Ethical principles are a set of guidelines that need to be followed to enable a piece of research to take place.
All 6 of the principles need to pass for the research to be able to go forward. I have written the principle and then explained them a little to make them easier to understand:
- Research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken to ensure integrity and quality. For this principle you would need to ask yourself questions such as: Is the research worth doing, can you make sure that the research will obtain quality results and is conducted in the best way possible.
- Research staff and subjects must be informed fully about the purpose, methods and intended possible uses of the research, what their participation in the research entails and what risks, if any, are involved.
Some variation is allowed in very specific and exceptional research contexts for which detailed guidance is provided in the policy guidelines.
To make sure that this principle is followed you will need to make sure that any participants in the research are fully informed of what the research entails, what they are expected to do and the outcome of the research.
They may also need to sign an informed consent form. If this is not done then the research may not pass ethical guidelines.
- The confidentiality of information supplied by research subjects and the anonymity of respondents must be respected. While the research is being conducted and after you will have to confirm that all participant will remain anonymous unless they agree to otherwise.
- Research participants must participate in a voluntary way, free from any coercion. Can you guarantee that the participants have really volunteered to be part of the research and they have not been forced to in some way?
- Harm to research participants must be avoided. This principle is pretty easy to understand, Although it refers not only to physical harm but also psychological and emotional.
- The independence of research must be clear, and any conflicts of interest or partiality must be explicit. You must make sure that the design of the research will ensure that there will be no conflicts of interest when the research is being carried out.