Research may inflict harm on individuals (the researched as well as the researchers), groups and even entire societies. Research ethical norms and regulations aim to guide research practice in a way that avoids harm while safeguarding the freedom of research. A central tenet of research ethics is reflexivity with regard to the principles and values that guide research practice and the researcher-researched relationship.
There is an increasing awareness of research ethical issues in the social and economic sciences and researchers are more often expected to present proof of ethical approval, for example, in order to obtain research funding or publish in journals on a European and international level. To foster a common understanding in the social and economic sciences and the scientific community as a whole, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) has developed a harmonised comprehensive concept for principles and review procedures of research ethics in the social and economic sciences, which is the result of a broad consultation process in the scientific community.
Overview of the German Data Forum's activities, resources and work results on the topic of research ethics: