Posted by: B. Scott Anderson | April 10, 2014

Ethics, research and dilemmas

Ethics — particularly research ethics — is an interesting topic for a variety of reasons, one of which is that there is a difference between research ethics and ethical research.

When it comes to these topics, things get really muddy when the internet becomes involved because there’s a sense of privacy and anonymity in particular situations. Is it possible to safeguard yourself against any unwanted online intrusions of a researcher who is looking to collect data? How can it be done? Where do children and social networking come in to play here?

These are a few questions we’ll look at Thursday in class. We’ll also be taking a look at hypothetical situations when research and ethics intersect.

Here’s one of the dilemmas we’ll present Thursday and we hope it will get you thinking about what you would do if you were different sorts of ethical research situations.

Dilemma:

Dr. T has just discovered a mathematical error in a paper that has been accepted for publication in a journal. The error does not affect the overall results of his research, but it is potentially misleading. The journal has just gone to press, so it is too late to catch the error before it appears in print? 

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