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Scientific Research Ethics  

This guide offers some materials to begin your research on the following topics: animal research subjects, authorship, conflict of interest, data integrity and management, human research participants and research misconduct.
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Search the IIT Library Catalog

Use this search box to find books, e-books, DVDs and anything else kept inside the IIT Libraries.

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In The Lab

  • In the Lab: An Interactive Film
    This video simulation, developed by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity, allows users to assume the role of a graduate student, post-doc, research administrator, or PI and make decisions that affect the integrity of research.

Ethics Centers Focusing on Scientific Research Ethics

  • U.S. Office of Research Integrity,
    Department of Health and Human Services. Site includes educational resources on responsible conduct of research, U.S. legislation, guidelines governing federally funded research, and reports and news summaries of national and international misconduct.
  • Online Ethics Center
    maintained by the National Academy of Engineering, the Center includes a library of cases, online modules, and quality introductory articles on ethics in engineering and the sciences.
  • OpenSeminar for Research Ethics
    Developed by North Carolina State University, this web tutorial is designed so instructors from different institutions can create their own online course. Entirely open to the public, students may find many of these modules helpful in beginning research.
  • Kennedy Institute of Ethics
    The Kennedy Institute of Ethics is one of the premier bioethics centers in the U.S. Located at Georgetown University.
  • National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature
    Part of the Kennedy Center for ethics, this is a database of bioethics literature fully searchable by keyword and topic area. A very good source for doing in-depth searching on bioethics topics.
  • Ethics CORE
    This digital library includes a wide variety of cases, articles, and other good resources on all aspects of scientific research ethics. Developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Recommended Databases

  • Academic Search Premier
    A good general database for all areas of science research ethics.
  • Ethics Education Library
    A collection of journal articles, case studies, tutorials, and other resources on scientific research ethics.
  • EthicsCORE
    A huge web resource on all facets of science and engineering ethics. Use this site to locate materials on all aspects of scientific research ethics.
  • Philosopher's Index
    Covering all fields of philosophy and practical ethics, search here for articles on the responsible conduct of research, bioethics, and teaching ethics. Articles tend to approach subject from a less discipline-specific perspective.
  • PubMed
    PubMed is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. A good resource for searching for discipline-specific ethics articles.
  • Web of Science
    Web of Science provides access to to approximately 8,700 of the most prestigious research journals in the world. Enter your search terms, and limit your search to "ethics" or "philosophy" in the left side-bar to refine the results of your search.

Science Codes of Ethics

See more science codes in our Codes of Ethics Collection.


Books and Anthologies

Cover Art
Research Ethics: A Reader - Deni Elliot and Judy E. Stern (eds.)
Call Number: CSEP.Q180.55.M67R441997
ISBN: 0874517974

Cover Art
Responsible Conduct of Research - Adil E. Shamoo and David Resnik
Call Number: CSEP.R852.S472003
ISBN: 0195148460

Cover Art
On Being a Scientist
ISBN: 0309119707
This is the seminal work on the responsible conduct of research. The link is to full text of the second edition of a book published by the National Academies Press in 1995. The third edition is due out in June of 2009.

Research Ethics: Fifteen Cases and Commentaries
Call Number: Q180.55.M67
Published by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, this is a collection of hundreds of case studies developed by graduate students. Each case is accompanied by expert commentaries. All of these cases can also be found online on the Online Ethics Center.

Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research - Steneck, Nicholas
This booklet introduces the reader to the nine RCR core instructional areas in four sections that follows research from inception to planning, conducting, reporting, and reviewing research. The publication features case studies, text-box inserts, discussion questions, and electronic and printed resources.


Library How-To Guides

New to the library? Need to sharpen your research skills? These informative guides will teach you how to use the resources at IIT Libraries and beyond.

How do I . . .

To view the PDF guides, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To view the Video guides, you will need Adobe Flash Player.


Bibliography of Books and Journal Articles

Anderson, Melissa S., Emily A. Ronning, Raymond De Vries, Brian C. Martinson. "The Perverse Effects of Competition on Scientists' Work and Relationships" Science and Engineering Ethics. 13:4 (2007) 337-361.

This article reports on a series of focus groups held with 51 mid-career scientists which asked the participants to reflect on the effect competition has on their work and their relationships. The scientists saw this kind of competition contributing to a decline in the sharing of information and methods, and a rise in careless or questionable research conduct.
Bulger, Ruth Ellen, Elizabeth Heitman, and Stanley Joel Reiser. The Ethical Dimensions of Biological Sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. CSEP Library, CSEP.QH332.E731993.

An anthology of essays for graduate students and practicing researchers in the biological sciences covering ethics and authorship, plagiarism, human and animal research subjects, standards of ethical conduct in research, and the scientists’ responsibility to society.
Barnbaum, Deborah R and Michael Byron. Research ethics: text and readings. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, 2001. CSEP Library CSEP.Q180.55.M67B372001.


Drenth, Pieter J.D. "Responsible Conduct in Research." Science and Engineering Ethics. Jan. 2006 Vol. 12, No. 1. 13-21. (Available through Galvin Library Journal Holdings)

Elliot, Deni and Judy E. Stern. Research ethics: a reader. Hanover, NH : University Press of New England for the Institute for the Study of Applied and Professional Ethics at Dartmouth College, 1997. CSEP Library CSEP.Q180.55.M67R441997

Erwin, Edward. Sidney Gendin and Lowell Kleiman. Ethical issues in scientific research: an anthology.Garland Studies in Applied Ethics, Vol. 2. New York : Garland, 1994. CSEP Library CSEP.Q180.55.M67E831994
"The Ethics of Scientific ResearchPerspectives on the Professions Vol. 8, No. 2, January 1989. CSEP Library

Friedman, Paul J. “An Introduction to Research Ethics,” Science and Engineering Ethics 2.2 (October 1996) 443-456. (Available through Galvin Library Journal Holdings)

Hook, Sidney, Paul Kurtz and Miro Todorovich. ed. The Ethics of Teaching and Scientific Research. Buffalo, NY : Prometheus Books, 1977. (full text available at Questia Online Library)

Murphy, Timothy F. Case Studies in Biomedical Research Ethics. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2004. CSEP Library CSEP.R724.M8762004

Reagan, C.E. Ethics for Scientific Researchers, 2nd Ed. Springfield, Ill.: Thomas, 1971 CSEP Library CSEP.BJ57.R41971

Resnick, David. The Ethics of Science: an introduction. New York: Routledge, 1998 CSEP Library CSEP.Q175.35.R461998

Rothblat, Joseph. "The Social Conscience of ScientistsPhysics World. December 1999 pp. 65-68.

Seebaur, Edmund and Robert L. Barry. Fundamentals of Ethics for Scientists and Engineers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. CSEP Library CSEP.Q175.35.S442001

Steneck, Nicholas H. ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Rev. ed June 2004. Rockville , MD. : U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Research Integrity.

Weinstein, Deena. “Scientific Fraud and Scientific Ethics.” CSEP Occasional Papers 4 (June 1981). CSEP Library CSEP,Q175.37.W45x1981

This paper examines the ethics of scientific research and analyzes the various factors, both inside and outside of science, that limit its effectiveness to control misconduct in science.

Ethics Librarian

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Kelly Laas
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Hermann Hall, Room 205
3241 S. Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616
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Articles & More...

Interested in more information? Visit the following bibliographies of books, web sites and articles developed by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions. 

Paul V. Galvin Library   35 W. 33rd Street  Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312.567.3616   Fax: 312.567.5318   Email:


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