A famous saying goes that the history of Russia is too important to be left to the historians. Similarly, should we rely on the researchers who think education and research as a weapon solely to pursue materialistic desires? It is obviously not as these disguised researchers can bring nothing but disastrous consequence in the field of education and research.
It may be an ultimate devastation when we see that the quality of the researchers and their works goes below the mark.
In some cases, their studies face extensive blame because of their deviation from practicing research ethics. How far the researchers can contribute to the country and nation when their scholarly contributions correspond to the exaggeration devoid of research ethics?
In fact, research ethics refer to a set of principles and practices followed to conduct a research. Ethics in research is a guiding force integral to the conduct of research and from the beginning to the end everywhere research is controlled by the set of the ethics.
In most cases, the ethics in research include seeking consent from the participants, protecting anonymity and confidentiality while collecting data from the participants, avoiding deceptive practice, the risk of harms to the participants. But it may turn most devastating when the data are manipulated and the research is plagiarized. Certainly, it is an academic misconduct.
Academic misconduct cannot be endured at any circumstances. In European, American, or in Australian universities the act of plagiarism is addressed harshly, even the studentship may be cancelled for that or in case of gross violation students may be charged with imprisonment. Consequently, in those countries the rate of committing plagiarism is very rare as students are ingrained with strong morals. Really, one cannot learn ethics unless one is motivated to do so.
Regrettably, we speak of ethics in research but we seldom follow the ethical norms thoroughly while conducting studies. However, we cannot blindly claim that all researchers break the research ethics. But fake studies mislead the society.
It is universally acknowledged that research creates new knowledge. It is conducted to address the existing research gap and to create new innovations levelling up the gap. Unfortunately, in these days the number of Ph.D. holders has increased manifolds but what will we do with the huge degree holders if their researches are conducted in the deceptive way which fails to address the desirous outcome. Can the reviewers and research supervisors deny their responsibilities in this regards? Obviously, they have little scopes to do so.
Most often we see that many researchers are overwhelmingly involved in pursuing studies for the sake of their self-interest, may be the case of promotion and many other monetary incentives with no thinking over the issue of societal and national benefits. These sorts of cases are mostly found in the social science research. Their core aim is to complete their assigned research activities adopting fair or foul means. Again, it is obvious that every researcher is well-aware of research ethics but to find the shortcut they are involved in unethical activities in research which is really shocking.
On top of that, the academics in a country are supposed to uplift morality but it is regretted when they are found associated with immoral activities. Academic misappropriations and plagiarism are not only widespread among students, but it is also practiced by some faculty members, especially in the arena of higher education. It is really frustrating when teachers are found involved in plagiarism, do we dare to combat the copy-paste culture prevailing in the country when teachers are found to do so? When gold rusts what will iron do?
Things get tougher when we see that majority of students do not realise that adopting plagiarism while conducting a study is an offensive act. Do teachers bother on students for their unethical activities in academic purposes? Do teachers encourage students not to indulge in copy and paste culture? The answers are still a debate in most cases.
According to many scholars, there may be two causes for which the research ethics may be grossly violated. One is poor knowledge of scholarly paradigm and the other is to search for shortcut way to conduct research. Again language difficulties may be the reason of violating research ethics for many.
The continuous development cannot be accelerated without the genuine findings of the studies which has no alternatives to conducting genuine research following the research ethics.
The writer teaches at Prime University and a research scholar at the IBS. Email: [email protected]