Conference on College Composition and Communication, November 2003, revised March 2015
The CCCC represents teachers and researchers of composition and communication in all possible genres, media, contexts, and exigencies; for the purpose of these guidelines, “writers” and “writing” will be all-encompassing, and the term “researcher” will refer to anyone who undertakes a study. We embrace numerous subfields, many of which have also issued their own ethical statements and have published commentary about conducting research that should be consulted. As members of the CCCC, we share a commitment to protecting the rights, privacy, dignity, and well-being of the persons who are involved in our studies, whether as participants or co-researchers. These guidelines are intended to assist researchers in fulfilling this commitment.
The following guidelines have been informed by U.S. Federal policies, regulations, and laws on the ethical conduct of research;1 however, they do not replace or supersede them. Researchers who conduct studies outside of their home countries should also refer to the policies, regulations, and laws that govern the locales where the research takes place. The U.S. Office of Human Research Protections maintains a listing of international standards that may be consulted.2
The following guidelines apply to all efforts by scholars, teachers, administrators, students, and others that are directed toward publication of a book or journal article, presentation at a conference, preparation of a thesis or dissertation, display on a website, or other general dissemination of the results of research and scholarship. The guidelines apply to formally planned investigations. They likewise apply to emergent studies that discuss the writers and unpublished writing that researchers encounter in other ways, such as when teaching classes, holding student conferences, directing academic programs, conducting research in nonacademic settings, or going about their professional, civic, and personal lives.
U.S. Federal policy allows an exception for studies that researchers conduct solely for the purpose of improving their own practice, or solely for discussion within their own institution. To confirm that a study falls under the exception, researchers should follow local review processes. Moreover, even in studies confirmed as exceptions (granted an exemption), CCCC members carefully protect the rights, privacy, dignity, and well-being of their participants and co-researchers. These guidelines suggest ways to accomplish this goal.