From the Ethics of the Research Project to the Ethical Communication of Science: Particularities in the Social and Humanistic Fields

From the Ethics of the Research Project to the Ethical Communication of Science: Particularities in the Social and Humanistic Fields

Antonio Sandu (University of Suceava, Romania & LUMEN Research Center in Social and Humanistic Sciences, Romania)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 42
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6310-5.ch001

Abstract

A postmodern interference between bioethics, epistemology, and philosophy of science arises from the field of ethics of research on human subjects. Being a research with a high level of subjectivity, it will also load the researcher with the responsibility towards the social meaning of the results, the correctness of using the methodology, honesty, presenting the limits of research, including the epistemic and methodological ones, as well as the needs of the subjects participating in the investigation. The ethics of research is based on a series of principles, of which the most significant are the honesty of obtaining and presenting results, the non-harm of human subjects, the respect for the autonomy of the subjects, and the principle of beneficence.
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The Mainstream And The Scientific Nature Of A Research

The deviation from mainstream, when the reseacher finds it necessary in order to completly revolutionize the area of research, must in turn be governed by laws or norms of research accepted or acceptable in that academic community. Precisely this epistemological nucleus makes a research be declared as scientific. In reality, the scientific mainstream is much more than the current of thought that is majoritary in that branch of science. The concept is thereof a cultural construct, rather than a scientific current. We present a series of acceptions of the concept:

  • Elements of knowledge accesible to the public (in case of scientific mainstream accesible to the targeted audience, members of the scientific community);

  • Elements of knowledge related to the institutional environment (Sandu, 2009a).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ethical Approval: A component of the research process, whose purpose is to protect both the researcher and the participants in the research, which should have their dignity, rights, safety, and welfare respected. The existence of ethical approval is mandatory in all biomedical research and also in all research on human subjects that include vulnerable populations, or in situations that could bring, in any way, harm to the participant.

Predatory Journal: A scientific journal that apparently has a legitimate business model, and usually charges for publication, but has a very poor, or none at all, peer-review process.

Open Access: Type of publication available online for free, that can or cannot allow the author(s) to retain the copyright of their article(s). Some of the open-access journals charge the author(s) or their institution of affiliation with a fee for maintaining the article online and available for free.

Research on Demand: A research developed upon request. This kind of research could be legit, the authors fulfilling all epistemological or methodological criteria, but could also present falsified or incomplete results in order to prove and support the financer’s point of view. The companies or freelancers who write scientific papers upon request (for example doctoral theses), aside from falsifying the authorship (ghost writing), justify their activity as being research on demand, thus transferring the entire responsibility of using data and texts to the client.

Ghost Writing: The action of writing a paper or research project on behalf of another person, who will assume the credit of authorship. Although this practice is usual in domains such as politics, business, law etc., it is an unethical behavior in scientific writing.

Peer Review: The process of evaluating the research projects or papers proposed to be published, by experts in the field of the paper. Usually the process of peer-review is blind (most commonly in evaluating research proposals)—the author not being informed of who is the reviewer for his paper—or double-blind (usually used for scientific papers in journals or books)—the authors has no idea who is the reviewer, and the reviewer has no knowledge of the identity of the author(s).

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