Study Notes On Research Ethics: For UGC NET Exam Paper 1

By Mohit Choudhary|Updated : June 6th, 2022


Research Ethics

1. Research Ethics

  • These are the set of belief or fundamental principles of decent human behaviour that is accepted as societal norms. It mainly consists of values such as equality, obedience to the law etc. At the beginning of the research, there was no ethics or guidelines are maintained in conducting research. 
  • Research Ethics are some of the moral principles that are followed by a researcher in conducting research so that it meets the scientific competence and pure best results. Research Ethics mostly promote values that are essential for collective work and those values are trust, mutual respect, and accountability.
  • It makes the researcher accountable to the public so that participants would take part in the research by themselves. It also helps in bringing out the truth by avoiding manipulation.
  • There are different stakeholders in Research Ethics and their social responsibility is to serve the society. Main stakeholders in Research Ethics are the researcher himself/herself, the participants, the research community, the regulatory bodies, publishers and the society as a whole.
  • Some of the basic tenants of Research Ethics are Honesty, Accuracy, Efficiency and Objectivity. (Question can be expected from these tenants).

2. Basic Tenants of Research Ethics


3. Principles for Research Ethics

Research Ethics should have some principles or guidelines which is also known as the Belmont Report as Belmont was the 1st person who initiated with the principles of Research Ethics. Those principles are discussed here:

  1. Principle of respect for human dignity: Humans i.e. the participants should be treated as autonomous agents so that they control their own activities. The researcher should make the person aware of the nature of the study, its responsibility and they have also the right to refuse participation. There should be no discrimination or bias on the part of researcher against any individual on the basis of caste, class, sex, race, religion etc., as these factors are not related to scientific competence. Research ethics should also include the protection of human and animal subjects.
  2. Transparency and Accountability: There should be honesty in reporting the data, results and methods used in conducting research. Openness in sharing data, results, ideas, tools and resources would make the study open for criticism and this would result in the creation of new ideas. The study conducted by the researcher should maintain objectivity so that it avoids bias in research design, data analysis and peer-review. 
  3. Confidentiality is maintained: While conducting research one must maintain confidentiality in the context of communication, personal records and privacy issues. For instance, sensitive studies such as a study on election scenario etc. one must maintain confidentiality, as the participants might not want to disclose its identity to the public.

4. Research Ethics in the Academic Profession

  • Research Ethics is a must for Academic Field. Research misconduct would erase the proper meaning of ethics in research.
  • Misconduct in Research mainly emphasis on making up of data without any collection of it, manipulation of research materials in order to change the accurate result.
  • Even plagiarism also comes under research misconduct where one took the ideas, results and words from another research work without giving any appropriation.
  • Duplicate publication/submission of research findings, misrepresentation of research findings and use of fraudulent data to support a hypothesis or claim are also a violation of Research Ethics in Academic field. Therefore, Researcher while conducting research should respect intellectual property rights such as patent, copyrights etc. Thus all ethical decision taken by individuals is relative to own conscience and should be judged on the basis of some universal code.

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