Value of Ethics in Research

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The Value of Ethics in Developing a Research Study

In order to create an accurate and effective survey for a research study, ethical values must be considered.  Not only must the value of ethics be looked at from the viewpoint of the researcher, it must also be interpreted through the eyes of the subject being surveyed.  Both parties have rights and responsibilities with regard to the research being performed. 

The survey developer should be able to present, in the end, a clear and accurate analysis of data that is as unspoiled as possible.  The responder should also be honest and straightforward when it comes to answering questions as a subject of research.  These statements seem very simple, but there are still other levels to the ethics involved in creating a complete and true project.

In any research study, the people who have the most vested into the work are the developers.  Therefore, they seem to have the hardest job, and also the most to consider when it comes to the issue of ethics.  In order to paint a truthful picture of what they are trying to convey, they have to remember to be objective. 

The purpose of research is research, and they must report the data they collect precisely and accurately.  They should not misrepresent themselves or what they are studying.  What they do also reflects on the institution or individuals that they are representing.  They have a job to be as professional as possible, and part of that responsibility entails being respectful towards the subjects that they are interviewing. 

 As researchers, they have an obligation to protect the responders’ rights to confidentiality, and they cannot use any information unless they have permission.  It is also a duty of the developers to assess the data appropriately and not to reach conclusions that are not consistent with the information that has been collected. 

 Not only should the researchers want to present a factual investigation to their target audience, whether it be a select group or the general public, but they should also want to accurately portray the responses of their subjects.  They should respect the fact that the responders chose to take part in the study and represent them truthfully.      

Being truthful seems to be a heavy theme in the area of research, and it is also the main, and most important responsibility of the subjects participating in the study.  The responders have the obligation to be honest, because by taking part in the project, they have committed themselves to creating an accurate investigation.  However, they also have a right to privacy.  They can choose not to answer certain questions, and to not have certain facts about themselves published.  It is also the right of the subjects to be informed about the research in which they are taking part.  It is their choice whether or not to participate in a study, and they have a right to know what is being researched before they agree to get involved.

Ethics is an issue that comes into play in many areas of life, and research is no exception.  The researchers and the subjects both have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to being involved in a study.  Each party should understand the role they play in an investigation, and if they cannot fulfill their obligations, then they should just walk away. 

The value of ethics for everyone contributing to a research study is very important in order to maintain the integrity of the final product.  Deception in any form not only hurts the developers of the project, but it can also have consequences for the institutions or individuals the researchers represent, as well as the subjects taking part in the study.  The best policy is to be honest, respect the rights of those involved, and analyze the data accurately.  With this approach, it will be hard to go wrong when developing a research study.

More about this author: Michelle Aggson

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