Ethics in Context of Scholarly Research

Discuss Ethics In Context Of Scholarly Research.
by Aminat Abubakar – Sunday, 26 February 2017

Mack, Woodsong, Macqueen, Guest, & Namey explain, “Research ethics deals primarily with the interaction between researchers and the people they study. Professional ethics deals with…collaborative relationships among researchers, mentoring relationships, intellectual property, fabrication of data, and plagiarism” (2011, p. 8). Because of the involvement of the human subject in research, Nancy Walton, Ph.D. noted that it raises unique and complex ethical, legal, social, and political issues ( Researchers encounter authorship issues in the course of their research due to the involvement of the human subject whereby they have to uphold professional, institutional, and federal standards.

In an article (Five principles of research ethics) Deborah Smith identified APA’s Science Directorate five recommendation to help researchers avoid ethical quandaries.

  1. Discuss intellectual property frankly from the onset to avoid future disagreement on a project. It is unethical to use someone’s published or unpublished research work without citation of the originator.
  2. Be conscious of multiple roles, Deborah Smith further explained that psychologist should avoid relationships that could reasonably impair their professional performance, exploit, or harm others.
  3. Follow informed consent rules so that participants know that participation is voluntary and are aware of the risks and benefits.
  4. Respect confidentiality and privacy, it is very imperative to uphold every individual’s right to confidentiality and privacy.
  5. Tap into ethics resources in order to avoid ethical dilemmas.

Dr. Sehba Husain last class lecture (2/25/2017) on research ethics, further stated honesty in data collection and reporting as well as openness with colleagues, research sponsors, or the public. The researcher should be open to criticism. Research work has to be objective without any element of bias. There must be responsible publication and not limited to personal career growth but also to advance research and scholarship. Uphold integrity, responsible mentoring, and respect for colleagues, peers, and competitors. Research work should be thorough in order to avoid careless errors and negligence. Avoid discrimination against colleagues or students based on sex, ethnicity, or other factors not related to scientific competence and integrity. Be aware of social responsibility when undertaking research work, and abide by relevant governmental and institutional laws, rules, and regulations.

In conclusion, adherence to ethics in research work sets boundaries, safeguard researchers, students, and the integrity of research work. Also protects human beings, animals, and the environment through transparency.

Ethics in Research


  1. Laurendug (Director). (2012, March 9). ETHICS in RESEARCH [Video file]. Retrieved from
  2. Mack, N., Woodsong, C., Macqueen, M. K., Guest, G. & Namey, E. (2011). Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide. Retrieved from’s%20Field%20Guide.pdf
  3. SMITH, D. January 2003, Vol 34, No. 1. Five principles for research ethics: Cover your bases with these ethical strategies. Retrieved from
  4. Walton, N., Ph.D. What is Research Ethics? Retrieved from


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