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PhD Course in Research Ethics

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Learning outcome

The participant will gain knowledge of:
  • Ongoing debates in research ethics related to the social sciences and the humanities and related to the institutional research environment
  • The guidelines for Research Ethics in The Social Sciences, Law and Humanities.
  • Ethical challenges and central considerations related to the integrity of the research process

By the end of the course, the participant will be able to:
  • Critically analyse ethical dimensions, regulations and guidelines within the fields of social sciences and humanities
  • Participate in professional reasoning on responsible research conduct

General competence
By the end of the course, the participant will be able to:
Demonstrate competences in ethical sensitivity, reasoning, and decision making in general and related to own research project


The course presents a broad orientation on central issues in research ethics related to the social sciences and the humanities and offers participants an arena to reflect critically upon integrity and ethics in research. Participants will be introduced to the ethical guidelines established by the Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics in Social Sciences and Humanities (NESH).

The course will be taught in norwegian for the 2020 semester. Every second year the course will be taught in english.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual paper1/1 Pass - Fail
Evaluation will be based on an individual paper (4000 words (+/- 10%). The paper may be written in English or in a Scandinavian language. The paper is evaluated pass/fail.

Coursework requirements

Active participation in lectures and seminars. Attendance at the sessions is obligatory. A student who, for whatever reason, is absent from 25% or more of the sessions will not be permitted to submit the paper.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Anne Nevøy

Method of work

Lectures and seminars. A detailed timetable will be available to course participants at the beginning of the semester.

Open to

PhD fellows/candidates.

Course assessment

The course participants are encouraged to contribute to the course evaluation. An evaluation form will be made available for the participants at the end of the course.


Approx. 500 pages. A compendium will be available at the beginning of the semester.
Guidelines for Research Ethics in The social Sciences, Law and the Humanities (NESH).
Allmark, P. et al (2009). Ethical issues in the use of in-depth interviews: literature review and
Discussion. Research Ethics Review, Vol. 5, No 2, 48-54.
Alver, B.G. & Øyen, Ø. (2007). Challenges of Research Ethics: An Introduction. In Bente
Gullveig Alver, Tove Ingebjørg Fjell og Ørjar Øyen (eds.), Research Ethics in Studies of Culture and Social Life. Helsingfors: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, pp. 11-55.
Fanelli D. (2009). How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic
Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data. PLoS ONE 2009;4(5): e5738.
Guillemin, M. and Gilliam, L. (2004). Ethics, Reflexivity, and ''Ethically Important Moments'' in Research. Qualitative Inquiry 10:261. 261-279.
Helgeland, Ingeborg Marie (2005). "Catch 22"- Ethical Dilemmas in Interviewing
Marginalized Groups. Qualitative Inquiry, 11/4. Pp. 549-569.
Hofmann, B. (2007). That's not science! The role of moral philosophy in the science/non-
science divide. Theor Med Bioeth. 2007;28(3):243-56.
Hofmann, B. et al. (2013). Scientific dishonesty - a nationwide survey of doctoral students in Norway. BMC Medical Ethics 2013, 14:3.
Israel, M. & Hay, I. (2006). Research ethics for Social Scientists. Between ethical conduct and regulatory compliance. London: Sage Publications. (An extract, approx. 50 p).
Kalleberg, R. (2007). A Reconstruction of The Ethos of Science. Journal of Classical
Sociology. Vol. 7, nr 2, s. 137-160.
Liamputtong, P. (2009). Researching the vulnerable. A guide to sensitive research methods.
London: Sage. (An extract, approx. 100p).
Martinson, B. C., Anderson, M.S. & de Vries, R. (2005). Scientists behaving badly. Nature 435, 737-738. Doi:10.1038/435737a
Mitchell, T. & Jude, C. (2008). Academic and research misconduct in the PhD: Issues for students and supervisors. Nurse Education Today, 28, 218-226.
Pittenger, D.J. (2003): Internet Research: An Opportunity to Revisit Classic Ethical Problems
in Behavioral Research. Ethics & Behavior, 13:1, 45-60.
Rohdes, R. (2005). Rethinking Research Ethics. The American Journal of Bioethics, 5 (1) 7-
Steneck, N. (2006). Fostering Integrity in Research: Definitions, Current Knowledge, and
Future Directions. Science and Engineering Ethics, vol. 12, nr. 1. pp. 53-74. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/PL00022268http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/PL00022268
Tranøy, K. E. (1988). Science and Ethics. Some of the main principles and problems. In The
Moral Import of Science. London: Sigma Distribution. pp. 111-120.
Tranøy, K.E. (1996). Ethical problems of scientific research. An action-theoretical approach. The Monist, Vol 79, no 2, pp.183-196.

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 04.08.2020