Creative Writing: Ethics Research the Role

Pages: 7 (1946 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Business - Ethics  ·  Buy This Paper

Ethics Research

The role of research and science is very important in today's society. In many ways, this social class dictates much of what is accepted as truth. With this burden, comes a great responsibility that requires those who do research, on a professional academic level, to exceed normal expectations of ethical behavior. There is simply too much to risk in avoiding ethical mistakes, as this type of exposure rips down foundations of credibility that have taken decades of struggle to construct.

The purpose of this essay is to describe the ethical guidelines that will formulate my research behavior and practices throughout my continued academic pursuits. This report will discuss all aspects of doctoral research and the ethical principles that lie beneath them. Also, this document explores how I will incorporate specific practices that will be employed throughout this program while illustrating their ethical meaning in order to demonstrate my ability to apply these ideas to a real world situation.

This essay will address the following issues and how they relate to my ethical pursuits: plagiarism, risk assessment, informed consent, privacy issues, data handling and reporting, mistakes and negligence, working with a mentor and the requirements for IRB approval. Each of these topic will be addressed in order and will formulate a larger picture of the applied ethical principles I have attached to my learning.

General Principles

Ethics is a very subjective idea and no set of ethics can be considered superior to another. A properly applied ethical principle is one that is generally accepted by a well defined community that subscribes to the essence and history of that idea. The American Psychological Association (APA) described five guiding general principles that they claim apply to the ethical practice of professional research. These include the following:

- Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

- Fidelity and Responsibility

- Integrity

- Justice

- Respect for People's Rights and Dignity

Contained within each one of these principles are precise definitions applying to very large and general approaches. Although these are important rules of thumb to honor, much more is needed than words. The means and methods that are practiced say much more about an ethical approach than a simple declaration of principles.

To me, it is much more simpler than the APA's helpful guidelines. A belief in something larger than myself must be considered in order to maintain an ethical outlook. Understanding that there is an obligation to honor the trust that has been placed in me by a strong and well-known educational institution is very important. I also have an obligation to myself to perform ethically. Previous unethical behavior has left me feeling empty and angry. It appears much more is at stake as a professional student and losing honor is a very difficult and impractical stigma to have attached to one's work.

There is much more to ethical principles than merely protecting me the researcher from shame and embarrassment. The goal of research, scientific knowledge, is at stake every time a research project begins. Research is meant to extend and expand human knowledge beyond what is already known. Knowledge can only enter the domain of science however after it has been vetted and independently judged as valid and the methods have been proven reliable.

The National Academy of Sciences published a guide for conduct that provided a very thorough and descriptive model of acceptable behavior for aspiring researchers. A very convincing statement appeared in an appeal for ethical behavior within this guide: " by considering all these obligations -- toward other researchers, toward oneself, and toward the public -- a researcher is more likely to make responsible choices. When beginning researchers are learning these obligations and standards of science, the advising and mentoring of more-experienced scientists is essential, " (p.3).

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is research misconduct of the highest source. This practice is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit. This is sometimes difficult to understand. In some ways everything idea is based off a previous idea. Credit is not always given once things become generally accepted and the idea is somehow publicly owned. In other ways this idea is problematic because it suggests that an idea or concept is important only because of who said it. This classic logical ad hominem fallacy is unfortunately one of the practices of professional academics and the rules avoiding this practice must be followed.

Plagiarism comes in two different forms. Self-plagiarism is another practice to avoid. This occurs when the verbatim copying or reuse of one's own research is used as a substitute for new and current work.

To minimize the risk of plagiarism in my own research practices, I will adhere to the rule of the published citation rules of this department, currently APA's guidelines. This is difficult however, due to the mass amounts of information that is downloaded during the review of literature. Learning is happening all the time, and ideas that I credit to myself are often rehashed ideas from a previous author. It is therefore important to add my own personal interpretation and, at the same time, avoid injecting bias into my research. This is a very difficult position to balance but it is always best to give credit to an someone else when in doubt.

Risk Assessment

Research can be risky in many different ways. While the physical risks associated with research are generally slight, there are other dangers to consider when conducting personal research projects. Regardless of preconceived notions, a risk assessment will be conducted before any research is started. This may be a simple procedure, but knowing and understanding risks involved will help the experience run smoothly and effectively. A simple checklist can provide all the necessary reminders that will ensure that any future research project will be conducted in a safe manner.

Informed Consent

Smith (2003) wrote " when done properly, the consent process ensures that individuals are voluntarily participating in the research with full knowledge of relevant risks and benefits." This statement is important to remember while engaged within the research process. Although my future research will most likely not rely on other people's informed consent, this issue is still important to include in this discussion due to the often surprising paths some research places us upon. Ethically speaking, informing participants about the research that will be conducted on them should be in depth as possible, including discussing the purpose, the participants rights, any foreseeable adverse or risky effects, incentives for participation and the prospective benefits of the research.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The fifth principle outlined in the introduction, respect for people's rights and dignity, is the cornerstone to ethical treatment of an individual's privacy and confidentiality in dealing with research. Today's world this value is often up for grabs and the need for trust within academic institutions is needed very badly. To guarantee privacy within my research efforts, I will ensure proper legal paperwork is filled out and notify everyone I come in contact with their rights regarding their privacy. This may be important when doing qualitative research and gathering opinions about sensitive information.

Data Handling and Reporting

The ways in which researchers handle and report their information is one of the largest pratfalls that arise for research efforts. This process usually culminates in the publishing of some written work documenting the research experience, confirming or denying a hypothesis. During the many stages of this process, problems may arise. An exciting discovery can be distorted by emotion and the risk of falsifying or exaggerating data can threaten the ethical integrity of the effort. To ensure this does not happen, using other's opinions and input as a safeguard will be beneficial. Using disciplined and precise recording measures will also help protect my research against mishandling or misreporting.

Mistakes and Negligence

Sloppy and lazy research can have harmful repercussions as well as threaten the ethical purity of a researcher. Some mistakes are honest mistakes-even a careful and conscientious person might make them. Others are sloppy or careless-they show insufficient care to meet some standards. However, not all standards are ethical standards. Therefore, some, but not all, careless mistakes are ethically blameworthy. Misleading colleagues and mentors impedes progress and hampers a researchers ability to regain credibility as it undermines their own authority.

Patience is a virtue in research and hastily formed arguments usually fail. For these reasons it is imperative to ensure that a careful and precise approach is used throughout the entire research process. Clearly distinguishing recklessness or negligence from fraud prepares the way to clarify the circumstances that contribute to ethical wrongdoing in research.

Working with a Mentor

Mentoring is a very important part of the research process. Mentoring is central to promoting responsible conduct in all areas of research since mentors function as role models and are often the primary means by which professional standards are informally communicated. A good mentor will demonstrate both professional and social responsibility in the context of research. Mentors may come in all different forms including… [END OF PREVIEW]

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