Conceptualising ethical issues in the conduct of research: Results from a critical and systematic literature review


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Beauchemin, É., Côté, L. P., Drolet, M.-J. et Williams-Jones, B. (2022). Conceptualising ethical issues in the conduct of research: Results from a critical and systematic literature review. Journal of Academic Ethics, 20 (3). pp. 335-358. ISSN 1572-8544 DOI 10.1007/s10805-021-09411-7

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This article concerns  the ways in which authors from various fields conceptualise the ethical issues arising in the conduct of research. We reviewed critically and systematically the literature concerning the ethics of conducting research in order to engage in a reflection about the vocabulary and conceptual categories used in the publications reviewed. To understand better how the ethical issues involved in conducting research are conceptualised in the publications reviewed, we 1) established an inventory of the conceptualisations reviewed, and 2) we critically assessed them. We found that the publications reviewed mostly showed examples of descriptive ethics, in that most authors describe ethical issues without reflecting much on them, which could be explained both by 1) a lack of ethical education in research contexts, and 2) by the fact that we do not know what researchers know (or do not) about ethical issues. Additionally, the definitions identified in the publications are scarce and at times imprecise, but this seems more to point out the ethical vocabulary’s difficulties in certain contexts. Further, very few authors offer proper conceptualisations of the ethical issues arising in conducting research. When dealing with vast arrays of ethical issues to conceptualise, perhaps one ought to remember that some typologies already exist that could guide further reflection and help understand other realities for which the current ethical vocabulary may be lacking. We believe that combining the reviewed typologies, both with other well-developed typologies and critical reflection, could help support better ethical practice in conducting research.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Ethical issues Conceptualisation Research ethics Ethical typologies Literature review Ethical normative grounds
Date de dépôt: 12 sept. 2022 14:14
Dernière modification: 12 sept. 2022 14:14
Version du document déposé: Post-print (version corrigée et acceptée)

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