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These modules are like travel guides: they provide you with information and context about the sights you see and the choices you can make as you journey through your research career. On a given day you may want to consult with one guide; for a different situation, another module may provide the best information. Much like travel guides, these modules lay out your options and may sometimes offer recommendations, but the final itinerary is always up to you.

There are many questions throughout the modules, and not all of them are either answered or answerable. Both philosophy and scientific research share a fascination with asking the right questions; in both it is often true that the way we frame the questions shapes the answers we find. In thinking through ethical dilemmas, as in doing research, becoming skillful at articulating the questions and framing possible answers is part of the process.

Each module addresses a particular topic in research ethics. You will find that certain themes recur throughout the modules. For instance, the idea of "right balance," the conflict between "the good and the good," (to use Hegel's terms) the importance of community/collaboration, and professional responsibility surface again and again.

As you progress through the modules, you'll find your understanding of the responsible conduct of research enhanced by discussion of the questions that surface. Talk about these issues with faculty and colleagues, and take the time for conversations about responsible research conduct when you find yourself with opportunities. Let the modules give you direction, but, just as with traveling, you'll gain the most by talking to the experts in the "culture" of research ethics.

Modules produced by NC State University's Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance. Viewers outside NC State can log in by changing the "Affiliation Status" box to "Guest Access."

Modules produced with support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Module developed by Professor Ed Gehringer, Computer Engineering, NC State University.