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Research Ethics: Home

Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity

What are Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity?

Research EthicsResearch ethics is the practice of using discipline-defined norms and standards in conducting research and generating new knowledge.  Research ethics can be applied to any discipline, whether it is in the arts and humanities, social sciences, health and medical sciences, engineering, or physical or biological sciences.  

Scientific integrity is similar to research ethics and is the result of following professional values and practices when conducting scientific research and applying its results.

Research ethics and scientific integrity ensures the following: They are also important for minimizing or avoiding:
  • Objectivity
  • Clarity
  • Reproducibility
  • Utility
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Bias
  • Fabrication
  • Falsification
  • Plagiarism
  • Outside Interference
  • Inadequate Research Procedures and Security of Data

Why are these important?

Research and discoveries add to a body of knowledge.  They frequently lead to new creations, products, services, treatments, and various innovations.  When ethics and integrity are compromised, it has negative effects in many areas:

  • Erroneous or invalid information:  other researchers may based their studies on flawed research which may affect their studies' validity and outcomes.
  • Waste of funds or resources.
  • Identifying misconduct:  research misconduct often takes a long time to identify after it happens.
  • Public trust:  the public's trust in research can diminish, impacting their support or regard for it. 

Sources:

Research Ethics - Robert J. Levine, M.D., Yale University

Dr. Robert Levine of Yale University provides an overview on the events that led to the formation of research ethics.

Yale University (2011).  Research ethics [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/jD-YCDE_5yw