Research ethics are the system of moral principles researchers establish to determine right and wrong research practices. Everyday ethical principles often guide researchers in making decisions about what to research, how to do research, and with whom to do research, among other choices. Similarly, social values are the standards society expects of citizens to establish social order. These general guidelines often influence individual ethics, and both affect the research process. Understanding research ethics and social values is essential for communication researchers. These ideas are the foundation upon which ethical research methods are chosen and utilized.

This entry begins by discussing how research ethics is embedded within a social value system. Then, broad theoretical ethical orientations are discussed to help researchers recognize the underlying influences affecting their ...

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