Ethics in academic research
The browser controls to adjust the font size, or print this is ethics in research & why is it important? Ideas and opinions expressed in this essay are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of the nih, niehs, or us most people think of ethics (or morals), they think of rules for distinguishing between right and wrong, such as the golden rule ("do unto others as you would have them do unto you"), a code of professional conduct like the hippocratic oath ("first of all, do no harm"), a religious creed like the ten commandments ("thou shalt not kill... This is the most common way of defining "ethics": norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable people learn ethical norms at home, at school, in church, or in other social settings. Although most societies use laws to enforce widely accepted moral standards and ethical and legal rules use similar concepts, ethics and law are not the same. Peaceful civil disobedience is an ethical way of protesting laws or expressing political r way of defining 'ethics' focuses on the disciplines that study standards of conduct, such as philosophy, theology, law, psychology, or sociology. One may also define ethics as a method, procedure, or perspective for deciding how to act and for analyzing complex problems and issues. Ethical norms also serve the aims or goals of research and apply to people who conduct scientific research or other scholarly or creative activities. See glossary of commonly used terms in research are several reasons why it is important to adhere to ethical norms in research. First, norms promote the aims of research, such as knowledge, truth, and avoidance of error. For example, prohibitions against fabricating, falsifying, or misrepresenting research data promote the truth and minimize , since research often involves a great deal of cooperation and coordination among many different people in different disciplines and institutions, ethical standards promote the values that are essential to collaborative work, such as trust, accountability, mutual respect, and fairness.
For example, many ethical norms in research, such as guidelines for authorship, copyright and patenting policies, data sharing policies, and confidentiality rules in peer review, are designed to protect intellectual property interests while encouraging collaboration. Most researchers want to receive credit for their contributions and do not want to have their ideas stolen or disclosed , many of the ethical norms help to ensure that researchers can be held accountable to the public. For instance, federal policies on research misconduct, conflicts of interest, the human subjects protections, and animal care and use are necessary in order to make sure that researchers who are funded by public money can be held accountable to the , ethical norms in research also help to build public support for research. People are more likely to fund a research project if they can trust the quality and integrity of y, many of the norms of research promote a variety of other important moral and social values, such as social responsibility, human rights, animal welfare, compliance with the law, and public health and safety. Ethical lapses in research can significantly harm human and animal subjects, students, and the public. For example, a researcher who fabricates data in a clinical trial may harm or even kill patients, and a researcher who fails to abide by regulations and guidelines relating to radiation or biological safety may jeopardize his health and safety or the health and safety of staff and and policies for research the importance of ethics for the conduct of research, it should come as no surprise that many different professional associations, government agencies, and universities have adopted specific codes, rules, and policies relating to research ethics. Many government agencies, such as the national institutes of health (nih), the national science foundation (nsf), the food and drug administration (fda), the environmental protection agency (epa), and the us department of agriculture (usda) have ethics rules for funded researchers. Other influential research ethics policies include singapore statement on research integrity, the american chemical society, the chemist professional’s code of conduct, code of ethics (american society for clinical laboratory science) american psychological association, ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct, statements on ethics and professional responsibility (american anthropological association), statement on professional ethics (american association of university professors), the nuremberg code and the world medical association's declaration of following is a rough and general summary of some ethical principals that various codes address*:Strive for honesty in all scientific communications. Do not deceive colleagues, research sponsors, or the to avoid bias in experimental design, data analysis, data interpretation, peer review, personnel decisions, grant writing, expert testimony, and other aspects of research where objectivity is expected or required. Keep good records of research activities, such as data collection, research design, and correspondence with agencies or data, results, ideas, tools, resources.
Never t confidential communications, such as papers or grants submitted for publication, personnel records, trade or military secrets, and patient sible h in order to advance research and scholarship, not to advance just your own career. Promote their welfare and allow them to make their own t for t your colleagues and treat them to promote social good and prevent or mitigate social harms through research, public education, and discrimination against colleagues or students on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or other factors not related to scientific competence and in and improve your own professional competence and expertise through lifelong education and learning; take steps to promote competence in science as a and obey relevant laws and institutional and governmental proper respect and care for animals when using them in research. Do not conduct unnecessary or poorly designed animal subjects conducting research on human subjects, minimize harms and risks and maximize benefits; respect human dignity, privacy, and autonomy; take special precautions with vulnerable populations; and strive to distribute the benefits and burdens of research fairly. It is therefore important for researchers to learn how to interpret, assess, and apply various research rules and how to make decisions and to act ethically in various situations. For example, consider the following case,The research protocol for a study of a drug on hypertension requires the administration of the drug at different doses to 50 laboratory mice, with chemical and behavioral tests to determine toxic effects. He therefore decides to extrapolate from the 45 completed results to produce the 5 additional different research ethics policies would hold that tom has acted unethically by fabricating data. If this study were sponsored by a federal agency, such as the nih, his actions would constitute a form of research misconduct, which the government defines as "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism" (or ffp). It is important to remember, however, that misconduct occurs only when researchers intend to deceive: honest errors related to sloppiness, poor record keeping, miscalculations, bias, self-deception, and even negligence do not constitute misconduct. The error does not affect the overall results of his research, but it is potentially misleading. Failing to publish a correction would be unethical because it would violate norms relating to honesty and objectivity in are many other activities that the government does not define as "misconduct" but which are still regarded by most researchers as unethical.
These are sometimes referred to as "other deviations" from acceptable research practices and include:Publishing the same paper in two different journals without telling the ting the same paper to different journals without telling the informing a collaborator of your intent to file a patent in order to make sure that you are the sole ing a colleague as an author on a paper in return for a favor even though the colleague did not make a serious contribution to the sing with your colleagues confidential data from a paper that you are reviewing for a data, ideas, or methods you learn about while reviewing a grant or a papers without ng outliers from a data set without discussing your reasons in an inappropriate statistical technique in order to enhance the significance of your ing the peer review process and announcing your results through a press conference without giving peers adequate information to review your ting a review of the literature that fails to acknowledge the contributions of other people in the field or relevant prior hing the truth on a grant application in order to convince reviewers that your project will make a significant contribution to the hing the truth on a job application or curriculum the same research project to two graduate students in order to see who can do it the rking, neglecting, or exploiting graduate or post-doctoral g to keep good research g to maintain research data for a reasonable period of derogatory comments and personal attacks in your review of author's ing a student a better grade for sexual a racist epithet in the significant deviations from the research protocol approved by your institution's animal care and use committee or institutional review board for human subjects research without telling the committee or the reporting an adverse event in a human research g animals in ng students and staff to biological risks in violation of your institution's biosafety ging someone's ng supplies, books, or g an experiment so you know how it will turn unauthorized copies of data, papers, or computer over $10,000 in stock in a company that sponsors your research and not disclosing this financial rately overestimating the clinical significance of a new drug in order to obtain economic actions would be regarded as unethical by most scientists and some might even be illegal in some cases. However, they do not fall into the narrow category of actions that the government classifies as research misconduct. Indeed, there has been considerable debate about the definition of "research misconduct" and many researchers and policy makers are not satisfied with the government's narrow definition that focuses on ffp. However, given the huge list of potential offenses that might fall into the category "other serious deviations," and the practical problems with defining and policing these other deviations, it is understandable why government officials have chosen to limit their y, situations frequently arise in research in which different people disagree about the proper course of action and there is no broad consensus about what should be done. She receives a request from another research team that wants access to her complete dataset. On the one hand, the ethical norm of openness obliges her to share data with the other research team. Another option would be to offer to collaborate with the following are some step that researchers, such as dr. Wexford, can take to deal with ethical dilemmas in research:What is the problem or issue? In this case, the issue is whether to share information with the other research is the relevant information? In this case, there may be other choices besides 'share' or 'don't share,' such as 'negotiate an agreement' or 'offer to collaborate with the researchers.
May be useful to seek advice from a colleague, a senior researcher, your department chair, an ethics or compliance officer, or anyone else you can trust. Wexford might want to talk to her supervisor and research team before making a considering these questions, a person facing an ethical dilemma may decide to ask more questions, gather more information, explore different options, or consider other ethical rules. The main point is that human reasoning plays a pivotal role in ethical decision-making but there are limits to its ability to solve all ethical dilemmas in a finite amount of ing ethical conduct in academic institutions in the us require undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate students to have some education in the responsible conduct of research (rcr). The nih and nsf have both mandated training in research ethics for students and trainees. Many academic institutions outside of the us have also developed educational curricula in research of you who are taking or have taken courses in research ethics may be wondering why you are required to have education in research ethics. Indeed, you also may believe that most of your colleagues are highly ethical and that there is no ethics problem in research.. Indeed, the evidence produced so far shows that misconduct is a very rare occurrence in research, although there is considerable variation among various estimates. Of researchers per year (based on confirmed cases of misconduct in federally funded research) to as high as 1% of researchers per year (based on self-reports of misconduct on anonymous surveys). Even if misconduct is only a rare occurrence, it can still have a tremendous impact on science and society because it can compromise the integrity of research, erode the public’s trust in science, and waste time and resources. In any case, a course in research ethics will have little impact on "bad apples," one might ing to the "stressful" or "imperfect" environment theory, misconduct occurs because various institutional pressures, incentives, and constraints encourage people to commit misconduct, such as pressures to publish or obtain grants or contracts, career ambitions, the pursuit of profit or fame, poor supervision of students and trainees, and poor oversight of researchers (see shamoo and resnik 2015).
In any case, a course in research ethics can be useful in helping to prevent deviations from norms even if it does not prevent misconduct. Education in research ethics is can help people get a better understanding of ethical standards, policies, and issues and improve ethical judgment and decision making. Many of the deviations that occur in research may occur because researchers simply do not know or have never thought seriously about some of the ethical norms of research. Another example where there may be some ignorance or mistaken traditions is conflicts of interest in research. A researcher may think that a "normal" or "traditional" financial relationship, such as accepting stock or a consulting fee from a drug company that sponsors her research, raises no serious ethical issues. Maybe a physician thinks that it is perfectly appropriate to receive a $300 finder’s fee for referring patients into a clinical "deviations" from ethical conduct occur in research as a result of ignorance or a failure to reflect critically on problematic traditions, then a course in research ethics may help reduce the rate of serious deviations by improving the researcher's understanding of ethics and by sensitizing him or her to the y, education in research ethics should be able to help researchers grapple with the ethical dilemmas they are likely to encounter by introducing them to important concepts, tools, principles, and methods that can be useful in resolving these dilemmas. Scientists must deal with a number of different controversial topics, such as human embryonic stem cell research, cloning, genetic engineering, and research involving animal or human subjects, which require ethical reflection and b. Icist and niehs irb d@ academic integrity handbook does not address issues related to research ethics, which often are field-specific. Through the office of sponsored programs (osp), we encourage mit students engaged in research to take the free online course in responsible conduct of research (rcr). Example topics include: data acquisition and management; responsible authorship and allocation of credit; peer review; mentoring; conflicts of interest; and collaborative research.
Osp also provides a summary of all mit policies affecting ts involved in research should also review the relations and responsibilities section of the responsible conduct at mit site. This provides specific policies on personal conduct, harassment, retaliation, and responsibilities of further questions or issues dealing with responsible conduct of research, your research supervisor, department, ombuds office, and the office of graduate education are important sources of to consider about ethics in academic research things to consider about ethics in academic to consider about ethics in academic researchthings to consider about ethics in values inherent in research are congruent with general moral and social values. If a researcher breaches their institution’s established code of ethics, the consequences are often not only personal, they can be dire as well. For example, if one fabricates research findings, this act can jeopardize are not always black and white with research ethics, if a few cases there are grey areas. Ethical dilemmas are therefore a part of research and need to be openly discussed and properly addressed. Make sure you protect you and your participants by following the code of conduct of your profession and/or your academic institution. Your research should be important to you (and your colleagues or research group), however, it shouldn’t be prioritized over the well-being of others and/or the environment. As a researcher you should do your best to remain compassionate, professional, and also, to follow l principles addressed in many codes of are specific codes, policies and rules that apply to research ethics and that are covered by different legal documents and codes of responsible conduct of research, the authors adil e. Resnik write about some of the main ethical principles we should all follow when engaging in research work. Research process becomes more complicated, and potentially contentious, when you involve animal or human subjects.
Here is a brief overview of some of the important ethical considerations when working with human subjects:Obtaining informed er your research includes active human participants, they need to be sufficiently informed before they agree to participate. Informed consent” means that you thoroughly describe your research to your participants: you explain the research and the expected research duration; what is expected of participants; and any risks the study could involve. Participation in research should always be voluntary, so people need to know about everything that could contribute to their willingness to engage in your study. If your participants do not feel comfortable and safe about their privacy, they might not be willing to share as much as you need them to successfully complete your , your research must follow any federal and state laws that apply. For example, in almost any case you legally will need to obtain parental permission if working with children and rucker research.