Ethics is the essential component of research that guarantees that the study does not violate the rights of the individuals who participate in it and follows the rules of integrity, validity, and reliability. The investigation process should correspond to these rules, meaning that the aim and ways to find the supporting data should be equally ethical. It is not appropriate to divide obtaining the information for the research from its interpretation due to the unified character of the study (Wiles, 2013). Therefore, the scholar needs to analyze the process of conducting research thoroughly, focusing on all elements to avoid possible ethical biases.
Educational research, in turn, aims to support and increase its participants’ well-being. It makes ethics more vital in understanding the mechanisms of scholarly investigation in this type of research (Wiles, 2013). For instance, it is essential to have articulated permission for conducting educational research, informed consent from adults and children, and to ensure the obtained data remains confidential (DeCarlo, 2018).
The essential point is that cases of human rights violations are not rare in scientific research, but they were disregarded for decades. For example, withholding treatment and giving patients a placebo in control groups can be regarded as unethical because it deprives the participants of the opportunity to save their lives (DeCarlo, 2018). Even though human rights violations in conducting educational research are less severe than in medical science, they are still unacceptable.
It is possible to emphasize several levels of reviewing the study’s information after articulating the research’s purpose and describing its steps. The exempt review is the general analysis of the study that allows the scholar to evaluate whether their actions do not harm people based on the information that is publicly available (DeCarlo, 2018). The expedited review is a more profound analysis of the ethical side of the research conducted by the members of the committee who are responsible for protecting human rights in scientific discourse (DeCarlo, 2018).
The entire board review is the most detailed and foregrounded ethical analysis of the research that focuses on minor details connected with human rights and the privacy of the obtained information (DeCarlo, 2018). When the study features participants that belong to vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and prisoners, there is a critical need for a thorough investigation into the ethical issues connected with the study (DeCarlo, 2018). This information shows that working with people and conducting research on humans imposes additional responsibility on scholars.
As previously mentioned, educational research should focus on enhancing the well-being of the participants. At the same time, it should be ethical in its form and content, which might be challenging for the scholar. Informed consent and anonymity are two main techniques that ensure that the research follows ethical principles (Wiles, 2013). Following these methods of conducting educational research, the author will be sure that the personal data of the respondents is safe, their well-being is not endangered, and their human rights are intact; these are the significant considerations in conducting the study.
For example, it is not right to violate the principles of informed consent and anonymity even when the scholar thinks this confidential information should be disclosed. Among such models is the pursuit of the respondent’s well-being, which is the critical element of educational research, as mentioned above. When the respondent’s health and life are not endangered, the analysis should not disclose private information to anyone.
Following ethical principles and conducting educational research is integral to a valid and reliable study. Paying enough attention to the moral side of obtaining data from the respondents and using it in the survey is the duty of the scholar who wants to ensure that the well-being of the participants is guaranteed. Preservation of the respondents’ anonymity and having informed consent for using the information in the subsequent research are the major issues in the scholarly investigation. Scientists disregarded these elements of ethical research in social studies for many decades, and it is essential to change the approach to obtaining and using the data nowadays. The information discussed in the study cannot be regarded as reliable if it was not received with consent, and it violates the human rights of the participants.
DeCarlo, M. (2018) Scientific inquiry in social work. Open Social Work Education.
Wiles, R. (2013) What are qualitative research ethics? Oxford: Bloomsbury Academy.