The two-part guidance, Good Practice in research and Consent to research, is intended to help GPs' decision-making through their research projects.
It covers research design, recruiting participants, seeking consent and the publication and dissemination of research.
The guide also advises on the safety and wellbeing of participants.
Ros Levenson, chair of the GMC's standards and ethics reference group, said: ‘Research is a vital area but it is often difficult to navigate. We know that researchers work in a complex regulatory environment and face challenging ethical issues every day.'
The guidance takes account of recent changes to legislation and in society as well as views expressed during consultation, she said.
Ms Levenson added: 'The guidance is not intended to offer answers to all doctors' questions, and in some cases will point them in the direction of other existing guidance, but it is intended to be a useful starting point for all doctors involved in research, whatever their role might be.'