The importance of ethical practice in research

Ethics – the moral principles which influence our behaviours and actions – determine our choices and shape our daily lives. Ethics are also integral to the conduct of research, from the design of projects, to the collection and analysis of data, and finally to the publication and communication of findings and recommendations. SUMERNET is building a culture of good ethical practice to support our vision of reducing water insecurities for all in the Mekong Region.

Michael Boyland By Michael Boyland - Apr 22, 2020

Why are research ethics important?

Following ethical norms and principles has several benefits for both researchers and participants. Firstly, they help to promote the general aims of research, such as the search for knowledge and the intention to avoid error. Secondly, ethics promote values that are central to successful collaboration, including respect, trust and accountability. Thirdly, they are an important part of holding researchers accountable to societies and communities, which in turn builds public trust in and support for research.


Ethics principles in SUMERNET

To build a culture of ethical practice across SUMERNET, we are introducing six ethics principles which should be adhered to in all research and related activities conducted in association with our network. These principles will guide the choices we make and actions we take.


Six ethics principles in SUMERNET


To help explain what we mean by these principles and how we expect SUMERNET partners to act on them, we have published a SUMERNET Ethics Guide, available for download here. The guide also outlines the different roles and responsibilities of project leaders, teams, the SUMERNET Steering Committee and the SUMERNET Secretariat, to ensure that the culture of good ethical practice is promoted by us all. You will also find resources and reading materials in the guide, including details of the national ethics institutions and guidelines which work to implement ethical research in each country.


To learn more about ethics in SUMERNET you can watch the video below with SUMERNET Ethics Advisor Michael Boyland, who explains our approach and expectations in more detail. Please get in touch with the SUMERNET Secretariat if you have any questions or need support to maintain high ethical standards in your research.



This story is part of the following project

SUMERNET 4 All: Engaging with water insecurity in the Mekong Region



Related people

Sustainable Mekong Research Network

Building research for policy towards sustainable development in the Mekong Region

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