Wednesday, 17 June 2015

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF RESEARCH

 Research exerts a significant influence over educational systems. Hence a researcher needs to adhere to an ethical code of conduct. These ethical considerations are as follows :
·        While a researcher may have some obligations to his / her client in case of sponsored research where the sponsoring agency has given him / her financial aid for conducting the research, he / she has obligations to the users, the larger society, the subjects (sample / respondents) and professional colleagues. He / she should not discard data that can lead to unfavourable conclusions and interpretations for the sponsoring agency.
·        The researcher should maintain strict confidentiality about the information obtained from the respondents. No information about the personal details of the respondents should be revealed in any of the records, reports or to other individuals without the respondents‘ permission.
·        The researcher should not make use of hidden cameras, microphones, tape-recorders or observers without the respondents‘ permission. Similarly, private correspondence should not be used without the concerned respondent‘s permission.
·        In an experimental study, when volunteers are used as subjects, the researcher should explain the procedures completely (eg. the experiment will go on for six months) along with the risks involved and the demands that he / she would make upon the participants of the study (such as the subjects will be required to stay back for one hour after school hours etc.). If possible, the subjects should be informed about the purpose of the experiment / research. While dealing with school children (minors) or mentally challenged students, parents‘ or guardians‘ consent should be obtained. This phenomenon is known as “informed consent”.
·        The researcher should accept the fact that the subjects have the freedom to decline to participate or to withdraw from the experiment.

·        In order to ensure the subjects‘ inclusion and continuation in the experiment, the researcher should never try to make undue efforts giving favourable treatment after the experiment, more (additional marks) in a school subject, money and so on.
·        In an experimental research which may have a temporary or permanent effect on the subjects, the researcher must take all precautions to protect the subjects from mental and physical harm, danger and stress.
·        The researcher should make his / her data available to peers for scrutiny.
·        The respondents / subjects / participants should be provided with the reasons for the experimental procedures as well as the findings of the study if they so demand.
·        The researcher should give due credit to all those who have helped him / her in the research procedure, tool construction, data collection, data analysis or preparation of the research report.
·        If at all the researcher has made some promise to the participants, it must be honoured and fulfilled.


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