Chapter 2: Ethics in Research

Learning Objectives

  • Define the term human participants, in terms of research.
  • Explain how history has now defined a moral imperative for ethics in research.
  • List ethical principles that must underpin all research.
  • Describe why ethics review boards came into existence and explain their role in the research process.
  • Discuss the importance and implications of researcher integrity.

This module focuses on the ethical issues that can, and often do, arise when doing research with human participants. All researchers in all fields are expected and required to uphold certain ethical standards while undertaking their research. This module gives you a foundation in these standards and key concepts in order for you to consider these issues alongside other research decisions you must make. In some cases, the decisions that must be made for research design are heavily impacted by the ethics of such decisions. It is important that you understand the context in which your research decisions are being made and how those not only impact your research specifically, but also the mental and physical health of your participants.

NCEHR is a national, non-governmental agency established in 1989 in Canada. Its mandate is to advance the protection and well-being of human research participants. It also seeks to encourage and enable “high ethical standards related to the conduct of research involving humans.”



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