resource on thispage address includes many of those issues and the case studies used in theseresources provide excellent examples of these types of issues.
One of the most importantethical considerations in research is the use of human subjects. Toaddress these considerations, most institutions and organizations havedeveloped an Institutional Review Board (IRB). An IRB is a panel ofpeople who help to ensure the safety of human subjects in research and who can assistin making sure that human rights are not violated. They review theresearch methodology in grant proposals to assure that ethical practices arebeing utilized. The use of an IRB also helps to protect the institutionand the researchers against potential legal implications from any behavior thatmay be deemed unethical. Examples of some of theseissues include voluntary participation and informed consent. The voluntary participation requires thatpeople not be coerced into participating in research. It required of informed consent whereby participants must be fullyinformed about the procedures and risks involved in research and must givetheir consent to participate.
Harm can be defined as both physical andpsychological. Ethical standards also protect theconfidentiality and anonymity of the subjects. Goodresearch practice often requires the use of a no-treatment control group – agroup of participantswho do not get the treatmentor program that is being studied. But when that treatment or program may have beneficial effects, thepersons assigned to the no-treatment control may feel of their rights to equalaccess to services are being curtailed.