Ethics Guide

Welcome to the Ethics Research Guide.

This guide will help you find books, videos, journal articles and websites for use in the study of Ethics.

If you need help using the Library's databases and book catalogs, check out our online video - you can jump to a specific task by clicking on "show more" and select the video on the topic that you want to learn more about. This video may be especially useful for those taking a course online.

If you need additional help, contact a reference librarian: Ask A Librarian.

Everything is on the Internet, right? No.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are millions of books and articles whose content is not freely available on the open web.

As we all know the Internet contains an incredible amount of useful information. Conversely, it also has a lot of information that is not credible, reliable or well-informed. Some information on the web are blatant lies, or half-truths published in order to support a particular belief or opinion. (For more information on learning how to distinguish the good, bad and ugly on the Internet, see The CRAP Test.

Using resources available through the Library will save you time and frustration, and undoubtedly will lead you to producing higher-quality work.

Types of Resources:

Reference Materials:

Use reference materials, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries to get background information and a basic understanding of your topic.

Book & Journal Articles:

Books and journal articles provide a more focused examination of the topic. Again, most books and articles found in the Library's databases are written by experts.

 

  1. Books & Videos
  2. Databases
  3. Websites


Finding Books

Use the COD Library's book catalog to find books & videos. Click on the "keyword" tab to search using multiple search terms and limit your results by material type (book, video), date, or language. You'll need a current library card to check out books.

I-Share

I-Share allows you to borrow books from over 80 Illinois academic libraries. You must have a current COD library card, and create an account to request books from an I-Share library.

E-book Collections
Most books in these collections can also be located and accessed by searching in the Library's book catalog.

  • ebrary
  • Collection contains several books on Ethics. Many e-books that can be viewed from your computer or downloaded to your e-book reader. You need to create an account to download -books to your device.

  • EBSCO E-book collection
  • Find 100s of Philosophy and Ethics-related books . NOTE: Books can be viewed by single page on a computer, or, can be downloaded to an e-book reader. You'll be prompted to create an EBSCO account. The loan period for e-books is four hours. Books can be renewed after the initial loan period expires.

  • Humanities (ACLS) E-book Collection
  • This resource includes over 1500 full-text, cross-searchable books in the humanities selected by scholars for their continuing importance for research and teaching. Pages from this collection can be printed and emailed.

Project Gutenberg E-books

Project Gutenberg provides access to a number of primary and secondary-source philosophy e-books. Many can be read online or downloaded to e-book readers.


Reference Works

Reference books, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful for learning about background information on a topic, as well as how philosophers and ethicists have interpreted and understood a topic and its evolution. Click on a branch of ethics in the gray menu below to find related reference books.

Please note that print reference books may be used while in the library only. Online reference books may be accessed from any on or off-campus computer. You'll need a library card to access online books and articles from off-campus.

Click on the links below to access the online book/website or record/description of the print book.

General Ethics


Business Ethics


Environmental Ethics


Medical/Biomedical Ethics


Finding Videos

The Library owns many Philosophy and Ethics-related films in DVD, VHS and streaming formats. We have a wide range of Philosophy and Ethics-related films available for checkout or online streaming.

The Library subscribes to many databases that provide access to thousands of popular and credible, scholarly journals. Many databases provide access to full-text articles, while some provide information about the article only (citation). Request (for free!) through Interlibrary Loan copies of articles to which the Library doesn't have full-text access.

Databases are organized collections of information that you can search on a variety of fields, like title and author's name. iTunes is a database and so is Amazon. Even your contacts list in your phone is a type of mini database. The Library has databases of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals. We also have databases of streaming videos, music and e-books. The difference between our databases and iTunes or Amazon is that our stuff is free for you to use. You can browse the library's databases here: http://codlrc.org/databases

 

Need help using databases? Check out this tutorial on how to search using databases. Click on "show more" to view a table of contents where you can advance the video to the relevant area.

Databases - Best Bets

Access the article databases listed below.

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • Academic OneFile
  • Multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of academic areas.

  • JSTOR
  • Excellent source for credible scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Articles in database were published between the early 1700s and between 1-5 years ago.

  • Issues and Controversies
  • Issues and Controversies helps students understand crucial issues we face today, exploring more than 800 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture.

  • CQ Researcher
  • The CQ Researcher offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of today's most important issues. Each report is on a single topic more than 12,000 words in text and extensive bibliographies. Each weekly issue provides up-to-date information on controversial subjects reported by CQ's staff of experienced reporters.

  • PhilPapers
  • PhilPapers is an online collection of scholarly materials on philosophy topics. This resource includes articles and reviews from 350 journals. Users can try locating full-text articles using Google Scholar or request articles through Interlibrary Loan.

  • Project MUSE
  • Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.


Newspapers - Best Bets

Use newspaper sources to identify ethical issues, or "case studies" in the news.


    Rights Organizations

    Below is a listing of major rights organizations, many that will identify issues related to the Environment, Freedom of Speech, Civil Disobedience, Social Justice and Cyber Ethics at the national and international level.

  • Amnesty International:
    Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. With more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries, they conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

  • Greenpeace From their mission statement: " Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future."
  • Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. They investigate and expose human rights violations, hold abusers accountable, and challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law

  • Wikipedia listing of human rights organizations
    Note that these sources are not vetted, and that you will need to evaluate the credibility of the sources listed. See the library's page on evaluating resources for more information.

Websites

Please note that no single website is comprehensive in covering all aspects of a field, particularly the wide-ranging field of Ethics. However, the websites listed below are some of the more important sites, and can serve as a starting point for further investigations. Note that many of the sites listed are directories that will point you to other related websites. If you go to another website, remember to evaluate it for credibility. Remember, anyone can publish anything on the internet!


    Rights Organizations

    Below is a listing of major rights organizations, many that will identify issues related to the Environment, Freedom of Speech, Civil Disobedience, Social Justice and Cyber Ethics at the national and international level.

  • Amnesty International:
    Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. With more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries, they conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

  • Greenpeace From their mission statement: " Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future."
  • Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. They investigate and expose human rights violations, hold abusers accountable, and challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law

  • Wikipedia listing of human rights organizations
    Note that these sources are not vetted, and that you will need to evaluate the credibility of the sources listed. See the library's page on evaluating resources for more information.


    General Ethics

    • Business & Human Rights Resource Center
    • Find case studies on a number of ethics-related issues, including Business, Environment, Globalization, Health, Labor, and Security. Updated regularly, Business & Human Rights Resource Center covers over 5000 companies operating across the globe. The mission of this not-for-profit is to encourage companies to respect human rights, avoid harm to people, and maximize their positive contribution."

    • Code of Ethics Collections
    • Codes of ethics of professional societies, corporations, government, and academic institutions. From the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology.

    • Ethics Updates
    • "Ethics Updates is designed primarily to be used by ethics instructors and their students. It is intended to provide resources and updates on current literature, both popular and professional, that relates to ethics." Founded by Lawrence H.Hinman, University of San Diego.

    • Online Ethics Center - Cases and Scenarios
    • "This is a collection of all the cases, case-related essays, and moral exemplars in the Online Ethics Center. You can browse through or look for a specific case. These cases can also be found by looking at the listings under specific topics in other areas of the Online Ethics Center."

    • Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
    • "Resources for analyzing real-world ethical issues and tools to address them." Resources on Biothics, Business, Education, Environmental, Global, Government, Internet, Immigration, Legal, and Media Ethics. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is affiliated with Santa Clara University


    Business Ethics

    • Business & Human Rights Resource Center
    • Find case studies on a number of ethics-related issues, including Business, Environment, Globalization, Health, Labor, and Security. Updated regularly, Business & Human Rights Resource Center covers over 5000 companies operating across the globe. The mission of this not-for-profit is to encourage companies to respect human rights, avoid harm to people, and maximize their positive contribution."

    • CorpWatch: Holding Corporations Accountable
    • Organized by industry and issues, CorpWatch reports on issues and news items related to ethical behavior of corporations. "CorpWatch is a non-profit investigative research and journalism to expose corporate malfeasance and to advocate for multinational corporate accountability and transparency." Click here to learn more about CorpWatch staff and Advisory Board.

    • e-businessethics.com
    • Find case studies, debate issues and articles under the "Instructional Resources" link at the top of the page. Also of note see the "Articles" link for articles on a variety of ethics-related topics.

    • ethisphere
    • "Ethisphere® Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability." Ethisphere publishes a list of "Most Ethical Companies."

    • Inc. Magazine Articles on Ethics
    • Compilation of articles from Inc. that offer practical observations of how ethics in organizations are addressed.


    Environmental Ethics

    • International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE)
    • Founded in 1990 the American Philosophical Association's Eastern Division meeting, the ISEE provides links to a number of useful resources, including a list of bibliographies. The ISEE Newsletter is an excellent source for resources as well. Not all articles are available in full-text, but the library can help you access them through the Library's databases (Click on the "Journal Locator" or through Interlibrary Loan. We are happy to help you with this process.

    • Ethics Updates - Environmental Ethics
    • Excellent site for locating online resources on environmental ethics. Includes government, legal, environmental justice, NPR's Talk of the Nation broadcasts, resources for locating articles and book reviews. "Ethics Updates is designed primarily to be used by ethics instructors and their students. It is intended to provide resources and updates on current literature, both popular and professional, that relates to ethics." Founded by Lawrence H.Hinman, University of San Diego.

    • Environmental Ethics
    • Compiled by Professor Ron Epstein, faculty at the Institute for World Religions, this website provides links to a number of useful environmental ethics-related websites. Topics include Environmental Effects of War, Genetic Engineering, Nanotechnology, Cloning, Animals and Vegetarianism, Population and Environment, Ecofeminism, Ozone Crisis and Global Warming,

    • The Center for Environmental Philosophy
    • Links to environmental ethics-related websites, news, book reviews and education. A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the University of North Texas.


    Medical/Biomedical Ethics

    • bioethics.net
    • Maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics the website publishes information on the latest news in Bioethics. Blog entries are written by credible experts in the field.

    • Bioethics Information Resources
    • Published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health, Bioethics Information Resources provides access to information related to a number of topics, such as Birth Control, Cloning, End of Life Issues, Organ Donation and Suicide. Be sure to scroll down to the category menu, including basic overviews and latest news, Research and Reference Shelf.

    • Bioethics Resources on the Web
    • Compiled by the National Institutes of Health, "Bioethics Resources on the Web provides a compilation of web links to information of potential use and interest to diverse audiences—biomedical and behavioral researchers, health care professionals, research participants, patients and patient advocates, students and faculty in different disciplines, and the general public."

    • Genome.Gov: National Human Genome Research Institute
    • Published by the National Institutes of Health, genome.gov provides information on many topics, including Genetic Discrimination, Intellectual Property and Genomics, Genetic Testing, and Health Issues in Genetics.

    • Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
    • The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (the Commission) is an advisory panel of the nation’s leaders in medicine, science, ethics, religion, law, and engineering. The Commission seeks to identify and promote policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in a socially and ethically responsible manner. Blog posts reports on news, advisory reports, and committee meetings. Articles written by the staff of the Commission.