Monday, November 12, 2018

MediaTheory: Research Ethics: Tuskegee, Lacks, Milgram & Zimbardo (W13-P6) Fa18


Research ethics are the moral principles and rules that guide a researcher’s actions.

Why talk about research ethics?  What is the need?

To answer that question, let's look at some important research studies from the past.
When watching these clips ask yourself what ethical concerns are raised in doing this research.

1) Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment




2) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks




3 & 4) Milgram's Authority Study & The Stanford Prison Experiment
(Watch from 0:00 to about 6:30)



What are the ethical concerns with the research that Milgram and Zimbardo did? Would you feel comfortable doing this research? Would such research be allowed today?

O.K., now that you have some knowledge of these past experiments do you have an answer to the questions asked earlier?  Why talk about research ethics?  What is the need?


If you are curious, there are some recent films and documentaries about some of these above examples of research misconduct.




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MediaTheory: Ethics, Research Ethics & the IRB (W13-P5) Fa18


Ethics: "the rules or standards for proper behavior in any given situation" (Stewart, Principles of Research in Communication).

Who?  How?


Research ethics then could be defined as the rules or standards for proper behavior when conducting research.

Who?  How?


What is the role of university research review boards?  How's this fit in with research ethics?

Human Subjects Review Board (or Institutional Review Boards):
“It is university policy that all projects involving risk to human subjects must be approved by the University Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects for Funded Research. Approval is based on established university, state and sponsoring agency guidelines for the protection of the rights and welfare of subjects at risk”

Why have IRBs?

What are some of the regulations regarding research and IRBs?
So, getting IRB approval would be a time-consuming task for researchers, yes?







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MediaTheory: Library Research: Finding Books & Journals (W13-P4) Fa18


When doing research, one of the first things you do is gather up journal articles and books that have also addressed your research question.  This is known as a literature review.

In terms of journal articles, a media scholar would probably want to check out the following journals published by ICA and AEJMC.


What are some comm journals published by the ICA? What is ICA?
  • Human Communication Research
  • Journal of Communication
  • Communication Theory
What are some journals published by the AEJMC?  What is AEJMC?
The above are examples of a few of the many journals relevant to a communication/media scholar.

Getting Access

To get access to the above journals, you would have to be a member of the above organizations and pay for a subscription to the journals.  Another possibility is that your university library has subscribed to the journals.

Within the field of communication study, one large database of journal articles is Communication and Mass Media Complete.  Some university libraries subscribe to this large database of communication-related journals.

NSU Library Search


Free Online Research Resources

What are some free online sources that may help with gathering background information about your research topic?  How could they be used in research?



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