Research, Ethics, and Professionalism in Computing

Resit coursework

Research, Ethics, and Professionalism in Computing


1.    Relevance

This coursework is of relevance to students who deferred or failed the IMAT5262 module and need to resit it or take it for the first time. Students who failed individual components of the original coursework but received an overall mark of better than 50% do not need to resit.

Students who deferred the coursework can reach up to 100% of the mark. Students resitting it will be capped at 50%. It is nevertheless advisable to aim for a higher mark to ensure that the module is passed.

2.    Task Description

In order to cover the topics of the module, the coursework will consist of an extended research proposal. The topic of the proposal is to be suggested by the student. If you would like to consult on the topic, please do not hesitate to contact the module leader by email ([email protected]). The topic must be within the broad area of the module, i.e. social and ethical consequences of computing and information technology. Students should submit a different piece of work for their resit.

Students should then do more detailed research on the topic, undertake a literature review that shows the relevance of the topic and develop a suitable methodology that would allow them to answer it.

In addition students should discuss where they would publish the research based on the proposal. They should discuss at least three possible outlets (academic journals) and justify the choice of an appropriate one.

The structure of the proposal should include:


  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Background / introduction
  • Research question (should be clear, focused, unambiguous, achievable)
  • Review of relevant literature, which demonstrates that the research question covers a gap in the literature
  • Critical review of applicable research methodologies, which discusses available methodologies with regards to the research question, issues of data collection and analysis. Choice of methodology should be clearly justified
  • Detailed project plan
  • Relevant references
  • Appendices

o   (appendices should be used to provide the research instrument or equivalent, e.g. a survey, case study protocol, interview plan, observation plan etc.)

o   Journal to which the final paper resulting from the proposal should be submitted

o   Consideration of ethical issues should also be included in appendices (use research student form available on the Faculty of Technology HRE website)

The project proposal should be 4000 to 5000 words long, excluding references and appendices. It should use the Harvard style of referencing and it CANNOT use Internet references (this does not rule out academic journal references which are accessible through the DMU resources and library web site). The proposal must be submitted in electronic form to the plagiarism detection system “turnitin” built into Blackboard.


Required Readings:

The module readings can be used as a starting point to define the research question and give an overview of methodology:

Oates, Briony (2005): Researching Information Systems and Computing. SAGE

Himma, Ken & Tavani, Herman (eds.) (2008): Handbook of Computer and Information Ethics. Wiley


Ethics and Information Technology (e-journals)

Information, Communication, Ethics and Society (

ETHICOMP Journal (

International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction (

3.    Further detail

Submission deadline:              3rd September 2018

Student support                      The module leader will be available by email and individual meetings can be arranged.



  1. The Proposal, IMAT5262, Research, Ethics, and Professionalism in Computing


Student Name………………………………….………………Title:…………..………………………………………………


    0-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-80 80-90 90-100
Topic 15%  
Content 30%  
  conforming to academic standards                
  clarity of argument                
  abstract, key words (5-10)                
Structure 20%  
  balance / logic of the argument                
  knowledge displayed                
  quality of resources                
  headings (level, numbering)                
Conclusion 15%  
  fit with argument                
  own view                
  critical reflection                
Formalities 20%  
  References (no Internet references)                


(The percentages show the approximate weighting, they are not intended for mathematical exactness)

















Total Marks (worth 50% of overall mark)