3.3 Ethical dimensions

Whereas human-subject ethics is restricted to research involving direct contact with human subjects, non-human-subject ethics involves all types and forms of research, whether directly involving human subjects or not. Research cannot be conducted without due regard for authors’ rights and the fair and proper use of data/information.

Human-subject ethics

Voluntary and informed consent are the pillars of ethical treatment of human subjects involved in research. Permission forms and ethical review board approval must be obtained before experiments and surveys can be administered.

Non-human-subject ethics

As members of a community of scholars, researchers are ethically bound to uphold the fair and proper use of data/information:

  • To provide fair and accurate accounts of the data/information used
  • To credit sources using recognized professional conventions
  • To respect rights of authors and sources of information in private collections
  • To avoid overgeneralizing or exaggerating claims beyond what the data/information warrants