Ethical consideration is a collection of principles and values that should be followed while doing human affairs. The ethical considerations make sure that no-one acts in such a way that is harmful to society or an individual. It refrains people and organizations from indulging in vicious conduct.
Ethical considerations play an essential role, especially in research.
Your whole efforts of research may get wasted if you miss following any of the ethical considerations. The following are the ethical issues that must be considered while performing the research study.
1. The validity of the research
The first and most basic ethical issue that may arise in research is the invalidity of research questions. Research is conducted to answer a particular research question. The research conclusion must match with the research question asked in the beginning.
The failure to match research questions with the research conclusion will be considered a violation of ethical consideration.
2. The research method used for the research
The research method is an essential part of every study. Many research methods can be used to conduct research. The most appropriate research method is selected to conduct the study. Choosing the right research method becomes essential when it comes to ethical considerations.
The following are the points that must be kept in mind when it comes to selecting a research method for research purposes.
- The method should completely fit with the purpose of the research.
- The method should not have risks associated with the particular research method used. All the risks related to the research method should be declared before using it for research purposes.
III. The strengths and limitations of the research method should be evaluated before using it for research purposes.
3. Consent of participants
Most of the researches includes participants. To abide by the ethical considerations, the researcher needs to inform the participants about all the activities taking part in the research and make informed consent from them before starting research work. The information that participants are entitled to be aware of is as following:
- Purpose of the research project
- The expected outcome of the search
- The adverse effect of the research on the participants
- Who is funding the research project and how that funding will be used.
The reason for taking informed consent from the participants is that they will be aware of what they are getting themselves into. If they are aware of the research purpose, they can decide whether they want to participate in the research.
In addition to this, participants are also entitled to ask for additional information if they have any doubts or become anxious in the middle of the research. Once you clear all the participants’ doubts, you can ask them to sign a consent form.
The form will act as a sign of trust between the researcher and the participants.
One of the most important ethical considerations is the confidentiality of the information provided by the participant. The meaning of privacy is that any information related to participants or provided by the participants can’t be made available or accessed by anyone other than the researcher under no circumstances.
The information is only used only to protect the participants from the outside threat.
Moreover, confidentiality also ensures that participants’ identifying information is not mentioned in the research reports or any other published documents. The participants are always referred to as anonymous in the research reports.
In addition to this, the research is required to keep in mind that the information or output about the participants is mentioned in such a way so that no one can identify it.
5. The risk to the participant
Previously, we learned that the participants should be informed about the study’s nature and risks associated with it. However, if the risk is high for the participant than the benefit they gain from it, then in such a case, the study should be abandoned.
The risk can be either physical or psychological. The study should be suspended in case the participants are getting stressed, anxious, or in pain.
6. The anonymity of the participants
Keeping the anonymity of the participant is very crucial in the study process. The participants should also not be known to the research team. The research team should never be aware of the participants’ names and should refer to the participants by the “subject number” name.
Participants’ anonymity is very difficult to follow as most of the participants are known to the researchers, and it is human nature to interact with one another when they work together.
7. A sampling of the participants
Sampling is one of the initial tasks that a researcher must perform before starting the research work. The researcher is needed to explain why he selected a specific group of participants for the study purpose and why he has not included certain people.
All of this information should be clear and should be provided to the funders and participants if they have any objections about your sampling style.
8. Accessibility to only relevant information
When participants sign on the consent form, they give consent to provide only relevant information for the research purpose. That means the researchers can’t use them as guinea pigs to gather information about any topic that interests them.
Legally, a researcher can’t ask any questions other than the questions related to the research purpose. The participants have the right to walk out of the research if they feel any violation of the accessibility of information.
Therefore, it is always suggested that the researchers use as simple as possible research methods and explain everything in detail to the participants to avoid repercussions related to the violation of ethical considerations.
9. Integrity and transparency
Another ethical issue that might arise in research is the issue of honesty and transparency. A researcher needs to make sure that they maintain integrity and transparency in front of the ethical committee.
A researcher is expected to share all the potential conflicts of interest that might affect their research work.
Ethical considerations are the principles that must be followed in conducting any type of research. Ethical considerations make sure that no human rights are violated, and research being conducted has no hidden agenda.