In to make fully informed decisions on their own.

In
doing research, there are five main ethical pillars that must be followed by
researcher. First, minimize the risk of harm to participants. This principle
stress on how a research should not harm participants by considering all
aspects that could bring harm such as physical harm, psychological distress and
discomfort, social disadvantage, financial status or an invasion of
participant’s privacy and anonymity. Non-maleficence requires a high level of
sensitivity from the researcher about what constitutes “harm” (Ford
L., 2009). Discomfort and harm can be physiological, emotional, social and economic
in nature (Burns N., 2005). By acknowledging these risk aspects, interventions
to avoid or minimizing the risk of harm could be taken by researcher.

Second,
attain informed consent from participants. The idea of informed consent is one
of the foundations of research. Informed consent means the knowing consent of a
person without undue inducement or any element of force, extortion, duress or
any other form of constraint or coercion. It is the researcher’s responsibility
to provide sufficient information in comprehensible and simple language on the
benefits and possible risks ahead of the participant’s involvement in the
research, so that participant can make a well-informed judgement about
participation. Informed consent is not just a form, but a process, when it was
done appropriately, the process assures that participants are willingly
participating in the research with full knowledge and information of relevant
risks and benefits. In some cases, that involve people with low autonomy such
as young children, very ill people or mentally disables, they could only be
included in research under specific circumstances, as they not able to make
fully informed decisions on their own. They should always be protected. 

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The
third component of research ethics is by ensuring the anonymity and
individuality of research participants. Protecting anonymity of information
from participants means that either the researcher does not collect personal
information of participants such as name, address, email, job, year of services
or the researcher does not link individual responses with participants’
identities. Unless it is necessarily essential to the aimed protocol,
participant’s personal details should be keep ‘anonymous’ to protect the
participant confidentiality. Nonetheless, permission should be obtained before
any confidential information is used.

Forth
principle of research ethics is to reject any kinds of deceptive practices.
Deceptive may not be seen as an issue if an informed consent has been
performed, however the question is, how can the participants know what the
research requires of them if they are being deceived? this question makes the
use of deceptive practices in doubt. Therefore, dissertation research should
avert any types of deceptive practices. However, deception is sometimes being
allowed in covert research where the identity of the observer and the purpose
of the research is not known to participants. This is most likely to be the
case where a research needs an observation rather than through direct contact
with participants, for example; observing what type of customers who like
giving tips in the tip jar.

Lastly,
allowing the participants to withdraw is one of the principles of research
ethics that should be followed by researcher. Participants should have the
right to withdraw from the research process at any stage and when the decision
to withdraw was made, the participant should not be pressured or coerced in any
way in order to stop them from withdrawing. According to Good Clinical Practice
(GCP) guidelines, an individual can withdraw from research at any time without
revealing the reason of discontinuation.

These
basic principles of research ethics should be taken into account when
performing a research as it can help to warrant that researchers can be held
accountable to the public, in terms of human right, social responsibility and
public health and safety. Researchers should be reminded that any ethical breaks
in research can significantly harm the subjects and result to a low-quality
research study.