Assignment 1: Research Paper and Ethics
This assignment provides you with an opportunity to ascertain any explicit or implicit ethical issues and considerations in your literature reviews and research papers.
For this assignment, review data-gathering methods, validation, sampling, and research studies—all of the resources used in the development of your papers—in terms of any ethical considerations or issues raised.
Relative to this, discuss the following with your classmates in a minimum of 500–600 words:
What are the key ethical issues you have discovered or may have inferred during your review of the literature?
How and where will you incorporate discussion of ethical issues as you write your research paper?
How do your research and that of the authors and scholars you reviewed relate to the ethical principles of beneficence, nonmal feasance, autonomy, and justice?
You may use your textbook, previous course material available, or the Argosy University online library resources for a basic review of ethics in the behavioral sciences. You might also refer to the Webliography of this course to read about the American Psychological Association (APA) code of ethics.
Research Paper on Ethics
Key Ethical Issues
Plagiarism is one of the key ethical issues to consider. Plagiarism refers to the use of another person’s words, ideas, findings, processes, and findings without giving proper acknowledgement of the source (Committee on Science et al., 2009). Plagiarism may arise either due to failure of an individual to credit the sources of particular information or applying inappropriate methods while crediting the sources.
Another key ethical consideration is informed consent. This applies when using human subjects in the study. Informed consent requires the researcher to brief the participants about the nature of the research (“APA,” 2016). For instance, the researcher should brief the subjects about the procedures to be applied in the study and whether there is risk of harm. The researcher should provide all relevant details concerning the study. This enables the subjects to make decisions on whether to participate in the study. For minors and those with mental health issues, the researcher should seek informed consent from the relevant authority such as nursing home or from parents/guardians.
Privacy and Confidentiality
This principle requires the researcher to ensure the confidentiality or privacy of the subjects and the information they provide (“APA,” 2016). The law requires that those involved in research should take necessary steps to secure information and identities of the subjects. The requirement to ensure confidentiality extends to third parties who may encounter the information or subjects. Revealing the identities of subjects or the information they provide without their permission can lead to serious consequences such as victimization of the subjects.
Conducting a Risk Assessment
The researcher should conduct a risk assessment to ensure that the expected benefits from the study outweigh the potential harms. Studies using human subjects pose the risk of physical or emotional harm. The researcher should carefully weigh the benefits Vis a Vis the possible risks to determine whether the study is worth. If there is a high risk of harm, the researcher should drop the study or make modifications.
Mistakes and Negligence
The researcher can make honest mistakes during collection and interpretation of data. An example of this is wrong calibration of equipment and data entry errors (Committee on Science et al., 2009). On the other hand, mistakes may arise due to negligence. For instance, the researcher may have limited time on his hands to complete the data gathering process.
Incorporating Discussion of Ethical Issues
I will incorporate the discussion of ethical issues by stating the inclusion criteria for the study. The inclusion criteria highlight eligibility to participate in the study. I will mention the willingness of the subjects to participate in the study. I will indicate that the subjects understand all details of the study, including the risks, and voluntarily agreed to take part in the study. Lastly, I will indicating the approval of the appropriate board, such as Argosy University Institutional Review Board (IRB). The approval of this board indicates that the study meets the acceptable standards. I will incorporate the discussion of ethical issues at the ‘method’ section of the study.
My research and that of other authors relate to the principle of beneficence in that they aim at minimizing risks to subjects and maximizing the benefits to society and participants. The research relates to non-maleficence in that it aims at causing no harm to subjects. The research relates to the principle of autonomy by respecting the subjects. In other words, the researchers seek informed consent to participate in research. The principle of justice relates to distributing the benefits as well a burden of research. The research will adhere to this principle by ensuring that all groups in the society benefit or bear the costs in an equal manner.
American Psychological Association (APA). (2016). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (U.S.), National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), National Academy of Engineering., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2009) On being a scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research, (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.