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Mainstreaming Ethics in Human-Participant Research: Perspectives and Practices of Social Science Research Organizations and Researchers in the Philippines

Dates of Implementation/Duration:

16 February 2022 to 15 August 2023

Partner Institution:



The study aims to:

  1. Find out whether research organizations observe internal or external code(s) of ethics in human-participant research;
  2. Inquire into how research organizations view and implement/enforce ethical standards and codes in human-participant research;
  3. Inquire into measures carried out by research organizations to comply with the Philippine Data Privacy Act;
  4. Investigate how researchers understand, view, and practice ethics and data privacy principles in human-participant research; 
  5. Explore whether research organizations’ ethical codes/guidelines and data privacy measures foster ethical thinking among and influence ethical decision-making of researchers; and
  6. Document research misconduct, privacy breaches and other ethical violations experienced by research organizations and researchers and how they addressed these (if at all).
  7. Explore the processes being implemented by research organizations with Ethics Review Committees.

About the Project

The past decade witnessed research stakeholders’ increasing awareness of and concern for ethical standards in human-participant research. This is manifested by the growing number of ethics review boards, funding institutions requiring ethics clearance for research proposals, and professional organizations establishing/adopting their own code of ethics, to name a few. The push for ethical research has been largely influenced by the global activism for human rights and against the exploitation of vulnerable groups. It is also a backlash against flagrant privacy infringements in Internet-based platforms and social media, which have resulted in tougher privacy rules and regulations, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation and at the local level, the Philippine Data Privacy Act.

Whether these developments have steered social science researchers and research organizations to view their research endeavors with an ethics lens and behave more ethically, have yet to be established. This proposed study aims to fill the knowledge gap on what Filipino research organizations and researchers think about ethics and how much they bring to bear ethical principles or standards in their research projects. It aims to answer the principal question: How entrenched or embedded are ethical standards in human-participant research among social science research organizations and researchers in the Philippines?