Principles and Ethics

While this Policy covers all research on human subjects and is intended to safeguard those subjects’ rights, researchers themselves also bear responsibility for safeguarding those rights. Thus, they are expected to adhere to the following Statement of Principles and Ethics, and are encouraged to consult additional disciplinary statements such as those referenced below.

Statement of Principles and Ethics

  • Compliance With Law, Standards, and College Policy
    Researchers plan and conduct research with human participants in a manner consistent with federal and state law and regulations, as well as professional disciplinary standards governing the conduct of research. As required by this Policy, researchers obtain institutional approval prior to conducting research.
  • Informed Consent to Participate
    Prior to conducting research (except research involving only anonymous surveys, naturalistic observations, or similar research), researchers enter into an agreement with participants that clarifies the nature of the research. Participants are informed of all features of the research that might influence their willingness to participate. Further, researchers respect each participant's freedom to decline to participate in research or discontinue participation at any time for any reason and without penalty.
  • Minimization of Invasiveness and Harm
    Researchers protect participants from physical and mental discomfort, harm, and danger. Risks to participants are minimized and explained to the participant before she or he agrees to participate. If the research procedure has undesirable effects on participants, the researcher should remedy these effects.
  • Deception in Research
    Researchers do not conduct an investigation involving deception unless they have determined that the use of deceptive techniques is justified by the prospective scientific or educational value and that equally effective alternative procedures that do not use deception are not feasible.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy
    All personally identifiable information obtained from participants is confidential. When the possibility exists that others may obtain this information, participants are informed of this before they consent to participate. All information and data are handled, stored, and discarded in a manner that insures the confidentiality of each participant.

Disciplinary Professional Organizations’ Statements of Ethics Resources