Research ethics

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Honestly by Braden Kowitz, Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

Sometimes people think of ethics in research as only relating to research on animals or people, but research ethics covers much more than this. Every researcher, even those who only work with say mathematical proofs, needs to act ethically and will face ethical dilemmas from time to time. Acting ethically includes things like

  • how honestly you represent your findings, the sources of your ideas, and your role in research;
  • how carefully you conduct your research;
  • what you do to avoid bias as much as you can;
  • what you publish and why you publish.

This article by bioethicist David Resnik, on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website, has a useful discussion of what ethics in research encompasses and includes examples of dilemmas.

Resnik DB (2015) What is ethics in research & why is it important? https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/index.cfm

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