This course is based upon material published in International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, and is available as an open access article.
Ethical behavior is important in all aspect of life. This is certainly true of social research and Research in hard Sciences. The best way to think about ethical behavior is to ask how you would expect to be treated if you were a researcher subject or a researcher whose data were being used by other person. Make it even a little closer to home,. How would you want your child, parent, or closer friend mentally or physically treated if they were involved in a research study? If everyone approaches the ethic or research from this point of view there would be no need for the materials in this section, but that is not the case. When most people think of ethics (or morals), they think of rules for distinguishing between right and wrong, such as the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), a code of professional conduct like the Hippocratic Oath (“First of all, do no harm”), a religious creed like the Ten Commandments (“Thou Shalt not kill…”), or a wise aphorisms like the sayings of Confucius. This is the most common way of defining “ethics”: norms for conduct that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Strive for honesty in all scientific communications. Honestly report data, results, methods and procedures, and publication status. Do not fabricate, falsify, or misrepresent data. Do not deceive colleagues, granting agencies, or the public. Strive to avoid bias in experimental design, data analysis, data interpretation, peer review, personnel decisions, grant writing, expert testimony, and other aspects of research where objectivity is expected or required. Avoid or minimize bias or self-deception. Disclose personal or financial interests that may affect research. Keep your promises and agreements; act with sincerity; strive for consistency of thought and action. Avoid careless errors and negligence; carefully and critically examine your own work and the work of your peers. Keep good records of research activities, such as data collection, research design, and correspondence with agencies or journals. Share data, results, ideas, tools, resources. Be open to criticism and new ideas. Finally, training in research ethics should be able to help researchers grapple with ethical dilemmas by introducing researchers to important concepts, tools, principles, and methods that can be useful in resolving these dilemmas.
This course on research ethics is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of ethical behavior. The course material includes a literature review on how to better research ethics. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding research ethics. Specifically, a professional will:
- Describe ethics and how to strive for honesty in all scientific communications.
- Identify different codes and policies relating to research ethics.
- Recognize the problems or issues when making ethical decisions in research.