Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsWelcome back to the final week of the course everyone. We hope you're ready to pick up where we left off as we continue to explore why ethics matter. This week, we consider ethical dilemmas associated with bias, conflicts of interest, and the integrity of your research data. We'll be reflecting on the key issues surrounding research involving vulnerable populations as well as reviewing ethical considerations for research involving animals. This can be an explosive topic, so let's ensure we maintain constructive levels of conversation in the discussion spaces at all times.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsIf you're wondering about the repercussions of unethical conduct, we'll examine what's at stake for you and your participants and provide you with a range of practical tips and strategies for ensuring a successful outcome. We'll also be leading you through what to expect in your ethics application. Let's get started on week two. See you in the discussions.

Welcome back

We hope you’re enjoying the learning journey and are looking forward to wrapping up the course this week.

As you now know, the study of ethics is all about determining what is regarded as ‘right’ and expected behaviour for people who belong to the same group, profession or community of practice.

In research, we must adhere to ethical conduct at every stage of the project. Failing to remain reflective of your behaviour and choices throughout the process has damaging repercussions, a number of which we will be exploring shortly.

Protecting people in research

This week, we begin by looking at the human rights of participants and strategies for protecting them.

In preparation for your own project, start taking note of how other researchers have met their ethical obligations. When reading a research report, you’ll most likely find information about ethics under the ‘Methods’ section. Keep in mind, word count restrictions in publishing often prevent detailed information about ethical considerations being available.

At the very least, consider the following questions when critiquing the research.

  • Was the study approved by an institutional review board or ethics committee?
  • Were the participants coerced or unduly influenced to participate in the study?
  • Did the researchers obtain consent from the participants? Or was consent obtained for any disclosure?
  • Did the benefits of the research outweigh the risks?
  • Were appropriate measures taken to ensure the privacy of the participants?
  • Did the participants’ names remain confidential or anonymous?

What else is in store for Week 2?

This week we also look at key requirements for ensuring ethical research involving animals as well as ethical considerations surrounding bias, conflicts of interest, research data and more.

We complete the course with practical tips for completing an ethics application and an opportunity to apply an ethics framework to your own research idea. See you in the discussions.

Your task

In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) sets the guidelines for ethical conduct of research. All people engaging in research in Australia should be familiar with this document.

What official guidelines apply in your country? Conduct some research and in the comments link below let us know where in the world you are from and what guidelines help govern research in your geographical area.

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This video is from the free online course:

Why Ethics Matter: Ethical Research

Griffith University