CODE OF ETHICS IN RESEARCH

It is the responsibility of any research organisation to maintain a culture of responsible conduct of research and knowledge production. On the one hand, it is important internally to preserve and uphold guidelines, processes and practices for managing our research. Consequently, it is important externally, in relation to the rest of the society, to communicate the trustworthiness of the research we do.

At International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA), we have two processes for supporting credible and ethical conduct of research.

The first process concerns preventive measures, in which every individual researcher, project manager, research leader and head of subject carries his or her responsibility for research ethics. The Publications and Research Committee (PRC) at International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA) act as support, including the main tasks:

• to pre-examine and give statements on ethical dimensions of specific research issues,
• to increase the awareness of ethical aspects on research at IARSA,
• when needed, to give recommendations regarding research ethics.

In addition to the Committee, is to give statements on less complicated routine matters, for example when the practice of scientific journals so requires.

The second process involves dealing with allegations of misconduct. It can be a matter of dishonesty or neglection of responsible conduct of research.

The Association gives particularly high priority to research as one of its most important contributions to international community. In this, the Association pursues a research ethos that promotes exceptional expertise as well as ethical responsibility in the quest for knowledge and the development, conservation and transfer of such knowledge.

Consequently, all members of staff and members of the International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA), like excellent researchers throughout the world, are required always to strive for the highest standards of excellence and morality in any research activities. The Code of Ethics for Research serves as an important guideline to inspire researchers at IARSA to maintain high ethical standards in all research activities at the University.

This Code of Ethics in Research sets forth general principles of ethical conduct to guide scholars toward the highest ideals of scholarly research. The principles represent aspirational goals and delineate enforceable standards that should direct researchers to an ethical course of action. Moreover, they are consonant with the values and mission of the International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA)

The Code of Ethics in Research applies to all members of the International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA) community. Thus, the principles are stated broadly in order to apply to scholars in various disciplines using various methods of inquiry, and their specific application may vary depending on the context of the researcher.

Principles of Research Ethics

(1). Integrity and Honesty
As a research Association, we seek to preserve, extend, and communicate truth. The importance of honesty and credibility cannot therefore be overemphasized in the conduct of research. Our practice as researchers should advance the knowledge, mission, and values of our profession, and maintain and enhance its validity through rigorous study, active dissemination and discussion, and responsible criticism. Thus, members, faculty and research personnel should fulfill the responsibilities and obligations stated below:

A. Competence in the conduct of research
• Conduct all research activities in accordance with the accepted standards of our discipline
• Refrain from accepting or undertaking research assignments requiring competencies that we do not have, unless collaborating with or being supervised by a more knowledgeable scholar
• Avoid claiming research competency that we do not possess in proposals, job applications, resumes, or in the ordinary conduct of affairs

B. Accuracy of research data and reports
• Ensure the accuracy of all data that we and our collaborators have gathered and/or used in our research
• Ensure that only the correct data, information, and research results shall be reported in journals, conferences, and reports to clients in case of commissioned research
• Take reasonable steps to rectify significant errors that we or others have found in our published data, via the issuance of erratum, retraction, or correction of the data
• Avoid misleading statements or declarations and vague assertions that could be subject to misinterpretation. If such misinterpretation is brought to our attention, it is our obligation to immediately issue a clarification or rectification.
• Avoid making exaggerated claims that are not warranted by the results of our research inquiry

C. Acknowledgment of sources of data/information or other contribution to the research
• Not to plagiarize; that is, to present portions of another’s report or data as our own, even if the other work or data source is cited occasionally
• Cite clearly all sources of information and data that we use which are not the results of our own research
• Give proper acknowledgment and credit to resource/funding sources of our research
• Grant and limit authorship to those who made a significant contribution to the research endeavor

D. Openness and responsibility in the conduct and presentation of research
• Keep detailed and complete records of our research undertaking
• Be transparent in the use and disbursement of resources for our research
• Declare promptly any conflict of interest in our engagement in research and presentation of research results
• Ensure that our research results are accessible to the public once the research is concluded or as soon as is reasonable
• Respect the confidentiality of sources by not using or releasing data and information revealed to us in confidence

E. Safeguarding the integrity of the profession
Report violations of any of the principles and rules found here (or in supplementary guidelines) to the office or committee that has been duly mandated to evaluate and act on possible violations of this ethical code.

(2). Justice and Fairness
As a international research organisation that promotes justice and the formation of scholars, professionals, members, and the community, we recognize that research is a collaborative effort in which we contribute to the knowledge in our discipline by sharing our resources and expertise, and utilizing and building on others’. It is therefore vital that we treat our peers, colleagues, members, benefactors, and research participants justly and fairly. To this end, it is the duty of each of us to fulfill the following responsibilities and standards of conduct:

A. Extension of due regard and collegiality towards fellow researchers
• Render unto our peers, colleagues, members and research participants the respect that they deserve
• Provide assistance to other researchers, especially if we are uniquely qualified to do so by our expertise
• Respect the confidentiality and proprietary rights of our peers, colleagues, and students whose material we review for publication, presentation, or funding by a grant
• Take diligent care of equipment, material resources, and results

B. Credit of others’ contribution, resources, and materials utilized in research
• Grant authorship in accordance with the significance of collaborators’ contribution in the research
• Appropriately attribute and credit to others their accomplishments and research results which we may have utilized in our own research
• Acknowledge the material contribution of others in our research undertaking
• Utilize, distribute, or share material resources and equipment in accordance with the conditions set by their source or benefactor

C. Recognition of intellectual property rights (i.e., copyright, patents)
• Discuss among stakeholders (i.e., the author or inventor, the Association, the funding source or benefactor) the fair distribution of legal ownership of the research and/or its products
• Distribute fairly the legal ownership of the research and/or its products among the stakeholders

(3). Safety and Beneficence
Because we are scholars with extensive expertise in our fields, and who strive to contribute to human and national development, the burden is proportionately heavier on us to protect and promote the safety and interests of the community. In this respect, we have the following obligations, as stated below:

A. Responsible dissemination of scientific knowledge to the public
• Call the attention of the public and the authorities to any hazard we observe that threatens human and environmental safety
• Inform the community of scientific knowledge pertaining to human practices, attitudes, events, and other phenomena that present unequivocal and significant risk or benefit to human welfare
• Avoid making misleading or exaggerated statements, or publicizing equivocal research findings as fact.

B. Safe and responsible conduct of research
• Observe safety practices in all our research activities
• Avoid deliberate violation or circumvention of regulations governing research
• Refrain from causing harm, stress or pain to any animal in any experiment that does not contribute any substantial benefit to human society that has not been discovered already. For experiments on animals which cannot be avoided, it is our duty to treat them humanely, minimize the pain and to undertake curative measures thereafter.
• Ensure that laboratory wastes are properly disposed or treated, and our research activities do not result in environmental degradation
• Point out to our clients potential dangers or threats to their interest

C. Promotion of the interests of the community
• To the extent that is applicable or possible, conduct research that serves the needs and promotes the best interests of the community or persons who will be affected by the research
• To the extent that is applicable or possible, seek the involvement of the community in the determination of their best interests and how to address them in the research

(4). Respect for Human Rights and Dignity
In our research undertakings, we are in a position to direct or influence the behavior and attitudes of those who participate in and utilize our research. As scholars who defend the singular dignity of the human person, we are therefore obligated to uphold the rights, dignity, and autonomy of our participants and consumers. We do this by adhering to the obligations enumerated as follows:

A. Extension of equal treatment and respect towards research participants and consumers
• Respect cultural, individual and role differences among research participants and consumers, including those based on age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, disability, language, or socio-economic status
• Eliminate from our research practices and reports any biases that are based on the aforementioned factors

B. Humane and respectful treatment of human participants in research
• Desist from subjecting persons to any experiment or research procedure that is known beforehand to cause harm, stress, or pain with no overwhelming benefit
• Take immediate and appropriate steps to alleviate any physical or psychological harm that may have been inflicted on a participant because of our research procedures
• Use deception only when justified by the study’s significant prospective scientific, educational, or applied value and where effective nondeceptive alternative procedures are not feasible. In these cases, the participant should be informed of the true nature of the study as soon as is feasible and is permitted to withdraw his or her data
• Provide participants with the opportunity to obtain information about the design, procedures, results, and conclusions of the research

C. Guarding participants’ confidentiality and autonomy rights
• Protect our participants’ right to privacy and confidentiality
• Ensure that informed consent is obtained from all human participants of our experiments or studies. That is, participants are free to decide on their involvement only after we have provided them with information that is relevant to that decision
• Maintain the autonomy of participants, especially students and subordinates, by refraining from offering inducements that may serve to coerce them into participating
• Safeguard the rights and welfare of persons and communities whose status and vulnerabilities may impair autonomous decision-making

(5). Open Science – Go Open!
Open science and ethics in research are important to International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA). When we open up and share data, materials and results, we build sustainable knowledge. Openness is an element of good scientific conduct and good practice in scientific ethics.

There are also occasions during which openness and ethics may conflict, for example, when research materials contain personal data that is protected by confidentiality rules. The discussion surrounding the limits of openness and ethical aspects is an ongoing one.

Openness and ethics in research at International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA) focus on open access publishing and data management.

The Policy is a living document that is open for comments and suggestions from all those members, staff, partners, colleagues and stakeholders. The intention is for all in the Association to be able to contribute to developing openness within science and research, each from the perspective of their own area of study and the features characteristic of each subject.

Science is characterised by openness, subjection to criticism, and development. In its strategy, IARSA is committed to the promotion of open science. Open science and the different ways to implement it – open access to research data, publications, research processes and research methods – provide many advantages for the researcher. Publications are demonstrably cited more and receive more attention through open access publishing, the social media, and open access research data. Openness increases the societal impact and possibility for innovations.