Ethics in Research

Posted: November 30th, 2013

Ethics in Research






Ethics in Research


            Ethics is an essential part of research that should be practiced through out the research project. During the research design stage, the researcher should present an application for ethical approval. The researcher needs to show interest in complying with the ethical issues that may affect the project. This should be practiced even when the ethical approval is not necessary. In this stage, ethical issues may arise in the determination of the sample size required for the research. It will be unethical for the researcher to involve people in a research where the results do not correspond with the findings. When the results collected are not sufficient, the researcher will have wasted the participants’ time. On the other hand, it is also unethical to involve more participants in than required in the research. Therefore, the researcher should only involve enough participants when designing the research (Sales & Folkman, 2005).

Data collection

            In the data collection process, ethical issues that may arise involve issues such as the customers receiving unusual treatment. The persons responsible for the data collection process may not know how to deal well with the respondents. This may lead to the collection of inaccurate data since the respondent may portray some hostility. In addition, the research schedule may fail to match with the respondents needs. The respondent may feel uncomfortable in answering the questions. This is because he may feel the information to be provided is sensitive and confidential. Therefore, this may force the person involved in the data collection to terminate the process. There may be bias in the choice and place of data collection. In addition, the data collected may not be accurate. This will be unethical. Some of the respondents may feel that the data collection process is a waste of their time. Therefore, they may refuse to engage in the data collection process. The persons responsible for collecting the data should be competent and have excellent communication skills in order to enable the respondents to give them time.


            In this stage, it will be unethical for the data analysis to be unlawful. The people analyzing the data should practice ethics associated with the analysis of the data. It will also be unethical for the data to be analyzed incorrectly. Accuracy and efficiency should be practiced in the data collection process in order to produce exceptional results. Invading the privacy of the linking databases responsible for the analysis is also unethical. Privacy of the data stored should be practiced. The persons responsible for the data analysis process should also be competent and highly skilled. It will be unethical to employ persons that are not skilled. This will affect the overall analysis of the research rendering it useless. In addition, the practice of bias in the analysis process will be unethical. The analysis should focus on benefiting the research and not on fulfilling personal interests.

How to ensure research is conducted ethically

To ensure the research is conducted ethically, the researcher should ensure the people involved in carrying out the research are competent. The people should be highly skilled in the research area. This will reduce the unethical cases such as bias and inaccuracy in the data collection practice. During the design stage, enough respondents should be involved in the research. In addition, the research should produce an accurate outcome. In the analysis phase, the people involved in analyzing the data collected should be competent. They should ensure the analysis is accurate. The practices they engage in when analyzing the data should be lawful. This will enable presenting accurate and correct data to the public or to the people requiring the data (Gregory, 2003).


Gregory, I. (2003). Ethics in research. London: Continuum.

Sales, B. D., & Folkman, S. (2005). Ethics in research with human participants. Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.

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