“Researchers face ethical challenges in all stages of the study, from designing to reporting” (Sanjari, Bahramnezhad, Fomani, Shighi, & Cheraghi, 2014, p. 1). Some of the main ethical challenges are related to the areas like privacy and confidentiality, honesty and truth, informed consent, and data handling and reporting. In my view, scientific researchers are morally and ethically required to address all these challenges to make the research credible not only for those that they deal with during research but also for those that take benefit from the research material after publication. The researchers should feel their responsibility of providing truth to all stakeholders of the research because a research acts as the foundation or authentic source material for many theories and future studies. There should not be any bias or unsupported personal opinions in a research because it goes against the authenticity of a research. Real facts and figures matter a lot in a research because when the research goes public, the facts are treated as scholarly input for preparing a new set of knowledge.
Researchers deal with many people during a research that mainly include research participants and supervisors and mentors. It is the responsibility of the researchers to show professionalism by addressing their concerns in order for them to feel valued and respected. Professionalism is the key to a credible research (Helton-Fauth, 2003). Researchers should also fulfill their responsibility of providing a realistic and truthful direction to future researchers. In short, I would say that an ethical scientific researcher is not one who takes care of people associated with the research for a limited period of time but one who goes beyond the ethical parameters to make his/her research a useful addition to existing knowledge related to any particular field.
We can do it today.
- Helton-Fauth, W., Gaddis, B., Scoot, G., Mumford, M., Devenport, L., Connelley, S. (2003). A new approach to assessing ethical conduct in scientific work. Accountability in Research, 10,205–228.
- Sanjari, M., Bahramnezhad, F., Fomani, F., Shighi, M., & Cheraghi, M. (2014). Ethical challenges of researchers in qualitative studies: the necessity to develop a specific guideline. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 7(14), 1-6.