Researchers are encouraged to consider who will benefit from their research, especially when the research may involve or affect multiple individuals or groups (eg beneficiaries, non-academic users, participants and their associates, researchers or research organisations) - particularly where benefit to one individual or group may lead to increased risk to another. Researchers should aim to achieve a positive risk-benefit ratio, but should also ensure they safeguard the independence and excellence of the research.
Benefit can be defined as the positive impact from the research to the parties directly involved (eg research participants and those associated with them, researchers and research organisations), as well as the demonstrable contribution of research to knowledge, our economy, individuals and society. During the development of the research the maximisation of research benefits should hold central position when considering ethics issues. A study may be considered ethical when there is a positive risk-benefit ratio - that is, the risks and intrusions for people taking part in research are minimised and justified by the expected benefits for the participants, or for science and society.