What are ethics? According to BBC, “ethics is a system of moral principles.” They are decisions that sets what is proper and improper or what’s right or wrong in life. Ethics can also be described as norms of conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. (Resnik, D 2012)
It is hard to put a point on why some disagrees in many situations as different individuals understand, apply, or look into ethics differently even thought majority of us were being taught moral norms at social settings such as school or even at home. As stated by National Institute Health of Environmental Health Science, ethical norms are so prevalent and extensive that individuals might consider them as common knowledge.
Despite it being a common sense, ethical issues and controversy are being challenged everyday. So why is it important to apply ethics in research? There are a number of reasons to why it is important to be extremely ethical in all research:
- The main aim for research that portrays accurate and truthful knowledge without any errors such as forging or misinterpreting should be forbidden.
- Values in collaboration with other researches: A research might be done with the collaboration with other researches that involves plenty of coordination thus, we must be absolutely honest, fair and respectful with one another to avoid complications. For example, this can also be seen through the reinforcement of copyrights and data sharing policies to protect the credibility of researches.
- Ethics are also important to prove accountability to the public. For example, some research are done through the funding of the publics thus publics are entitled to know the in and out of the research and all to protect the individuals security.
- Being ethical in conducting a research also encourage the importance of social and moral values. For instance, an individual’s human rights or animal welfare might be in jeopardise when a researcher is not being ethical in their research by forging the data and information collected. This might harm individuals especially in medical researches when there are no set regulations and might cause danger in the health and safety of the patients being researched on.
On top of all the reasons to be ethical in conducting a research, individuals are eligible to have their privacy maintained confidential or to be known as anonymous in the research.
McCutcheon, M 2015, Lecture 3 Research Ethics, powerpoint slides, BCM210 Researches Practice in Media and Communication, University of Wollongong, viewed 6 April.
Resnik, D.B. 2011, What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important? National Institute of Environmental Health Science, viewed 6 April, <http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/>