Research is based on transparency, trust, and innovation, a process that involves an integral part of progress. Biomedical research, in particular, is fast improving in quantity and quality of life. However, since medical researchers for the longest time have enjoyed freedom of unaccountability, (due to the high demand of science and medicine), they often unwittingly flout the research ethics.

Practicing research ethics is important to validate a study. A misconduct research paper attracts a retraction and all findings built on it will be discredited. We will look into major ethical considerations in research studies to develop best practices in your next new study. 


Research ethics means you give an honest report of your research data, methodology, findings, and results. Misleading readers, exaggerating data, and making up findings are unethical. Honesty and sincerity should be held even during peer collaboration, as stated by ethical research guidelines.

Informed Consent

It is a consideration carrying two heavy-weight elements, informed and consent. Informed because participants want to know how the data will be used and if there are possible consequences. The participants must provide signed and active consent in participating in the research – this includes understanding their right to access and withdraw information at any time.

This is it was it means by ‘informed’:

  • Are the researchers mentioned?
  • What data will participants give?
  • What level of commitment is expected?
  • Possible risks in participating in the research?
  • The intent of the research?
  • How will the data be collected?
  • How will it be used and reported?

The consent aspect is usually shorter and with careful information. It is usually written with less complex academic terminologies. It includes:

  • Information on access and withdrawal right
  • Assurance of identity confidentiality
  • Clarity of data ownership
  • Right to inquire about more information
  • Clarity on complaint process – this can have attached the contact details of the ethics committee chair, or the researcher.
  • Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using someone else’s presentation as your own without consent, akin to stealing words, thoughts, and ideas for your benefit. However, research is built on existing work but most researchers end up over-relying on other’s work.

Violations happen when researchers lack the skill or experience to cite the correct source or even do not understand what plagiarism is all about. Whichever the reason, plagiarism is unacceptable in scientific research. To avoid self or unintentional plagiarism, always acknowledge the people behind your research, avoid direct text copy-pasting from other sources, and cite used sources correctly.


This means that you are aware of your participant’s identity, but discard the identities from your report. Every participant has a right to privacy, so it is your responsibility to ensure their data protection as long as you use or keep it. Though it is impossible to collect data anonymously, keep the confidentiality as secure as you can. If the research design you are using is not conducive to confidentiality, inform the participants of the potential risks.


Openness to new ideas and criticism is a necessary ethical consideration. Since research is built to benefit society, the methodology, results, and ideas you share should be for society and science advancement and open to views and interpretation.

Conflicts of Interest

It happens a researcher may have interests that may cloud their judgment on the publication. They include academic, political, personal, commercial, and financial interests like employment, share or stock ownership, and employment. Financial interest is especially common since most researchers are funded by the company.

These interests should be addressed at the early stage. All efforts should be applied to ensure these conflicts of interest do not affect the methodology and the final results. If the interest revolves around the power differential, it is necessary to remove the source of power. For instance, a teacher should step back in assessing the student participant’s work and a third party reviews the data before making it accessible to the researcher. Alternatively, the data collection can be made anonymous to make it impossible for the teacher to identify any student.


You need to explain why you are targeting a certain group of participants and leaving out a particular group of people. Also, if your participants include special needs individuals or children, you will have extra requirements like parental permission.

It is vital to respect strangers’ rights, no matter how far they are from your explicit contracts. Following and understanding these ethical considerations when conducting and publishing research a paper goes a long way to building the support and trust of the wider community.