Overview of Ethical Considerations

What are important principles to conduct ethical research?

Key Points

  • Ethical considerations in clinical research describe the types of ethical rules that should be followed when conducting experiments or studies. These ethical guidelines are often shaped by historical events and are put in place to prevent future unethical research practices.
  • These ethical considerations are abided by according to guidelines provided by certain international documents, such as The Belmont Report (provided below).

Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses


  • The Belmont Report
    • Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research from The Belmont Report, a prototype of ethical guidance.
  • Ethical Considerations in Human Subjects Research
    • Short Appendix that explains the topics of Institutional Review Boards (IRB) and the process of getting approved for your own study.
  • Human Subjects in Research
    • Dives into the rules, regulations, principles, and guidelines of having human subjects within a study. Also has great Works Cited list with further resources.
  • The Helsinki Declaration
    • This document was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1964 as a statement for ethical research practices on human individuals including human material and data that may be part of said research.


  • Ethics of Research with Human Subjects
    • This 4-minute video from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Medical Ethics and Health Policy gives clear and concise outlines for the ethical guidelines that need to be followed while conducting a study.