This article was migrated. The article was marked as recommended. In the 21 st century, medical ethics has been combined with informatics ethics to form medical informatics ethics, and medical education researchers need to be aware of medical informatics ethics principles. An important medical informatics ethics principle is guarding against excess: gathering only those data that are required, and using all the data that have been gathered. An example of excessive data gathering can be found in the gathering of demographic data: it is considered excessive when these data are gathered for no explicit reason, used minimally in the Results, and mostly ignored in the Discussion. This paper details the problem of excessive data gathering, and then outlines five steps requiring the cooperation of institutional ethics review boards, researchers, journal editors and journal reviewers that should be followed in order to guard against excess in medical education research.