Research Ethics is a significant component of any research work specifically in conducting studies with human subjects. It ensures that researchers do their work, putting importance not only in practice or contributing to the body of knowledge, but also safeguarding the rights of research stakeholders.
OPEN Talk, in its June 2022 episode convened research experts–Dr. Ricardo T. Bagarinao, Independent Consultant, UPOU Institutional Research Ethics Committee (IREC) and Dean, Faculty of Education (FEd), UPOU; Dr. Myra D, Oruga, Independent Consultant, UPOU IREC and Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Research), UPOU– to give an overview of research ethics and highlight its importance and necessary considerations.
Defining Research Ethics and its Importance
Research ethics is a guide in conducting research more responsibly.
Dr. Bagarinao, Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Education, shared that researchers often disregard research ethics, not knowing that it is also an essential part of conducting a study. Research ethics consider the psychological well-being and overall welfare of the human subjects as important as how the study shall go.
Dr. Oruga, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for Research, on the other hand, shared that research ethics serve as a guide to researchers on how to be responsible in implementing their works.
More than caring for human participants
Research ethics do not only conform with human participants, it also covers animal subjects and their welfare. “Research ethics respect the life of an individual–be it human or an animal,” said Dr. Oruga. She added that animal participants are subject to the animal welfare act that protects them and shall be used as consideration in research should they be the subjects of a study.
In Research Practice
In terms of giving tokens or incentives to research participants, Dr. Bagarinao differs on this practice to ensure participants’ autonomy; thus, he advised that participants should willingly participate in the study to maintain unbiased data results. He further said that respondents have the right to agree or disagree to participate in the research.
Dr. Oruga added that human subjects in research can exercise voluntary participation. Researchers shall not force someone to engage in the study, doing so obstructs ethics in conducting research.
In conducting research, ethical considerations should also be prioritized. Dr. Oruga shared that data storage and management should be in mind. “Raw data may be kept for three years,” she added. In eliminating such data, shredding physical data and deletion from Cloud storage could be done.
Dr. Bagarinao said that authorship is not based on institution but rather on the contribution of the author; thus in instances that the researcher changed institution while conducting research, he/she should still be recognized as one of the authors of the report of the research.
In summary, research ethics must be practiced in conducting study and should be given importance to further the research and the researcher. Ethical research practices proved by ethical review clearance have become one of the requirements in publication. The welfare of the participants should always be in consideration.
The OPEN Talk discussion was moderated by Asst. Prof. Ria Valerie Cabanes, Chair, UPOU IREC, and Program Chair, Master of Arts in Nursing, Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), UPOU.
Open Talk is a one-hour magazine program that targets the general public and aims to create clarifications on the featured topics, change the attitude of the target audience towards the topics, and inspire the audience to improve their practices towards or against the topics featured. The event is brought to you by the UPOU Multimedia Center, in collaboration with the UPOU IREC. The episode is available on UPOU Networks – Multimedia Center Facebook Page and UPOU Networks.