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The Neglected Ethical Dimension in Tanzanian Academic Research

William A.L. Anangisye

Abstract

The study examined the place of ethics in academic research reports in Tanzania. It drew on the research experiences of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). Data used in this study were generated from 1,815 academic research reports at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as 85 PhD research proposals, which were all subjected to a critical analysis. The study found that none of the undergraduate independent studies analysed showed any sensitivity to research ethics. Similarly, only less than 7% of the master‘s dissertations/theses, 2% of the PhD theses, and less than 16% of PhD research proposals had such sensitivity to research ethics. Therefore, the study concluded that the universities under study did not generally take ethical issues in research, which should be a matter of necessity. This disregard of ethics is attributable to researchers being unaware of the ethical nature inherent in research. In this regard, universities have the obligation to promote the appreciation of ethics in university research.

Keywords

research ethics, research methods curricula, university, Tanzania

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