When you do research work, you become part of a larger effort to understand the world and make it a better place.
Research on human beings comes with special responsibilities. In the United States, we have ethical standards for research on human beings. Ethical standards help us decide the right and moral ways to act.
You are responsible for helping the research team live up to the ethical standards. These standards allow us to gain knowledge while respecting the rights of all.
About this site
This Web site is for people who do research work in communities. Research work includes recruiting people for research, handing out questionnaires and interviewing people. This site is also for research supervisors.
This site will:
You should also know that:
We made this Web site after talking with people who do research work in the community. It reflects how front-line research workers and their supervisors understand ethical issues in their work.
This project was funded by the Office of Research Integrity. The official title of the project is Educating Staff in Community Agencies about Human Subjects Protection in Research.
Throughout the site, we connect the discussion to three principles:
These principles are explained in an important government document called the Belmont Report. The Belmont Report was written in 1979. The principles of the Belmont Report guide research ethics with human subjects across the U.S. (Click here to read more.)
This site has four sections that explain ideas: The Research Protocol, Recruiting Participants, Confidentiality, and Professionalism. The Applications section shows how these ideas apply to real life. You can use the sections in different ways. You could:
Now choose a topic from the side menu near the top of this page, and start thinking!