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How to Research Malaysia’s Performing Arts Ethically

  • September 29, 2021

Research ethics is important to protect the integrity, rights and welfare of academicians, research participants and performing arts practitioners.

Some of you might have these following worries:

  • Unsure what is right and what is wrong in doing research
  • Encounter backlash once the paper is published
  • Finding ethical resources for Malaysia’s performing arts

In this article, we will take you through how to  research Malaysia’s performing arts before your paper gets published.

Why Research Ethics is Important

According to Resnick, doing research ethically is crucial  

  • To Promote the aims of research
  • To Support values required for collaborative work such as mutual respect and fairness
  • So Researchers can be held accountable for their actions
  • To Ensure that the public can trust the research
  • To Support social and moral values

Therefore, research ethics helps to run your research smoothly with minimal barriers and arguments with various parties.

Now you know why research ethics is important, it’s time to look at how to do your research ethically.

Be transparent in discussing about intellectual property

Many researchers encounter problems for not crediting sources in their paper. Remember to credit all of those who have contributed to your research, including the sources of  materials you collect and analyse.

Be aware of your multiple roles

Don’t get too personal with people who are part of your research as it will hamper your professionalism and could exploit or harm others.

Think about whom you select and how you  communicate with them for research purposes. Be aware of unintended triggers and have a plan in place which complies with the Ethics Code to resolve matters in the best interest of the group or persons you are interacting with.  Ask for consent

Asking for consent from research participants ensures that they are aware of risks and benefits while being part of the research voluntarily.

Here are a couple of things to let your research participants know:

  • Research purpose, duration and procedures
  • Participants’ right to decline or withdraw from the research
  • Potential research benefits
  • Possible risks that might happened in the research
  • Confidentiality
  • Incentives for participation
  • Contact details for participants asking further questions after research

Get signed consent forms from the participants as part of documentation. You also need informed consent to ensure trust between you and the participants.

Respect confidentiality and privacy

Researchers need to respect the participants’ rights in sharing their information. You need to be conscious in asking whether they are willing to talk about sensitive topics without feeling uncomfortable. So providing detailed interview questions, with the right choice of words, matters during the conversations.

Here are things to consider when interviewing them:

  • Let the participants know how the data will be used and published
  • Know the federal and state law that applies to your research
  • Take practical security measures
  • Think about data sharing before you start your research
  • Understand how the Internet impacts your research

Look into ethical resources for Malaysia’s performing arts

Understanding ethical obligations and available ethical resources related to Malaysia’s performing arts is a must to avoid and solve ethical research problems.

Here are the following resources to look at:

  • Arkib Negara
  • My Art Memory Project (MAMP)
  • Requesting permission to view collections of theatre companies, art groups or online archives of major newspapers

For further information, contact us and we will assist you in what needs to be done for your research.


Remember these principles of doing research on performing arts in Malaysia ethically.

  • Honestly address intellectual property
  • Consciousness of  multiple roles
  • Get informed and signed consent
  • Value confidentiality and privacy
  • Learn about research ethics through available resources

Visit our website to discover our digital archive of Malaysia’s performing art history, including our Censorship Chronology, here.