During the past month participants of the EU Research Skills II seminar have been reflecting on and discussing the role of research ethics in their studies. Discussions were spread over two weeks. During the first week, participants considered what kind of ethical questions they typically encounter in their research and what kind of ethical guidelines have been established in their disciplines. Then, participants reflected on issues related to intellectual dishonesty and ethical problems posed by digitalization of research methodology. Finally, they discussed ethical codes and six principles of ethical research conduct: transparency, disclosure, confidentiality, voluntary participation, do-not-harm, and independence of research.
During the second week, seminar participants examined and compared ethical guidelines of Hitotsubashi University and other universities in Japan and abroad. Among several conclusions, students noticed considerable differences in the institutional practices and rulemaking related to research ethics. Students also observed that availability of ethical codes is not enough to prevent dishonest research conduct. It was concluded that adequate training and education are equally if not more important.