Every single PhD student across the globe should write a good PhD Research Dissertation on a particular research topic for the completion of his/her degree. So, it is essential for the PhD students to select a good research topic of student’s interest to develop a Quality PhD Research Dissertation. To ensure feasibility and safety of the selected research topic, there is a set of ethical guidelines and university regulations to be precisely considered by the students to get ethical clearance from the university before starting his/her research work.

Ethical consideration is one of the important steps in drafting a good PhD dissertation. The ethical guidelines and university regulations may vary from place to place. Yet, there is a set of basic principles in research ethics which has to be followed strictly by the students. If the student is found breaching the ethical protocol and university guidelines, the students may face serious consequences or termination of the research work. This article illustrates the basic principles in research ethics and ethical considerations on writing a quality dissertation. I hope this article will help you to understand the importance and benefits of ethical consideration.

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Basic principles for research ethical consideration 

These are some of the fundamental principles for research ethical consideration which should be followed rigorously by the students.

  • Minimise the risk of harm
  • Acquire informed consent
  • Protect anonymity and confidentiality
  • Respect other’s idea and acknowledge them
  • Avoid deceptive or exaggeration practices
  • Provide the right to withdraw
  1. Minimise the risk of harm:

This is the most important Ethical Consideration in any Research Work where it explains that the student should not only focus on getting good results but also avoid doing any harm. In other words, the participants should not be harmed in ways during the research phase. Sometimes the university may ask the student to fill out the ethical clearance form if the supervisor feels high potential risk in the Research Work. In this ethical clearance form, the student is asked to disclose the aim, objective, necessity, previous works on the similar area and the potential risk to the researcher, participant & the surrounding. Moreover, there are possibilities for different types of harms such as physical harm, mental stress, financial breakdown etc. during the research phase.

  1. Acquire informed consent:

The participant taking part in your research work should be informed about the research process, methodology and most importantly about the role of the participant in the research work. The participant has the freedom and the rights to decide whether he/she wants to participate or not. Before signing the agreement, the participant should be thoroughly explained about the research process and the potential risks in it.

The research scholar should acquire an official full consent statement from the participant prior to the research work. Moreover, the participant should not be deceived or forced to take part in the research work. This ethical consideration is mainly established to protect the vulnerable people from any poor research practice.  

  1. Protect anonymity and confidentiality:

The identity and the research data about the participant should be protected throughout the research process. If the PhD scholar is interested in disclosing the identity of the participant in the PhD research dissertation, Prior permission and full consent is required from the participant.

It is advisable to use code or identifiers like Mr. X, Mark-1 etc. to protect the true identity and personal information of the participant. Furthermore, it is the duty of the researcher to ensure that he/she protects the anonymity and confidentiality of the participant at all the stages of the research process.

  1. Respect other’s idea and acknowledge them:

This ethical consideration clearly reflects the character and temperament of the research student. During the research process, PhD students should be open to feedback, ideas, opinions and comments from others. Moreover, the scholar should also learn to appreciate and respect other’s ideas and opinions. It is paramount important to give appropriate credits to the respective person in the team for their contribution. If the student fails to acknowledge other scholar’s work which is used in their dissertation then it is considered as an act of intellectual theft or plagiarism. So, it is advisable to go for a plagiarism correction once the drafting phase is done.

  1. Avoid deceptive practices and exaggeration:

The PhD scholar should try to avoid any sort of deception practices while drafting the PhD dissertation. It is also advisable to present the research data without manipulation or exaggeration.

The PhD research dissertation is an Academic Manuscript which will be archived for future references. In that case, the practice of deception or exaggeration in the PhD research dissertation can change the course of the research. So, the students should try to avoid or minimise this practice. Importantly, the student should ensure that the aim and objective of the research work is simple, clear and straight without any sort of deception or exaggeration.

  1. Provide the right to withdraw:

The PhD scholar should ensure that the research participant is aware of the right to withdraw from the research work at any part of the research phase. If the research participant is willing to withdraw from the research work, he/she has the legal rights to do it. Pressuring or compelling the research participant to stay in the research work despite the participant’s interest should be strictly avoided. These are the top 6 basic principles in ethical consideration which should be meticulously followed by the PhD scholar to develop a quality dissertation.


As quoted by the American judge Potter Stewart, “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” This quote clearly explains the importance of ethics in ensuring morality in our society. Similarly, even in the research domain, ethical consideration and other ethical protocols establish a standard guideline to be followed by the researcher to ensure safety. So, this article conclusively illustrates the basic principles and the importance of research ethics and ethical considerations on writing a quality dissertation.


  1. Dudovskiy, J. (2016). The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation in Business Studies: A Step-by-Step Assistance.
  2. Bryman, A. &  Bell, E. “Business Research Methods”, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press. 2007.
  3. Siti Roshaidai Mohd Arifin, “Ethical Considerations in Qualitative Study.” International Journal of Care Scholars. 2018, 30-33.
  4. Carrie winstanley, “writing a dissertation for dummies.” John Wiley & Sons; UK edition. June 2009.
  5. Elliott, D. & Stern, J.E.,“Research ethics : a reader” Hanover, NH : University Press of New England, 1997.

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