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Ethics in Sociological Research

While doing research it is important for the researchers to respect their subjects’ rights and should ensure that no harm is done to them and full safety is maintained. The researcher must give choice to the subjects if they would like to reveal their attitudes and behavior for public consumption maintaining their privacy at all cost.

Researchers should compile and analyze data in a way that do not allow them to be traced to a particular subject maintaining subject confidentiality. Subjects should have right to informed consent and must be given all the information pros and cons and degree of personal risk before it can be used.

Ethical issues are also significant in the treatment of research results. Plagiarism is a huge concern in students’ academic lives who writes research papers for research work or publication in the journals.  According to Edmundson, one study found that 38 percent of American college students admitted to committing “cut and paste” plagiarism when writing essays. The ready-made essay books are easily available in the market and probably used by many of us right from the childhood till college life. The incidences of plagiarism have increased with the spread and access to Internet and easy availability of huge amount of data and reading material. According to The Code of Ethics of the American Sociological Association (1999) , we must “explicitly identify, credit, and reference the author” when we make any use of another person’s written work, “whether it is published, unpublished, or electronically available” . Most of the teachers  and research guides have started using powerful web-based applications to determine whether essays are plagiarized in whole or in part. They should inculcate in their students that it is good to be original and what they teach really matters to their students.

Reference:

Robert J Brym  & John Lie, Sociology Pop Culture to Social Structure, Wadsworth, 2013