Explain the history of ethics in research.

Before we even think about getting started on research, research ethics needs to be considered. The history of how humans have treated each other in the name of research has not been stellar. In November 2010, President Obama ordered a review of research ethics guidelines because there was evidence discovered about a significant ethics violation involving human subjects. It was revealed that American scientists intentionally infected citizens of Guatemala, who were in a mental hospital at the time, with syphilis in the 1940’s. Even if the research is going to happen in one small classroom or a nonprofit organization, or in one small town, proper research ethics procedures must be followed.

Reading: There are three reading tasks to accomplish to enhance your understanding of research ethics.

  1. What is the history of ethics in research? TimeLine investigation.
  2. Examine ethics in research by reading an article in depth to develop a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding ethics in research.

Assignment:  Note- This is one of the few times we will use the forums to respond to readings. Length of post is not the issue. What is in the post is!

Part 1. Post a response to reading task 1 (5pts): Prompts and ideas are provided but you do not have to go by them.  You can start a thread. You can respond to a thread, or both.

Part 2. Bring a response to reading task 2 (5pts):  Highlight and/or write statements in response to the article you choose. You will work in a group in class to form a group response.

A posting rubric follows. This is to serve as guideline. I am not going to score  it using this rubric. But use this as a guide to make meaningful posts. Don’t waste your time, mine or your classmates by posting nonsense!


From Barbara Frey at pitt.edu


Criteria Unacceptable

0 Points


1 Point


2 Points


3 Points

Assignment Posting Posts no assignment. Posts adequate assignment with superficial thought and preparation; doesn’t address all aspects of the task. Posts well developed assignment that addresses all aspects of the task; lacks full development of concepts. Posts well developed assignment that fully addresses and develops all aspects of the task.
Follow-Up Postings Posts no follow-up responses to others. Posts shallow contribution to discussion (e.g., agrees or disagrees); does not enrich discussion. Elaborates on an existing posting with further comment or observation. Demonstrates analysis of others’ posts; extends meaningful discussion by building on previous posts.


Posts information that is off-topic, incorrect, or irrelevant to discussion. Repeats but does not add substantive information to the discussion. Posts information that is factually correct; lacks full development of concept or thought. Posts factually correct, reflective and substantive contribution;

advances discussion.

References & Support Includes no references or supporting experience. Uses personal experience, but no references to readings or research. Incorporates some references from literature and personal experience. Uses references to literature, readings, personal experience to support comments.
Clarity & Mechanics Posts long, unorganized or rude content that may contain multiple errors or may be inappropriate. Communicates in friendly, courteous and helpful manner with some errors in clarity or mechanics. Contributes valuable information to discussion with minor clarity or mechanics errors. Contributes to discussion with clear, concise comments formatted in an easy to read style that is free of grammatical or spelling errors.

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