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Ethics Center

Research Ethics

Concerns about integrity and conscientiousness apply in all research efforts, but special challenges emerge when human subjects or animals are used in research.



These pages provide information about the principles, expectations, challenges, and controversies in the ethics of research.  

The materials collected below are based on an Ethics Center research project by Biology Professor Margaret Frank.

Ten Most Important Things to Know about Research Ethics (by Kenneth D. Pimple)

For information on specific policies and procedures for research on human subjects or animals, see the links in the box above.  For information on the principles, challenges, and controversies in research ethics, use the links below.


1. Historical Materials

Nuremberg Code

Belmont Report

Declaration of Helsinki 

2. Government Agencies and Programs

US Department of Health & Human Services

National Institutes of Health

US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

3. Issues and Controversies

Experiments on ‘Baby Albert’:

General account

CDC Timeline

National Archives account

Legacy Committee (Tuskegee Univ.)

Final Report of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study Ad Hoc Advisory Panel (pdf download)

The Original “Tuskegee Study” Report (pdf download)

4. Teaching and Educational Resources

Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research : Cases for Teaching and Assessment (pdf download)

JOURNAL: Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance

JOURNAL: Ethics & Behavior


Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals