Ethics is simply a term that suggests people differentiate between right and wrong. The research committee describes the standard code of conduct that ensures the best possible ways to conduct research without harming anyone. Ethical issues are research conflicts that may lead to the rejection of the study based on some criteria. These ethical issues differ greatly in different types of researches-the primary and secondary ones. Thus, this article will first discuss the six major issues in research and then, ethical issues in secondary research. Moreover, it will end by answering a most frequently asked question, ‘Does secondary research need ethical approval?’

What are the six ethical issues in research?

The ethical considerations or issues are the set of principles that explain the right procedure to conduct research, including animal or human participants. Researchers have to strictly follow the standard code of conduct to save them from committing any scientific misconduct. In simple words, research involving any living participant must follow biasness, fake result representation, plagiarism, informed consent, and data protection guidelines. Moreover, the validity, reliability, and credibility of the research are important for studies that may or may not include animal/human research. Based on the experience, experts of dissertation writing services UK have told that there are six issues in research that every researcher should pay special attention to.

  1. Voluntarily participation
  2. Informed consent
  3. Anonymity
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Results reporting
  6. Potential for harm

Voluntary participation and informed consent are ethical considerations that prevent ethical issues like forced participation or misguiding the participants about the research. Anonymity deals with the issue of revealing a participant’s identity in research. Confidentiality refers to keeping in mind the data privacy and protection concerns while conducting research. Furthermore, the fake representations of facts and involving activities that may harm others are also some important ethical issues in research involving animal or human models.   

What are ethical issues in secondary research?

According to the literal meaning of the word ‘ethics’, it accounts for the values one should follow while conducting research. These ethical values also differ greatly from study to study. Broadly, the code of conduct sets research standards for both secondary and primary research. Ethical issues in the primary research include informed consent, voluntary participation, confidentiality, the potential to harm, and anonymity. But codes of conduct fail to explain the ethical issues in secondary research that collect data from journals, books, and other already published scholarly articles.

The ethical issues in secondary research include the security and confidentiality issues regarding the sharing and compiling of data from secondary sources. It further deals with the validity, reliability, and creditability of the secondary sources involved in a study. Moreover, incorrect evaluation, falsification in data representation, and providing fake referencing are also the main ethical issues in secondary research. Objectivity, originality, and values neutrality are also some issues really affect the quality of the secondary research. Let us briefly discuss what each of these terms means in the context of the ethical issues in secondary research. 

Reliability, validity, and credibility of sources

Reliability and validity are among the most important ethical consideration in research. and reliability refers to the consistency of measures. Validity is simply all about the accuracy of a measure. Credibility deals with the types of sources one uses to gather the information for research. Thus, even in the research paper publication process, the committee can challenge the reliability, validity, and credibility issues at any stage. So the researcher must keep them in mind to save him from any academic discomfort.     

Objectivity, originality, and value neutrality

Other important ethical issues in secondary research include objectivity, originality, and value neutrality. Objectivity means basing the information or conclusion on facts instead of being biased or presenting illogical judgment. Originality means the information you are providing in research is unique,

and you used only information from other sources to back your argument. Similarly, value neutrality is the concept of estimating your own biasness in predictions and judgments in research. Thus, improper knowledge about the concept of objectivity, originality, and value-neutrality causes ethical issues in secondary research.

Fabrication, falsification in the data representation, and fake referencing in research

Falsification is the intentional alteration and omission of data in order to support a claim or prove a hypothesis. Fabrication refers to the addition of data in research that has no original source. Similarly, fake representation in results refers to reporting something that has no fundamental bases or the act of reporting data without searching its source. Fake representation is often followed by fake referencing. Thus, these ethical issues in secondary research are considered serious scientific misconduct, so a researcher should deliberately prevent the occurrence of any of these issues while conducting research.      

Security and confidentiality ethical issues 

In terms of security and confidentiality, major ethical issues in secondary research describe the norms to keep individual rights while using their information in research. For example, the researchers of secondary research are not allowed to use the data from the already published articles that reveal an individual’s personal information. Remember, in secondary research, someone else’s participants can never be your own participant. Thus, revealing other’ participants’ information and lack of practice of proper disposal of the source library you created for research refers to the security and confidentiality-related ethical issues in secondary research.      

Does secondary research need ethical approval?

Secondary researches are the one where you explore the already published data in order to support your scientific claims. It mostly focuses on the reliability and credibility of sources. Thus, you can search for keywords and use the information without having any consent or approval from the author. Instead of getting ethical approval, you must have to acknowledge the original author by properly referring to it in your research. In some cases, when you are searching for making a country’s intelligence policy that includes the country’s sensitive information, you need ethical approval to use this information. In general, you actually do not need ethical approval from anybody for conducting the secondary research.   

Consequently, the ethical issues in secondary research also vary from study to study. But mostly, it accounts for the originality, objectivity, confidentiality, security, and value neutrality-related concerns. Furthermore, one can solve these ethical issues by considering the reliability, credibility, and validity of the research. Finally, using honest means for research is a key to avoiding all ethical issues.