Ethics Codes and Guidelines
There are so many codes and guidelines that it can be difficult to locate one that is ‘fit for YOUR purpose’. We try here to guide you towards appropriate set of guidelines that might be linked to the topic of the research you are interested in or the methods linked to that research. There is a distinction between ‘codes’ and ‘guidelines’ but, for convenience, we refer to them all here as ‘guides’. The guides listed her are ones we find particularly helpful.
FINDING GUIDELINES FOR TOPIC AND METHODS
Before going any further you may find what you are looking for in the best single source of ethics codes and guidelines at:
Ethics code collection
This is a global repository of ethics codes and guidelines housed at the Centre for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, in the Illinois Institute of Technology.
It is updated on a regular basis.
A SECOND GENERAL INTERNATIONAL RESOURCE IS:
The International Compilation of Human Research Standards from the Office for Human Research Protections, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The International Compilation of Human Research Standards in a downloadable PDF is a listing of over 1,000 laws, regulations, and guidelines on human subjects protections in 131 countries and from many international organizations.
Most of the listings provide hyperlinks to the source document.
DIRECT LINKS TO PROJECTS THAT HELP WITH SPECIFIC INTERESTS
RESEARCH IN AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD
The TRUST Project
The goal of the TRUST Project is to catalyse a global collaborative effort to improve adherence to high ethical standards around the world, to avoid ‘ethics dumping’ from wealthy to less-wealthy societies, and to advocate fair research practices internationally. It incorporates the SAN code of ethics which offers a model for fair research practices with indigenous peoples. There is also a ‘Global Code of Conduct’ to encourage fair research and a toolkit for ‘Fair Research Commissioning’
“Technological Responsibility. Guidelines for a shared governance of the process of socialization of scientific research and innovation, within an interconnected world“, 2011. SetDev – Science, Ethics and Technology Responsibility in Developing and Emerging Countries.
These guidelines are the result of dialogue and cooperation between representatives of three major scientific cultures of the contemporary world: European, Indian and African. The Guidelines are intended to be a practical contribution about how to promote effective collective responsibility in science and technology. In doing so, this text offers information, based on the SET-DEV three-year experience, on the social fabric of science, and suggestions on how scientific and technological research can be better integrated into society and be more relevant to society’s needs.
RESEARCH WITH CHILDREN
The Population Council
The Population Council conducts research to address critical health and development issues. They conduct research and programs in more than 50 countries. The Council aims to give voice and visibility to the world’s most vulnerable people, increase awareness of the problems they face and offer evidence-based solutions.
They have useful guidelines on research with children and young people:
The National Children’s Bureau
The NCB guidelines were produced for researchers contemplating involving children and young people (CYP) in their research project – whether as subjects/participants or in a more active role. The guidelines set out NCB Research Centre’s general approach to research with CYP and provide practical guidance for the researcher, through all stages of the research process from planning to dissemination.
RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (RRI)
The project has co-constructed a good-practice governance framework with practitioners and strategic decision-makers – the “Responsibility Navigator” –, which facilitates reflective processes involving multiple stakeholders and policy-makers with the generic aim of making European research and innovation more responsible, responsive, and sustainable. The Navigator was conceived as a means to provide orientation for governance without normatively steering research and innovation in a specific direction.
These guidelines explain what RRI is, and how it can help research to support innovation in delivering a future that is inclusive, healthy and sustainable. The guidelines are an output of the GREAT Project. They offer practical pointers for the actions and activities of a range of interest groups and complement the framework for practitioners and strategic decision-makers, and the ‘Responsibility Navigator’ developed by the parallel Res-AGorA project.
ETHICS OF SURVEY RESEARCH:
Code of standards and Ethics for Survey Research
These documents have been produced by the Council of American Survey Research Organizations and the Marketing Research Association, which represent the both commercial and non-commercial survey research interests in the US. They merged in 2017 to form the Insights Association. A consolidated code was issued in 2019 but its predecessors are still useful
This guidance has been produced by the UK Market Research Society, whose members span both commercial and non-commercial sectors.
ETHICAL EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:
RESPONSIBLE MARKETING OF RESEARCH FINDINGS:
USEFUL DATABASE OF CODES AND GUIDELINES FOR ETHICAL RESEARCH
The PRO-RES consortium partner from the University of Tartu, Estonia was responsible for conducting the mapping of existing codes and guidelines. In addition to the principal ones listed above you can search this list of over 80 codes and guidelines to locate others that might be of relevance to you. This repository is easily accessible with the documents divided between international and national: