Evaluating Internet Sources Basic Criteria for Evaluating Sources Peer-Reviewed Journals Research: Evaluating Sources Research: Locating Sources Ethical Issues What is a scholarly source? The Changing Nature of Information Research: Using Databases Research: Techniques and Tools Research : What is it? The Changing Nature of Information


Ethical Issues

The traditional way of doing research using print materials has its own unique challenges, but the Internet has brought with it challenges that scholars have never had to confront before. Sonia Bodi in her article "Ethics and information technology" discusses this in great depth.(1)

It has become very easy to move text around and to separate parts from the whole.
The speed of communication gives us little time to reflect upon our actions.
Communication becomes depersonalized; face-to-face interactions are no longer the norm. This can lead to plagiarism and a lack of accountability in general.
Information itself is more fragile and ephemeral; it can be easily altered or deleted.
Imperfect means of authentication make it easy to "hack" into computer systems and tamper with information that is supposedly secure.

As you begin your academic work, you will find yourself part of a community that fosters engagement in the intellectual enterprise. You will be encouraged to find a niche in this community of scholars and to put your own stamp on the accumulated body of knowledge.

Your professors assume that you will apply time-honored principles of honesty, responsibility, confidentiality, trust, accountability, and fairness as you conduct your research. These principles apply when using both print and online sources. We need to respect the work of others as if it were our own.

(1) Bodi, Sonia. "Ethics and information technology: some principles to guide students." The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 24(1998): 459-463.

 

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These pages were written by Glenn Remelts. and edited by Jeffrey L. Nyhoff and Nancy Zylstra
©2005 Calvin College, All Rights Reserved

If you encounter technical errors, contact rit@calvin.edu.