Researchers Training Researchers: Ethics Training in Quantitative Applied Linguistics

Margaret Wood, Scott Sterling, Tove Larsson, Luke Plonsky, Merja Kytö, Kate Yaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This forum piece reports on a brief survey of current quantitative research ethics training materials in Applied Linguistics (AL). This survey was conducted as a step towards an increased understanding of the ways in which we, as a field, train students and researchers to conduct quantitative research ethically. The survey was carried out in the process of creating research ethics training materials as part of a grant-funded project related to questionable research practices (QRPs). Through manual and computer-assisted searches in twenty-four textbooks and twenty-three course syllabi from the past five years, three themes emerged: (1) research ethics is most often conceptualized in terms of IRB-related topics, (2) when ‘ethical gray-zone’ issues are mentioned, the focus is primarily on methodological transparency, data sharing/open science, and selecting the appropriate research design and statistical tests, and (3) materials tend to address the topic of research ethics in a single section or chapter, or in a single day or week of a course. Against this background, we provide three recommendations that our field can implement to provide more robust and thorough research ethics training for students and researchers in TESOL and Applied Linguistics: (1) expand our conceptualization of research ethics to include ethical gray-zone issues, (2) be thorough and explicit in our discussion of ethical issues related to research decisions, and (3) incorporate research ethics as a recurring theme throughout textbooks and courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTESOL Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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