Research is the process of exploring the truth (my definition). In addition to data and research tools, the characteristics of the researcher greatly affect the results and quality of the research. Since the beginning of the research concept, researchers must be both observant and objective in seeing problems. During the research process, honesty is also required to be able to get quality data.
I liken research results to a product that can be easily duplicated or pirated, just like any other product. Not to mention the added subjectivity for the authorities, who are in need of authentic evidence of their performance achievements. The role of researchers in producing objective results is very important because the results they produce usually result in further policy implications to be developed. If the results are made only based on “orders”, it is certainly unethical and can jeopardize the policies taken afterwards.
Research has research ethics. If these ethics are violated, it will lead to moral sanctions for researchers known as plagiarists or other unpleasant things. In fact, people who feel aggrieved can file a lawsuit with evidence.
So what are some of the things that researchers can do while conducting research?
Fabrication is research that is made up. Fictitious data is then processed with research tools to formulate something. Maybe we think it’s impossible for me to make a fabrication. But wait a minute. Suppose you are collecting questionnaire data, for example. Coming early in the morning with enthusiasm, one farmer after another is visited, and it turns out that the time you calculated was missed. You imagine that you can interview 50 farmers in a day, but it turns out that until three o’clock in the afternoon, you have only completed 20 people. Then you are whispered to by a colleague “The average farmer here is the same; most of the data is just like that”. Well, that sentence is one of your temptations to fabricate, although not one hundred percent.
You need to realize that for predefined sample data, data variation is important, even if it is only slightly different. Then, if the data is sample data that you make up, whose data do you make up?
Don’t fall into fabrication, no matter how small. Keep a logbook so you can avoid this. You can use the logbook as proof that you are not fabricating. The logbook usually contains activities and outputs that have been carried out, including evidence (photos or documents) so that the activities you carry out can be reasonably understood.
After collecting data correctly, when processing it, be careful with falsification. Falsification is the activity of falsifying by changing or misreporting, including discarding conflicting data to change the results. For example, you discover that an activity program is ineffective and should be stopped. However, your supervisor says that the program of activities should be continued. In order to comply with your superior’s mandate, you tweak the research results to produce a report that pleases your superior. That’s clearly falsification.
An easy example that often occurs at the student level is when the results do not match the hypothesis. Then you are busy tinkering with the data until you retake it, and it still does not match the hypothesis. Then you start to get frustrated and intend to change topics. Falsification can occur if the student is pressed for time to graduate.
Plagiarism is more familiar than the previous despicable act. Quoting other researchers’ statements is not prohibited, but it has a rule, which is to give them credit by including the source of the statement. Don’t be afraid if you only seem to take other people’s statements and combine them in one piece of writing. It is still normal, according to the existing corridor, that the idea or writing that you add will become stronger. The type of writing that contains the various views of researchers is usually written in a review.
Here’s how to prevent plagiarism in research that I quoted from the book Guidelines for Writing Scientific Papers issued by the Bogor Agricultural University:
Increase honesty and a sense of responsibility.
Increase understanding that plagiarism will have moral implications.
Increase accuracy and thoroughness in sorting and determining reference literature.
Have confidence that their research plan is not a cheat.
Have confidence in the data or information from other researchers by expressing gratitude or mentioning the source of the cited writing.
Make research notes so that everything he does is well recorded to prove that there is no falsification of data or research results.
As for how to prevent the tendency of plagiarism in writing, still in the same source:
Archiving the original sources of reference so as to avoid deliberate carelessness
Understand the true intent of the writing of others that will be quoted.
Proficient in paraphrasing to express summaries of other people’s writings or thoughts.
Respect authorship rights and intellectual property rights.
Write down the source of reference for other people’s ideas or results as an acknowledgment and expression of appreciation.
In closing, I emphasize that research results will be useful in the hands of researchers who have good character and are able to avoid misconduct during research. Hopefully, you are that person.