Ethical Considerations in Research – Definition, Types & Examples

Research is an extensive process that asks researchers to complete a cascade of events to finally get the desired outcomes, even though you can get assistance at any point. No matter what are your expected research goals and how you want to achieve them, you are bound to follow a code of conduct when collecting data for a scientific study. Data can be collected from living organisms through observations and even by exploring the existing literature. In all cases, you must follow some ethical considerations in research that we will discuss in this article.

Ethical Considerations in Research: An overview

In Potter Stewards’ words, “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have rights to do and what is right to do.” Likewise, ethical considerations in research is the act of knowing what is right and what will not be considered correct while conducting research. To clear the fine line of differences between right and wrong, the research committee has defined a set of principles that guides researchers about design and practices. These set of principles vary slightly as a researcher switches from one type of research design to another. It asks a researcher to protect the rights of participants involved in a scientific study, enhance the result’s validity, and maintain scientific integrity.

Types of ethical issues in research:

Ethical issues are the problems that arise if a researcher does not follow the research’s code of conduct. To address most of them, the following are some ethical considerations in research; however, to get more information or a complete guide, you can contact Dissertation Writers UK.

Voluntary Participation:

Forced participation of respondents is unethical; as a researcher, you cannot compel anybody to answer your questions at any cost. Rather, every participant in a study must have equal rights to step back if he/she start feeling uncomfortable at any phase of data collection.

For example, if you want to search the chances of developing oral cancers in the traffic wardens, then no matter which criteria you used to select the traffic wardens for your study, if participant want to quit, you must not force them to participate. 

Informed consent:

The ethical considerations in research also guide researchers to seek the informed consent of participants. The term informed consent refers to telling all major and minor details related to a particular research project. The associated risk, benefits, and purposes of a study are some points that you must tell the participants before taking their consent.


if research is conducted to unveil the mental conditions of men that are involved in domestic violence, then such men must tell why you are asking for such sensitive information from them.


Confidentiality is the act of keeping the personal information of participants secret. It does not mean that you, as a researcher, must not ask for personal information from the new participants. You can definitely ask for such information, especially at the time of interviews. Confidentiality demands you never reveal this information in the publication or reporting stages of the study.

For example, if you want to know why people force their innocent children to beg at traffic signals, you can definitely ask for personal information, but involving names of people who deprived children of their childhood is unethical.


Anonymity is among the most important ethical considerations in research. It simply means to keep the respondent’s identity completely anonymous. Though in many cases, anonymity cannot be guaranteed as if you don’t know the name, age, or gender of the participants, you may face problems in the analysis phase of research.


if you are collecting information from nurses working at City District Mental Hospital, then you must not mention in your result’s description who states what.

The above-mentioned are some important ethical considerations that all researchers must follow while collecting information from human participants. However, for collecting data by conducting in vivo or in vitro animal studies, you must keep following a different set of principles. Likewise, for collecting information from a secondary source, you must keep away from data fabrication, fake representation, or improper referencing. If you are looking for ethical considerations that you must follow in your personal setting, you must seek dissertation help UK.

Final Thought:

After all is said and done, we can say that ethics are important to conduct research by following a certain set of principles. Voluntary participation, Informed consent, Confidentiality, and Anonymity are only four of the various ethical considerations in research. However, biasness, dodging your public by fake representations of results, and disagreement with fellows are other related considerations that are considered research misconduct and should be avoided deliberately.

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