Research Paper: Ethical Standards in Research

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Ethical Standards in Research

Research has become a part of the modern educational system. In all fields of study, research data and papers are used to test a pupil's knowledge and assess their skills to deal and grip a specific scenario that is presented to them. These scenarios can be in various forms, one such being case studies and research-based papers. For the purpose of completing their research papers, students are allowed to access information from various other resources which can be in the forms of books, journal papers, news articles, etc. All the external data that has been selected to complete a research paper cannot be deemed to be the work of the student writing the research paper. All the authors and owners of the external works selected to be included in the research paper have to be given recognition. This recognition is given to them by the student in the form of citations of references that are included in the research paper. With such citations, the user of the research paper is assured that the preparer of the research paper is not solely responsible for the information and data included in the research paper, but works of other authors and writers have been included to aid in the completion of the research paper and attaining its research purpose. Such citation of resources is done to ensure the user of the research paper that the author does not take undue credit for the external information that has been included in the research paper. In this manner, the credit goes to the original publisher of the information, while the information is further used in the research papers of different authors whilst maintaining the ethical standards that revolve around the preparing of the research paper.

Ethical Research

An ethical approach to things can be understood as one where a person follows the norms of conduct that differentiate between the behavioral aspects that are considered to be acceptable or non-acceptable in the prevailing culture, society or field. These behavioral aspects vary from person to person as everyone tends to interpret and apply these in the manner they consider most ethical based on their own experiences, values and knowledge. A similar ethical approach is adopted whist preparing a research paper in the field of study. Commonly, a research paper involves involvement of information from participation and coordination with different people and resources. An ethical approach here would include promoting the vital values that are important for working in collaboration. Such an approach would also ensure that the intellectual property of a person is protected. In such manner, a research paper can utilize information from various sources to fulfill its purpose while maintaining the ethical, moral and social values. There are various codes, guideline and policies that are generally considered to be related to ethics in research. These include honesty, integrity, objectivity, openness, carefulness, respect for intellectual property, confidentiality, responsible publication and mentoring, social responsibility, competence, legality, non-discrimination, and mutual respect (Resnik, 2011).

Plagiarism

One of the most common vice in the field of ethical research is plagiarism. This term is understood to be the most serious issue that academics have to face when they are involved in preparing a research paper. In lay man's terms, plagiarism can be understood as the copying the data of another individual or source in one's own work, which involves copying complete texts or wordings as mentioned in the primary source without properly referring to or citing the source. The copying can be to an extent of complete wordings and language structures or only few continuous words that are used in the primary source. This vice completely strips off the research paper being prepared from its credibility as the author shows no or little attention towards attaining an ethical approach in the preparation of the research paper.

Plagiarism is mostly common amongst young academics, such as college students who target quick work over quality and credibility of their work. It is common for the teachers and research professors to completely ignore or require the student to rewrite the research paper in order to prevent or minimize plagiarism at a tolerable level. The prevalent academic and research culture considers plagiarism so much unacceptable that is mostly considered equivalent to cheating. Just like any common disease, it is better to be preventive rather than suffer from the consequences and act subsequently to a review of the research paper. Prevention can be targeted from both, the students and the teachers or mentors. Students can prevent from embarking upon a plagiarism spree by ensuring all research sources for the research paper are utilized in an effective manner, i.e. that no copying or cheating of any information without properly referring it in their research paper. Teachers or mentors can prevent this vice from spreading by choosing such a topic for the purpose of research that is almost completely different and uncommon so that students and peers are less likely to locate information to plagiarize from the internet and incorporate them in their own work (Hansen, Stith, & Tesdell, 2011).

Informed Consent

A research paper is considered to be incomplete until or unless external source data that is independent from the perspective of the candidate who is preparing the research paper has been taken. This happens so because students are unlikely to embark upon complete researches to complete their paper due to various reasons such as limitation of time, guidance, financial resources, etc. Therefore, as a substitute, information from other sources is taken to aid the student in presenting, explaining, and justifying the conclusion of the research paper. Often the information that is being cited in the research papers is taken directly from the provider of the external source. In such a case, the ethical approach in researches requires that an informed consent is obtained from the external party, which has become an ethical norm in the field research (Franklin G. Miller, 2008). In most cases, informed consent also falls under the blanket of the law and is required legally as well, and an informed consent process is followed which is acceptable legally. Informed consent involves the researcher or investigator to inform the external party about the research and provide complete relevant information so that the external party can make a decision based on all the facts presented to him or her. In such a manner, the external party is able to freely decide whether to become a part of the research or not given the scenario. However, the consent provided by the external party must be completely based on a clear understanding of the research topic and the reason the external party is being asked to be a subject to external information relevant to the research paper. The attaining of such an informed consent enables the student or candidate to prepare an accurate research report that has acceptable credibility and includes information that is not used without the permission or consent of the external party. Such an informed consent must be taken in the form of a signed fact sheet or participation information sheet, which would include the information about the study, the purpose for which the external party's aid is required, the possible risks and benefits of participating in the study and a statement of confidentiality. When a complete signed participation sheet is received by the researcher, only then it can be considered to have up upheld the integrity and care that would be vital to meet the ethical standards of scientific research.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The usage of data and information of others always involves the risk of affecting privacy and confidentiality. Ethical standards for scientific research require that in order to complete a research, it is ensured that the privacy and confidentiality of a candidate or external source is not affected without the knowledge and approval of that source. It has become marginally simple for candidates conducting research to obtain information from the internet without the awareness of the original author or source. This extracted information might have an adverse impact on the privacy and confidentiality of the original author if used in the research paper. Therefore it becomes a requirement of ethics to seek approval or consent prior to engaging in obtaining such sensitive information that can create a negative impact on the external source such as any harm or embarrassment as a consequence of the research.

Data Handling and Reporting

One very important aspect of ethics in scientific research is the handling and reporting of the data in the research paper. Whilst this area does not involve any externalities in the preparation of the research paper, the liability of the data presented in the research completely lies upon the researcher. It is unethical to falsify or fabricate information in the research paper as research papers become external sources for future references in other research projects. Any false or fabricated information can mislead the user of the research paper, and can consequently result in an incorrect research report being… [END OF PREVIEW]

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