Ethical conduct is an essential aspect to conducting ethnobiological research. This applies if the research that deals with human subjects, human knowledge, resources, or the land.
Ethics are the moral rules that govern our behavior. This behavior applies widely and involves other people, cultures, religions, places and even professional colleagues.
There are many examples of professionals who have failed to adhere to even the most basic ethical behaviors. This has led to tragic results. The response has been the development of strict guidelines that spell out appropriate behavior. All researchers (broadly defined) must abide by these standards.
Formal training and institutional approval are key elements in the system of ethical conduct.
There are strict regulations for Americans who do research with human subjects. This covers not only researchers (in a traditional sense), but may also be a requirement in educational contexts. It is essential that individuals who intend to do any research be properly trained and that their research proposals be subjected to rigorous review and approval by the appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB).
There are a number of on-line resources for Human Subjects training.
Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)
Professional Codes of Ethics