A REVIEW OF ETHICAL CHALLENGES IN THE SOCIAL RESEARCH ENTERPRISE
The challenges humans face all over the world necessitate the need for scientific research to solving the problems. Meanwhile, the process of conducting research in the social sciences may results in harm to the study participants; thus, the need for and adherence to ethical considerations to guide social scientific studies. This theoretical paper, therefore, is an attempt to review ethical challenges in the Social Sciences. The paper, which utilized the functionalist theory, identified the important role research ethical play in quality research output in the social sciences. The paper also examined the areas where ethical considerations are needed in social research, including among others: research methods, subject matter, data analysis and reporting, and utilization of research findings. Major ethical principles in social science research were highlighted in this paper. Furthermore, common ethical challenges in social research were also addressed. The paper concludes that, strict adherence to ethical standards in social research would go a long way to ensure credibility in any research enterprise, and by extension, lead to sustainable national development. An enduring strategy is therefore, needed to enhance ethical practices in the social science research. We, therefore, recommend, among others that, universities and other higher institutions of learning should establish Research and Ethics Committees that would ensure that both students and researchers always obtain ethical clearance before embarking on any research involving human beings, especially. Also, the professional bodies in the Social Science Faculty should, as a matter of urgency establish ethical codes for its members regarding the conduct of social research.
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