Professional Standards of Ethics

In our editorial, Promoting an Environment of Scientific Integrity: Individual and Community Responsibilities, we called for researchers to codify their professional standards of ethics and encouraged the following:

“Our goal therefore is to encourage researchers who have created their own standards of professional ethics to make them as explicit as possible and to share them with co-authors, colleagues, and students and for others who have not yet done so to codify their own. Discussion and dissemination of these individual standards will, we hope, promote the longer-term goal of building consensus as a research community on shared, ethical practice.”

Below are several professional codes of ethics. Please consider them, talk about them with your colleagues and present them to your students.

If you would like to submit a code of ethics for posting, please contact the JCR editorial office.

Mary Frances Luce, Ann McGill, and Laura Peracchio


Codes from Members of the JCR Community


Code of Ethics on Consumer Research (Working Draft, June 2012)*

Marketing Area Faculty, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University


We aspire to create and disseminate knowledge about consumers, customers and markets, with honesty, courage and care, to inform and educate consumers, managers, and policy makers to improve society.


Treatment of Participants

1. I will adhere to the requirements of Georgetown University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB (IRB-C), which safeguard the rights, privacy, and welfare of all human subjects who participate in research projects conducted by Georgetown University.**

Treatment of Collaborators and Peers

2. I will treat all collaborators in my research with dignity, fairness, and respect.

3. I will be fair and impartial in the peer review process.

Treatment of Research Process

4. I will present the methods and findings of my research such that those who desire can replicate the research.

5. I will explain the assumptions of my research.

6. I will respect the standards of the publications to which I submit my research.

Treatment of Data

7. I will not falsify data.

8. I will be honest in reporting the findings from data I have collected.

9. Without violating any other principles, I will make data available to the public.

*If you have any questions or feedback about this code, please contact a colleague on the Georgetown Marketing Faculty.

**The overall criteria for IRB approval are:

  • The risks to subjects are minimized as much as possible.
  • The risks to subjects are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits.
  • The informed consent is adequate.
  • Where appropriate, the research plan makes provisions for the safety of the subjects during the data collection process.
  • Where appropriate, there are adequate provisions to protect the privacy of subjects and maintain confidentiality of data.
  • Appropriate safeguards are included within the study to protect the rights and welfare of the vulnerable subjects.


The Vigil of Ethical Research

Julie L. Ozanne, Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech

A conversation on ethics is long overdue and the recent editorial in the Journal of Consumer Research is a welcome invitation to join this dialogue (Luce, McGill, and Peracchio 2012). Many thoughtful points were raised within this editorial, such as our shared desire to generate quality research and the need for distinct standards within alternative paradigmatic traditions. So it is unsurprising that different issues are important for researchers working in critical traditions like the area of transformative consumer research (Mick et al. 2012). We struggle with a different ethical balance between the downside of generating harm and the upside of generating direct benefit for our research participants. Moreover, ethical standards are not only fought out within our community of scholars but researchers must explicitly negotiate the ethical concerns of the group or community under investigation. Ethical issues also unfold during the course of the study and are impossible to anticipate fully. Ethical conundrums span beyond the gathering of data, the analysis and writing of results, and the publishing of papers to issues surrounding the disseminating research for the benefit of those people studied. This ongoing struggle is perhaps best viewed as an ethical vigil.
Click here to read the full text.


Fostering an Ethical Research Community as Doctoral Students: Building Your Own Professional Standards of Ethics

PhD Students of Marketing, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, the City University of New York

As doctoral students, we are in the formative years of our research careers. In developing our foundation as scholars, a guiding ethical compass is paramount. It is especially important for us to establish our ethical values right from the beginning to ensure that conducting research ethically becomes second nature to us, helping to prevent ethical lapses later in our careers. When our own professional standards of ethics are established from the very beginning, we believe we are in a better position to maintain these standards as the pressures of our careers inevitably increase over time.
Click here to read the full text.


Policies to Promote Research Integrity at JCR

Click Here