Ethics for Research Design

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At the time of writing out your research paper and forming your research design, there are certain ethical principles which you have to be mindful of and adhere to. Here is a list of certain tenets which you should follow as far as far as possible.

First, try and be objective in your research design. The attempt should be to make sure that your design does not contain a bias. Further, try and avoid any possible bias in data interpretation and analysis, peer review, writing and other aspects of research where you are required to demonstrate your objectivity. Make sure that you are disclosing and declaring any personal or economic interests which could impact your research.

Further, be honest as far as possible throughout your research design. Use honesty in data gathering and reporting, culling out information, using methods and techniques and also during publication. Avoid fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation of data. Never try to deceive you colleagues, grant making agencies or the readership.

Carefulness is another key tenet: do not be careless or negligent: be cautious in scrutinizing your work as well as the work of others. Make sure to maintain proper archives and records of all research work including data, design and any correspondence that you may have made with agencies and journals. Integrity is of prime importance in your research, you must make efforts to be consistent as well.

All research is ultimately a public exercise. Hence make sure that you exhibit openness in sharing information, outcomes, thoughts, methods and sources. Be welcoming of criticism and fresh ways of thinking. A crucial aspect of any research is showing due regard for copyrights, patents and any other type of intellectual property. Do not make usage of data which is not published or apply methods or techniques without permission, if it is needed. Make sure to provide credit where it is due. Proper acknowledgments and citations go a long way for good research, and do not plagiarize at any cost.

You will also need to exercise confidentiality so as not to compromise certain restricted information such as military or trade secrets or patient records.

When you publish, the larger aim should be to further the extension of knowledge and research in your area, and not just to give a boost to your own career.  Overall, your research should focus on bringing about societal welfare or strive to reduce social evil by means of research, publication and advocacy.

It is necessary for you to follow these rules at the time of forming your research design. Any research or study which is suspected of being unethical or not having adhered to ethical standards of academics is usually frowned upon. A small unethical action could compromise not just your standing as a researcher, but in fact adversely impact the credibility of your entire research. Preparing a research design is a lengthy task. Be prepared to devote adequate time and try not to take short cuts which might tempt you to take an unethical route.