Data Collection Code of Ethics


Ethics are an important part of any research and every researcher needs to follow a number of professional, personal and individual ethics while conducting a research study. Usually the ethics are known as client ethics, field service ethics and ethics to respondents etc. In addition, there are certain ethics for data collection. The marketing research association is an association which is dedicated to promote the excellence in data collection and to which many field services belong.

It has introduced a number of data collection code of ethics for researchers and organizations which should be taken care of while collecting data. This essay is an analysis of some most important code of ethics from the list defined by Marketing Research Association.

Most Important Aspects of Data Collection Code of Ethics

There are various aspects of data collection code of ethics which can be said as the most important ones. These include the:

Professional Attitude

The Marketing Research Association States that “the companies engaged in data collection will conduct themselves in a professional manner and ensure privacy and confidentiality.” It also states that they will make factually correct statements to secure cooperation and will honor promises made during the interview to respondents, whether verbal or written. This can be said the most important code of ethic for data collection as it believes in the professional attitude of companies and researchers (Dowling, 2009).

The professional attitude does not only involve to deal with participants in a professional manner but it also adheres to follow all of the norms and ethics defined by the Marketing Research Association. Professional attitude also refers to conduct the research without any personal biasness that the researchers should take care of eh personal freedom of the participants.


The Marketing Research Association has stated that the data collecting companies should take care of the confidentiality of the respondents. This includes that the companies will give respondents the opportunity to refuse to participate in the research when there is a possibility they may be identifiable even without the use of their name or address (e.g., because of the size of the population being sampled) (McDaniel & Gates, 2013). In addition, they will not use information to identify respondents without the permission of the respondent except to those who check the data or are involved in processing the data. If such permission is given, the interviewer must record it, or a respondent must do so, during all Internet studies, at the time the permission is secured. This code of ethic defined by the MRA ensures that companies will not reveal any information that could be used to identify clients without their written authorization and thus resulting in maintain the confidentiality of all of their given data and their identity (Mateo & Sunny, 2013).

Participant’s Opinions

The research ethics defined by the Marketing Research Association ensure that the companies that collect the data form participants will take care of the opinions of the participants. In addition, they will treat the respondent with respect and not influence a respondent’s opinion or attitude on any issue through direct or indirect attempts, including the framing of questions. This code of ethic adheres to ensure that the collected data is not manipulated by the companies or researchers for proving their own research questions in any way (Masters, 2013).

Informed Consent

This can be said as another valuable research ethics important in collecting data. This refers to the concept that companies will obtain and document respondent consent when it is known that the personally identifiable information of the respondent may be passed by audio, video, or Interactive Voice Response to a third party for legal or other purposes. Moreover, they will respect the respondent’s right to withdraw or refuse to cooperate at any stage of the study and will not use any procedure or technique to coerce or imply that cooperation is obligatory (Reidenbach & Robin, 2013).The informed consent is usually considered important in the research studies where the data collection bodies are considered as liable to ask for the permission of participants before collecting any kind of data form them.

Rules and Regulations

Lastly, the Marketing Research Association also ensures that will ensure that all interviewers comply with any laws or regulations that may be applicable when contacting or communicating to any minor (18 years old or younger) regardless of the technology or methodology utilized. This refers to the concept that the conducted research studies will be legal in every way and they will meet with the regulations and rules. Besides, rules and regulations in a research also refer to the ethical considerations defined by the host companies, the regulatory bodies and any research organizations. Focusing on this, it should be considered as an ethical obligation by the companies and they should take care of any kind of rules and regulations while conducting their marketing research.



Dowling, R. (2009). Ethical Issues in Research . My Science Work.

Masters, T. (2013). Ethical Considerations of Marketing Research . Small Business Chronicle.

Mateo, K., & Sunny, M. (2013). Chapter 4- Ethical Issues in Marketing Research- Rough Draft** . BMKT 360 Summer 2013, 4.

McDaniel, C., & Gates, R. (2013). The role of marketing research in management decision making. In Marketing Research Essentials (pp. 28-29). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Reidenbach, E., & Robin, D. (2013). Some Initial Steps Toward Improving the Measurement of Ethical Evaluations of Marketing Activities. In Citation Classics from the Journal of Business Ethics, 315-328.