When we talk about research ethics, we mean acting ethically and following responsible and correct practices. The University of Applied Sciences has also committed to complying with the Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland guidelines (TENK 2012) of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK). The University of Applied Sciences is also committed to the ethical guidelines for humanities, social sciences and behavioural sciences drawn up by the Board on Research Integrity and to arranging an ethical review in accordance with the recommendation. The University of Applied Sciences also complies with Arene’s ethical recommendations on theses .
The ethical starting points of thesis work are examined in more detail in your own field’s methodology studies.
The key ethical principles related to the thesis and your own activities as a thesis author are the following:
Disqualification refers to whether you have a relationship with the subject matter, its parties or persons otherwise affected by the decision in the matter that may compromise your impartiality. In terms of disqualification, it is enough that impartiality may have been objectively deemed compromised.
Research permit and ethical review for theses
As soon as the topic and method of implementation of the thesis have been determined, it is advisable to consider the ethics of the work with the supervisor, if necessary, and whether research permits and/or an ethical review are required. Sometimes a research permit is also required. Some organisations wish to apply for a permit using their own form, but if such a form is not available, you can use Lapland UAS’s general research permit form . If you study matters related to the personnel and/or students of Lapland UAS, you will always need a research permit , which you apply for from the Rector through the records office.
The theses carried out at the University of Applied Sciences rarely require an ethical review, as the theses of bachelor-level studies do not meet the criteria for scientific research. Theses included in the Master's degrees may be scientific research, especially if they are conducted as part of a larger research or RDI project. In this case, the ethical review is applied for the entire study, not the individual thesis conducted as part of it. However, if the thesis is planned to be implemented in a way that falls within the scope of the ethical review, the student will apply for an ethical review from the Ethics Committee together with their supervisor. More information on the ethical review is available on the Responsible Research website. Does a study require an ethical review, and who carries them out?
Processing of personal data (data protection)
Personal data refers to information describing a natural person, their characteristics or their living conditions which can be identified as relating to them, their family or their household. The definition of personal data includes personal data that can be used to identify a person directly, but also data that can be used to identify a person indirectly (tenk.fi).
Read Lapland UAS’s guide on Data protection and thesis
Public availability of the thesis
A thesis prepared in a public school is a public document (the Constitution of Finland 12.2 §; Act on the Openness of Government Activities 1 §).
The publicity of the thesis may be restricted only in respect of material that is prescribed by law to be kept secret. The decision of the University of Applied Sciences on the secrecy of a thesis must be based on the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), which stipulates that documents containing business secrets (if the concerned party does not consent to the publication thereof) or documents concerning the research plan or basic material of a thesis or scientific study must be kept secret, unless it is clear that the publication thereof does impede the performance of the thesis, its utilisation, appropriate assessment, its researcher or RDI partner(s) (§ 24). The patenting of a possible invention complies with Act on the Right in Inventions made at Higher Education Institutions and general patent law.
According to the instructions issued by the Ministry of Education (2/500/2004), universities and universities of applied sciences must ensure that confidential material is not included in theses, and that theses are public immediately after approval.
It is good to discuss the publicity of the thesis with the partner already when negotiating the commission. The student ensures that the thesis does not contain information that has been agreed to be kept secret with a cooperative partner. If the source material used in the thesis contains confidential material, it must be placed in the background material, not in the public thesis itself.
The student must formulate the research material in such a way that it allows the preparation of a report or other presentation in accordance with the guidelines of the University of Applied Sciences. In the formulation, it is good to consider whether the perspective on the topic allows to make a thesis that contains only information that can be published and how the confidentiality requirements of the potential cooperation partner limit the preparation of the published thesis and how they must be taken into account in the content and presentation of the thesis. Possible confidential ancillary material should be considered in the thesis agreement (see Agreement, YSE and related instructions ).
The abstract of the thesis should mention if the thesis contains a confidential attachment. In this case, the attachment is a separate secret part of the background material of the thesis, which remains with the cooperative party.
The assessment of the thesis is targeted at the public part of the thesis, the secret attachment is not assessed in accordance with the Degree Regulations of Lapland UAS.
The theses are uploaded to Open Repository Theseus, where UAS theses are published online. Lapland UAS provides its students with the opportunity to save their thesis in the open or restricted collection. Works stored in the open collection are free to read, browse and print on the Internet. Of a thesis saved in the restricted collection, search engines will find the metadata and abstract of your thesis, and they can be read by anyone. The PDF file of a work saved in the restricted collection can only be accessed from IP addresses specified by Lapland UAS.
Ethical use of information
Plagiarism refers to presenting the text or idea of another person in one’s own written work in such a way that the source is not given. In this case, the text and ideas contained therein are considered to have been created by the student. Plagiarism is prohibited by copyright law. At Lapland UAS, all theses are checked for plagiarism through the Ouriginal plagiarism detection software.
In addition to plagiarism, good scientific practice also defines the broader concept of misappropriation. It refers to the unauthorised presentation or use of another person’s research result, idea, plan, observations or material in one’s own name.
If the author of the thesis has violated good scientific practice, this will be reported in writing. The matter will be handled in accordance with degree regulations and ethical principles
Examples of good sources for examining the ethical basis of your thesis