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 for posting, email your code to

The Editors


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

Data Collection Paragraph Required

When submitting new manuscripts for review, authors must include a paragraph in the note to the editor section (not as part of the manuscript itself in order to preserve confidentiality during the review process) with the following information for each study: where the data were collected, when the data were collected, and who collected the data. If a research assistant or lab manager collected data under the supervision of one of the authors, this general information should be provided (the names of the research assistants and lab managers are not required). The information will need to be updated and included in the note to the editor with each revision (as studies may be added or removed). This paragraph must then be included as part of all manuscripts accepted for publication. The Data Collection paragraph will appear just before the appendixes (or before the reference section if there are no appendixes) in the final accepted version of the paper.

Sample Paragraphs (for the published version of an article):

Sample 1

The first author supervised the collection of data for the first study by research assistants at the University of Chicago Decision Research Lab in the autumn of 2011. The first and second authors jointly analyzed these data. The first and second authors jointly managed the collection of data for study 2 using the Qualtrics panel described in the methods section in the spring of 2012. These data were analyzed jointly by all three authors with support of a statistical staff member at the University of Chicago.

Sample 2

The first author conducted all of the in-person fieldwork herself from Autumn of 2007 until Spring of 2009. The second author acted as confidante throughout the process, and visited the field site twice. Both authors conducted the online fieldwork independently and equally as active social media participants. Data were discussed and analyzed on multiple occasions by both authors using the first author’s field notes, photographs, video, and artifacts, and both authors’ online notes, screen captures, and text files. The final ethnography was jointly authored.

Data Maintenance Policy

Authors of manuscripts that report data-dependent results will make available, upon request only, exact information regarding their procedures, stimuli, and data for five years after the date of publication for the benefit of researchers interested in replicating or extending these results. JCR encourages authors to make their information available beyond the mandatory five years.

Exceptions will be made for identifiable or proprietary data. Authors must request such an exception and state the basis for it in the first version of a submission in which the relevant data appear. This request will normally be at the time of the initial submission, although a request pertaining to data added in revision is allowable when the relevant revision is submitted. Should the relevant paper be accepted or offered revision, the editor will address the request as part of the decision letter.

Post-Publication Updates Policy

No changes of any kind may be made to articles after official publication online. Authors may, however, add correction or erratum statements that will appear at the end of the online version of the article as a supplement. Corrections may include scholarly material specific to the publication such as stimuli, data, a description of procedures, and other experimental materials. All other material posted as corrections must be approved by the JCR Editors and Policy Board.

Use of Anti-Plagiarism Software

Final acceptance of manuscripts is conditioned on a check using anti-plagiarism software.

Please refer to for a collection of definitions and general information concerning plagiarism.