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Ethical Issues in Data
• Ethics is the branch of philosophy that involves
systematizing, defending, andrecommending
concepts of right andwrong conduct. The term ethics
is derived from the Ancient Greek word ‘ethikos’
(habit, “custom”). The branch of philosophy axiology
comprises the sub-branches of Ethics andaesthetics,
each concerned with concepts of value.
Ethicsbasicallyrefers to two things:-
• First, ethics refers to well-foundedstandardsof right
and wrong thatprescribe whathumans oughtto do,
usuallyin terms of rights, obligations,benefits to
society, fairness, or specificvirtues.
• Secondly, ethics refers to the study and
development of one's ethicalstandards.As
mentionedabove, feelings, laws, and socialnorms
can deviate from what is ethical.
Major areas of study
The three major areas of study withinethics are:
• Meta-ethics, concerningthe theoretical meaningand
reference of moral propositions, and how theirtruth
values (if any) can be determined.
• Normative ethics, concerningthe practical means of
determining a moral course of action.
• Applied ethics, concerningwhata person is obligated to
do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action.
Ethical Decision Making in Research
• Althoughcodes, policies, andprincipals are very
important and useful, like any set of rules, they do not
cover every situation, they often conflict, andthey
require considerable interpretation. It is therefore
important for researchers to learn howto interpret,
assess, and apply various research rules and how to
make decisionsand toact in various situations. The
vast majority of decisions involvethe straightforward
application of ethical rules.
Basic Principles of Ethical Practice
2. No Pressure on Individuals to Participate
3. Respect Individual Autonomy
4. Avoid CausingHarm
5. MaintainPrivacy and Confidentiality
6. Take Particular Care in Research with Vulnerable
Ethical Standards - ResearchersShould...
• avoid any risk of considerably harming people, the environment, or
• not use deception on people participating, as was the case with the
ethics of the Stanley Milgram Experiment
• obtain informed consent from allinvolved in the study.
• preserve privacy and confidentiality whenever possible.
• take special precautions when involving populations or animals
which may not be considered to understand fully the purpose of
• not offer big rewards or enforce binding contracts for the study.
• not plagiarizethe work of others
• not skew their conclusions based on funding.
• not commit science fraud, falsifyresearch or otherwise conduct
• not use the position as a peer reviewer to give sham peer reviews to
punish or damage fellow scientists.
• Basically,research must follow allregulations given, and also anticipate
possible ethical problems in their research.
• Competition is an important factor in research, and may be both a good
thing and a bad thing.
• Whistleblowing is one mechanism to help discover misconduct in