Research, doctoral or otherwise, is essential in all disciplines in order to continue to progress in the field and to improve practices. However, researchers must take care of conducting their research with the outmost care, following strict ethical principles and with integrity. Northcentral University holds its students to the upmost standards in ethical and professional practices in order to prepare the student for publishable scholarly writing. The question of ethical practices and integrity in research has been in place for centuries. However, violations s still occur, which is why it is important that researchers at all levels continue to discuss and learn about the topic and keep it in the forefront of any research endeavor. The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss specific areas of concern and interest in the application of integrity and ethics into research conducted by doctoral students.
All research must be conducted in an ethical and morally responsible manner. While the statement may seem logical and of common sense, there have been serious violations in the past that have caused a closer look at consequences and a need for regulations. For this reason, there are printed guidelines that apply to students, scholars and professionals alike (Ehrich, Cranston, Kimber, & Starr, 2012). The primary reasons that the guidelines exist are to protect the rights, privacy, dignity, well-being, and intellectual property of individuals who may participate directly or indirectly in a study, as well as to protect the researcher. Additionally, scientific research is founded on a trusting relationship between the scientific community (researchers) and the general public. When ethical and moral guidelines are broken, trust can be diminished and this can have negative effects for further research (Dehn, 2010).
There are many regulations and laws that apply to all researchers, including doctoral students. For this reason, the researcher is required, in most cases, to submit the proposal to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to be reviewed and approved prior to the study. Most institutions and universities, such as Northcnetral University, will require doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to submit all proposals to the IRB for approval. Once approved, the researcher must conduct the study in accordance to the approved research plans. If the researcher changes the design, methodology or results of the study, after the study initiated and in order to accomplish pre-determined results, there is a serious breach in the integrity of the researcher and the study (Dehn, 2010). In addition, the researcher and everyone involved in conducting the study, must have appropriate training to undertake the specific study, both in the process and the analysis of the data. Data that is altered in any way, whether by modifying the results, neglecting to report results, overlooking flawed data or manipulating the...