Most Important Research Ethics Principles

Aside from the desirable traits that a researcher must possess, there are equally favorable ethical principles that must be observed in the conduct of any research investigation, especially those that involve human or animal subjects. These ethical principles are the following:

Intellectually honest

Intellectual honesty must be upheld in the planning, execution, and writing of the research report. The research proposal must be transparent, stating all concerns so as not to deceive the respondents and other researchers. Honesty must also be observed in executing procedures by following strictly the proposed methodology. Fabrication or falsification of research data must never be an option.

Free from bias

Research investigations must be free from any forms of bias. They must not serve the interest of any parties, but the interest of finding the truth. In reviewing and stating the related literature, ideas that do not support the intents of research must be presented side-by-side with those supporting the said intents. In fact, conflicting literature or inconclusive results imply failure on the attainment of truth, meriting a conduct of another research as an attempt to achieve what is true. In addition, actual data and their apposite analysis and interpretation must be presented and conveyed accurately in the write-up, whether or not they support the pre-formulated research hypotheses and any well-established body of knowledge.

Upholds sincerity and consistency

The research must uphold sincerity and consistency. The planned research methodology must be consistent with the executed procedures. If ever there are variations, these must not be totally different from those stated in the proposal. Variations are allowed, especially to pioneering research studies. Sincerity is manifested by keeping what has been promised in the proposal.

Free of careless errors of negligence

Any research must be free of careless errors of negligence. Error in procedures must be foreseen so that measures must be planned to avoid them. There must also be provisions in the research where careful and critical evaluation of the work of the researchers is addressed. Good record-keeping and journal-making must be maintained in all stages of the study. Journal-making is documenting all activities taken during the investigation.

Open to constructive criticism

Although research studies are based on thorough review of literature and brainstorming by their proponents, researchers must still be open to constructive criticism. This is because no researcher has the monopoly of knowledge. Any methods can still be refined and improved. Conversely, any ideas, results, and resources must be shared for the benefit of future investigations.

Acknowledges ideas and rights

Ideas, copyrights, patents, and other forms of intellectual property owned by other individuals must be acknowledged properly when used as bases in any investigation. The principle, “give credit to whom the credit is due,” must be observed.


Trustworthiness is manifested in research if data and information about human respondents are used only for the purposes of the research. The researcher must keep all data confidential for the protection of the respondents from public scrutiny or discrimination. Participants’ privacy must be valued above all, even for the purposes of research.


Legalities, rules, and regulations of an institution or government must be considered when conducting a study. Research results must be published with the aim of advancing knowledge and promoting social welfare, minimizing harm and risk, and maximizing the benefits for the target population.