Ethical principles and guidelines constitute an important part of conducting research. Hence, it is of paramount importance that every researcher should be aware of the ethical aspect that is required to take into account while involved in a research project. It is a known fact many researchers face an ethical dilemma. Moreover, many are the victims of unfortunate journal rejections or retractions due to non-adherence to ethical principles. Therefore, the Importance of Ethics is unquestionable.
It is especially important to comprehend the difference between acceptable and unacceptable conduct, particularly when human beings or animals are a part of the study. Considering the competitive nature of research, it becomes a vital challenge for the scientific community to report developing unique research. Despite that, the practice of misreporting data coupled with scientific outcomes continues unabated.
Perhaps, the most glaring examples of how research misconduct can jeopardize the lives of people. An example, in this case, was a surgeon named Paolo Macchiarini, who became famous for his supposed medical breakthrough that gave hope of revolutionizing organ transplantation.
Unfortunately, it revealed that a sound preclinical research base did not back up his experiment on the human being; consequently, out of nine people, seven of them who received his treatment lost their lives.
It proved by conducting several investigations that Macchiarini had fabricated, omitting data in his published scientific publication, and he was trying hard to look at his treatment to seem successful. It has severe repercussions resulting in the dismissal of many authorities from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Generally, examining non-adherence to ethical terms is undoubtedly difficult, and to some extent, maintaining a clear distinction between misunderstanding and misconduct is tough to ascertain. In general, researchers are usually needed to ensure adherence to ethical requirements at the time of scientific research, consisting of incorporation of studies and proper design that require human or animal experiments.
In order to avoid scientific misconduct that includes plagiarism, data fabrication, etc., it follows safety and environmental regulations, and sticking to norms in terms of intellectual property and authorship, and maintains confidential agreements.
Ethics committees play a pivotal role in explaining the standard required to be satisfied for research ethics and making sure that they are rightly attended to. Notable research policies regarding research ethics are incorporated by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the American Chemical Society. Notwithstanding the scandal that rocked scientific research, including Paolo Macchiarini, the awareness regarding research ethics seems to be increasing significantly in the scientific community.
Following are some of the rough and general principles that address various codes of conduct. Let’s walk through it.
Maintain honesty in all scientific communication. It includes the procedure, methods, report data, and publication status. Do not indulge in data fabrication or misrepresentation of data. Restrain from deceiving research sponsors, colleagues, or the public.
Strictly avoid bias in experimental data analysis, design, peer review, data interpretation, expert testimony, and other viral aspects of research that greatly require objectivity, and also avoid self-deception.
Maintain your agreements and promise – aspire for thought and action consistency, and work with sincerity.It is a means that permits others to develop confidence and trust in the methods employed to find the results.
Mindful of negligence and errors- It is necessary to critically analyze your work and peers' work. Maintain a good research records activity, like research design, data gathering, and corresponding with journals.
Share tools, ideas, data, and results and embrace new concepts and criticism.Openness is considered an important aspect in research and is being increasing adopted by many organizations, It opens a floodgate public benefits by offering a wide gamut of access to research material, publication and data.. It ultimately gives an opportunity for organization to invest for initiative research
You are open to disclosing assumptions, methods, materials, and other relevant information required to analyze your research.Its importance lies, in fact, in ensuring that studies can be rephrased by other researchers involved in this realm, and it assists in the appropriate dissemination and interpretation of the results by the investors and stakeholders
You should take accountability for your research and prepare to provide an account. It means what you did in your research project and the reasons for that.
You should honor copyrights, patients, and other types of intellectual property. It is important not to publish unpublished data or results without prior permission. You should give proper respect to all contributions to research. You never resort to plagiarism.
It is of utmost importance to protect confidential communications, like grants provided for personnel records, publication, patient records, military secrets, etc.
You can publicize for the sake of advanced scholarship and research and avoid being projected for your advanced career. Strive to avoid duplicative and wasteful publication.
Guide and mentor students so that they make their own decisions.Monitoring research is important to ensure good compliance, research conduct accompanying conditions that detect the clear managerial arrangements conducted by the supervisor staff, and ethical review
It is a very important consideration to treat your colleagues with respect. When you show respect to your colleagues, it assists you whenever you turn to them regarding ideas based on several issues. In doing so, it leads to generating more creativity and enhanced collaboration. As a result, work gets more efficient and done quickly.
Support social good and prevent social evils through advocacy, research, and public education. . Researchers have a moral responsibility to share their new knowledge with society. It conveys in a way to the general public to develop informed decisions. So, it is an important consideration, no doubt
Eschew discrimination against students or colleagues in terms of caste, creed, sex, or other things unrelated to scientific integrity and competence.
Try to enhance your professional competency through learning and lifelong education, and take the initiative to promote proficiency in science.As a result, it helps all, regardless of the background of the people
Be aware of the law and adherence to governmental and institutional policies.Moreover, the most vital legal and ethical considerations are directed at research participants. This is in view of safeguarding the dignity, respect, and protection of the research participants
Take proper care and respect for the animal at the time of using them in research. . It is seen that many animals in the world are directed for entertainment, food, medicine, fashion etc. Not to indulge in unnecessary animal experiments.
It is of utmost importance at the time of conducting research on human subjects that includes reducing risks and harms, maximizing benefits, respecting the dignity of humans, treating with utmost caution vulnerable populations, and sharing the benefits with them.
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It is apparent from the above discussion how important it is to maintain Ethics Theory when you are conducting scientific research. Non-compliance with ethics can create a helluva of problems.