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Ethics in research (Research Ethics) Guide for Researchers

Involves the application of ethical principles to a variety of topics involving research especially scientific research. These include the design and implementation of research involving human & animal experimentation, various aspects of scientific misconduct (fraud, falsification, fabrication of data).

Ethics in research are very important when you’re going to conduct an experiment.

Ethics should be applied on all stages of research, such as planning, conducting and evaluating a research project.

The first thing to do before designing a study is to consider the potential cost and benefits of the research.

 

Areas of Research Ethics

1. Honesty and Integrity

This means that you need to report your research honestly, and that this applies to your methods (what you did), your data, your results, and whether you have previously published any of it. You should not make up any data, including extrapolating unreasonably from some of your results, or do anything which could be construed as trying to mislead anyone. It is better to undersell than over-exaggerate your findings.

– Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. In science, it is defined as publishing or reporting misleading facts associated with a study, research or experimentation.

– Fabrication is making up results and recording or reporting them. It is literally making up data.

 

2. Objectivity

You should aim to avoid bias in any aspect of your research, including design, data analysis, interpretation, and peer review. For example, you should never recommend as a peer reviewer someone you know, or who you have worked with, and you should try to ensure that no groups are inadvertently excluded from your research. This also means that you need to disclose any personal or financial interests that may affect your research.

3. Careful

Take care in carrying out your research to avoid careless mistakes. You should also review your work carefully and critically to ensure that your results are credible. It is also important to keep full records of your research. If you are asked to act as a peer reviewer, you should take the time to do the job effectively and fully.

 

4-5. Respect for Intellectual Property

You should never plagiarize, or copy, other people’s work and try to pass it off as your own. You should always ask for permission before using other people’s tools or methods, unpublished data or results. Not doing so is plagiarism. Obviously, you need to respect copyrights and patents, together with other forms of intellectual property, and always acknowledge contributions to your research. If in doubt, acknowledge, to avoid any risk of plagiarism.

6. Confidentiality

You should respect anything that has been provided in confidential. You should also follow guidelines on protection of sensitive information such as patient records.

7. Legality

You should always be aware of laws and regulations that govern your work, and be sure that you conform to them.

8. Animal Care

If you are using animals in your research, you should always be sure that your experiments are both necessary and well-designed. You should also show respect for the animals you are using, and make sure that they are properly cared for.

Vertebrate Animals Rules

– to protect the welfare of both animal subjects and the student researcher.

– Health and well-being is of high priority when students conduct research with animal subjects.

9. Human Subjects Protection

If your research involves people, you should make sure that you reduce any possible harm to the minimum, and maximize the benefits
both to participants and other people.

This means, for example, that you should not expose people to more tests than are strictly necessary to fulfil your research aims. You should always respect human rights, including the right to privacy and autonomy. You may need to take particular care with vulnerable
groups, which include, but are not limited to, children, older people, and those with learning difficulties.

 

The Institutional Review Board (IRB)

An IRB is responsible for assessing risk and documenting the determination of risk level on Human Participant in reviewing projects just prior to a fair, if the SRC serving at that level of competition judges an IRB’s decision as inappropriate, thereby placing human  participants in jeopardy, they may override the IRB’s decision and the project may fail to qualify for competition.

10. Responsible Publication

You should publish to advance to state of research and knowledge, and not just to advance your career. This means, in essence, that you should not publish anything that is not new, or that duplicates someone else’s work.

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