Code of Ethics
By recording code of ethics we write down the most important aspects of the ethical responsibility that is interknitted with the job at the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland; for the purpose of inspiring and aid it's staff in doing their jobs in a precise and effective way.
Recorded code of ethics have a correspondence in various acts of the law, and it's desirable that these correspond as much as possible. The most important role of the recorded code of ethics is to give a more general guide to conduct and professional responsibility than is in rules and regulations.
Code of Ethics
Development of study design and measurements should always be done solidly. Precise methods should be used when collecting data, cleaning data, and analyzing data. With each step it should be ensured as much as possible that results are reliable and valid.
- Staff of the Social Science Research Institute works in the spirit of the general truth that knowledge has value in and of itself as well as value for individuals and society. Therefore, above all, one should practice theoretical methods, seek the truth, and present it to the best of one's knowledge.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute strives to preserve and strengthen their professional skills. Their work must demonstrate that they are concerned about good practice.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute does not present the intellectual property of others as their own. When it exploits the intellectual property of others, it can always source in accordance with accepted theoretical practices.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute avoids disputes over conflicts of interest which restrict research freedom and impedes accepted theoretical working methods. The SSRI declares all existing interests.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute only recommend and use tools and diagnostic methods that in their professional opinion are best suited to solve the problem at hand.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute does not select measuring instruments or research methods that could give misleading results.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute does not interpret the results of research inconsistently with the available data nor permits such an interpretation.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute does not indicate that data can be interpreted with more certainty than the data actually offers.
- When the results of research are published in a public forum, the staff of the Social Science Research Institute do not hide the results, methods, ideas or technology unless urgent and generally accepted reasons so require. The staff is open to criticism, collaboration and new ideas
The staff of the Social Science Research Institute describes methods and results accurately and in detail as is appropriate in all research reports. The criteria for minimum information shall be as set out in Part IV.
If any part of the Social Science Research Institute's work is to be formally removed due to suspicion that any part of these rules has not been respected, additional information about the study must be provided in detail so that another independent researcher can make a professional assessment of it.
1. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute performs their work diligently.
2. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute is free to criticize the institute's policy and working methods in a matter-of-fact manner.
3. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute seeks not to damage its reputation. It avoids undertaking tasks that do not comply with its obligations to it.
4. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute strives to ensure that the institute fulfills its role and that its ethics are observed. Handling of funds and other valuables
5. The Social Science Research Institute takes care of all funds and other valuables entrusted to them and which it has at its disposal for its work and does not use them for the benefit of its private interests.
Professional responsibility towards the public.
1. The staff of the Social Sciences Institute strives to promote research in society, as well as free, objective and critical exchange of views.
2. In preparing a report to be made public, it shall be ensured that the results are presented in a balanced and accurate manner.
3. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute ensures that the information it provides is correct and as accurate as possible.
4. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute shall always bear in mind restrictions on working methods, working capacity and knowledge. It does not assert more than knowledge gives rise to at any given time, but acknowledges when its knowledge is limited, gathers information, or refers inquiries to relevant parties.
Proficiency and integrity
5. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute is self-critical and refines its judgments. It does not falsify or distort information, data or research results. It should be noted that published results do not provide a one-sided and misleading picture of the subject. It avoids any mistakes and errors in the research work.
6. If serious inaccuracies or misrepresentations are discovered in connection with an investigation by the Social Science Research Institute, then what is needed to correct inaccuracies or misrepresentations shall be made public. This may include a statement to the media, legislators, regulatory bodies or other appropriate groups that received inaccurate and/or incorrect information from the investigation.
7. When the staff of the Social Science Research Institute is working on a study intended for publication to the public, the client should be informed in advance that he or she is obliged to publish the minimum information about the study. The staff of the Social Sciences Institute should try as much as possible to encourage the client to follow the standards of minimum information in which he/she submits results (publicly) from the study.
8. The staff of the Social Sciences Institute thinks responsibly of the consequences of their teaching and research for society, the environment, and nature.
9. The staff of the Social Sciences Institute who participate in public debate or engage in social and political affairs does so according to their own convictions. At the same time, they are reminded of their responsibilities as university citizens.
Professional responsibility towards customers and/or sponsors.
1. When working for a client, all information from him or her obtained in the investigation is confidential.
2. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute maintains confidentiality with their clients. It ensures that personal information is only used for objective purposes and that access to such information is limited. The institute takes the utmost care wherever and whenever clients' issues are discussed.
3. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute do not discriminate against customers, for example on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, religion or beliefs. The institute does not provide any special assistance based on personal relationships.
Professional responsibility towards participants.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute avoids work methods or methods that could harm, diminish, or mislead research participants.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute respects the participants' concerns about confidentiality with them and ensures that their interests enjoy the utmost protection.
- In general, participation in research is voluntary. Participants should always be given sufficient information about the study they have sampled so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to participate.
- The staff of the Social Science Research Institute does not mislead or undertake authorizations or carry out tasks (such as sales, fundraising, or election campaigns) under the guise of an investigation.
- Respondents shall always be kept confidential and keep information that could make them identifiable separate from his answers unless the respondent himself gives permission for something else for a specific purpose. The staff of the Social Science Research Institute does not disclose or use the names of respondents for purposes other than the study in which they have agreed to participate unless they give permission for it.
- The staff of the Institute of Social Sciences understands that the use of research results for legal purposes does not relieve them of the moral obligation to keep all information that can be linked to respondents secret or it reduces the importance of the anonymity of respondents.
Good professional practice includes the duty of researchers to publish or have available the necessary information about the study when submitting a report or publishing the results. The following information should at least always accompany the report and/or presentation of the results of the study:
- For whom the research is carried out and who carried it out.
- Exact wording of questions, as well as instructional texts and explanations of questions that could potentially affect participants' answers.
- Definition of population and description of sample.
- Description of the sampling method where it is clear which method was used to select participants or whether participation was voluntary.
- Sample size and when possible criteria for the selection of participants (eg age, gender), methods for selecting participants (eg national register, online panel) and response rate.
- Discussion of the accuracy of the results, including a sampling error estimate and a description of any weighing or evaluation procedures used.
- Explain which results are based on which part of the sample and how large that part is.
- Method, location and date of data collection.