It is important to take
an ethical approach to any research projects. Ethical research could mean that
people are less likely to become upset as a result of a research project.
Researchers have the duty
of confidentiality towards participants and the duty to protect them from harm.
They should treat participants are capable of making their own judgements and
decisions, and will not make up their answers. Researchers should explain the
aims of the research and also inform participants on how information and data
obtained will be used.
Unethical research could
include accessing a site for research without permission such as walking into a
school to question children without permission, which could be seen as very
alarming. It is important for researchers to negotiate access to access any
sites they wish to visit to prevent any alarm.
By signing informed
consent documents, research participants agree to an insight in to their
private life by giving informed consent for a specified purpose and a specified
period of time. It should be completely voluntary. It is important for
researchers to be honest about the intended purpose and time scale.
It could be seen as
morally wrong to not take an ethical approach approach. Honesty is very
respect the rights of participants in their research. Participants have the
right to know the purpose of the research and the intended use of the results.
Keeping intentions, for example, to publish the results in a national newspaper
would be unethical as participants may wish their input to the research to
remain confidential.For example, recording somebody without permission would be
unethical and they may find it very rude, just as if someone was to take
someone’s photo without permission. This type of research still happens
regardless, such as during suspect investigation by detectives. Voluntary
participation is a main ethical factor involved in research. All participants
must have knowledge of their participation.
Research should be
published responsibly and maybe in a way which can advance research and instead
of in a way which only helps yourself. Raising more questions may even give a
paid-researcher more opportunities. It may be more ethical if research helps
more people than just the researcher.
Integrity is important.
Promises and agreements should be held to truth consistency. A participant
shouldn’t be promised something just for the researcher to go against their
word. For example
Research should also be
carried out in a way where potential physical or psychological harm or
discomfort is not likely. This can be making sure socially and morally
unacceptable material such as graphic images are not used in research. For
example, if researching knife crime, it would not be good idea to show a
picture of a stabbing victim.
Ethical standards promote
values needed for collaborative work, such as trust and fairness. For example, ethical
research normalities, such as guidelines for copyright, data sharing policies
are there to protect intellectual property. Researchers will most likely want
to receive credit for their work and not have it stolen.
Ethical normalities in
research can build participant support for research. People may be more likely
to take part in a research project if they trust its purpose.
Unethical research could
cause harm. For example, if a researcher who is inspecting machinery parts
fabricates his test data, he could put his and others’ health and safety at
It is important to have
Openness. This may be by Sharing data and results even if they were not the
ones desired. Being open to criticism and new ideas is important.
Photography could have an
ethical factor related to research. It would be-unfair to use the photo of someone
without their permission, linking back to voluntary participation and also
liking to anonymity.
Participants have the
right to remain anonymous. They should not have the names published if they do
not wish to.
Fabricating data may be
unethical. Stating that a Peron said something when they didn’t could be
creating false and unreliable data with no or little validity.
All ethical values should
be put into practise (Nind et el 2005)
Ethical problems that may
arise from data storage include who has access to the data storage, and how
confidential the files are. Confidentiality is important especially if
participants wish to stay anonymous. Paper document security is also an issue.
If research materials are stolen or seen by somebody else, they could use that
information and publish it without the participant permission, which the
participant could be unhappy with.
Considerations into the
ethical storage of data will need to include how data will be stored, who will
have access to the data and how they will be able to access data. Also,
possibly how long the data will be stored for.
Losing a USB stick that
contains research data is a problem, but it is less of a problem if the stick is
password protected. Ensuring how secure
files need to be is an ethical factor. Data storage devises with much more
personal information may need higher security. It may be difficult to figure
out how much enough is, and if the efforts taken to secure data are enough.
It is also important to
make sure research complies with the data protection Act 1998.
Data Protection Act 1998 is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament designed to
protect personal data stored on computers or in an organised paper filing system.
It follows the EU Data Protection Directive 1995 protection, processing and
movement of data. Individuals have legal rights to control information about
themselves (Gov UK 2017).
Hacking could also be an
issue. Files stored on ‘The Cloud’ could be a cause for concern, and could
raise questions on the security levels of the cloud, who has access to the
files and if they are safe from damage such as fire. These files could also be