Members of the International Communication (ICA) are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards in all aspects of scholarship, research, and professional practice.
ICA General Statement on Standards
We affirm our commitment to widely recognized ethical principles, including, but not limited to, standards regarding:
- scholarly and scientific integrity,
- protection of the rights of research participants, associates, and sponsors,
- plagiarism and authorship credit,
- publication of methods and findings,
- disclosure of potential conflicts of interest,
- scholarly evaluation, criticism, and debate,
- nondiscrimination and respect for human diversity, and
- social responsibility.
While affirming our commitment to such widely recognized broad principles, ICA has not established a comprehensive code of professional practice providing detailed guidelines on ethical issues. Given the interdisciplinary diversity of research encompassed by ICA, a comprehensive code of ethics for ICA that would address this range of research methods and scholarly approaches would be cumbersome. Not only the interdisciplinary diversity of ICA, but also our international diversity, requires some caution in the specific application of broad ethical principles. Ethical guidelines, which should be sensitive to institutional, legal, and cultural contexts that may vary among nations and regions, are sometimes best negotiated within national or regional organizations.
As is necessary and appropriate, however, ICA will continue to establish detailed ethical policies on matters specific to our organization, such as ICA publications and conferences. Such guidelines will continue be published in the ICA Publications Manual, the annual conference call for papers, and other relevant places.
Regional, National and Disciplinary Standards
With regard to ethical questions not specifically covered by ICA policies, scholars affiliated with ICA are expected to adhere to the code of ethics of the Communication Association within their own nation or region. If there is no national or regional communication association that has a sufficiently detailed code of ethics appropriate to their research methodology, scholars affiliated with ICA are expected to adhere to such codes provided by international disciplinary associations (e.g., the International Sociological Association). If an appropriate or sufficiently detailed guide is not available internationally, use of ethics guidelines from U.S. or other well-established national academic disciplinary associations is expected.
ICA will maintain on its web site a directory of codes of research and professional practice for reference by ICA members. Codes currently available online include the following. Please send an email to ICA with recommendations for other ethics codes.
- Academy of Management Code of Ethics
- American Anthropological Association
- American Historical Association
- American Political Science Association
- American Psychological Association
- American Sociological Association
- Association for Computing Machinery (e.g., information systems research and design)
- Australian Sociological Association
- British Psychological Association
- British Sociological Association
- Canadian Association of Journalists
- International Association of Business Communicators
- National Communication Association
- Public Relations Society of America
- World Medical Association, Declaration of Helsinki
- The Association of Internet Researchers
- The Market Research Society
- Social Science Ethics: A Bibliography