Ethics of Research

The CCREC Ethics Project interrogates the challenges that equity-oriented collaborative community-based research (EOCCBR) methodologies surface regarding the core principles of research ethics. Our studies demonstrate how both the theories and practices guiding EOCCBR trouble the practices of institutionalized research ethics – informed consent, anonymity, and confidentiality – as well as the traditional boundaries between ethics and epistemology. Similarly, our studies open up the ethical complexities of traditional university commitments to disinterested research and neutrality in the public sphere.

A wide range of scholars have noted that the questions posed by EOCCBR cannot be adequately addressed within the existing conceptions or practices of formalized and institutionalized research ethics. The frameworks, motivations, and practices of these research approaches recast the traditional foundations of research ethics in ways that necessitate a rethinking of the ethics of research altogether. These questions and challenges have become more urgent in recent years as these methodologies become more broadly adopted across many disciplines and fields, and as a wide range of other ethical matters concerning higher education have been pressed into the public agenda, from theoretical debates in the research disciplines to national debates surrounding revisions to the Common Rule, academic freedom, and free speech.

The CCREC Ethics Project seeks to provide clarity and guidance on these fraught and complex issues to engaged scholars and their community partners, as well as to research administrators, funders, and professional associations.