1st Edition

Engaging Research Communities in Writing Studies Ethics, Public Policy, and Research Design

By Johanna Phelps Copyright 2021
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book invites readers to reconsider how writing studies researchers work with Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) on behalf of their communities and argues that engaging with IRBs during the research design process helps practitioners conduct research more quickly and effectively.

    Using empirical data from both writing studies and extra-disciplinary contexts, Dr. Johanna Phelps presents findings from two discipline-wide studies, as well as metadata from two IRBs, to develop a principled engagement framework for writing studies researchers to interact with their communities. Phelps further examines the many facets of conducting research with human participants—from comprehending federal policy updates to pondering specific ethical issues to developing detailed research designs—and explores the confluence of ethics, policy, and methodology in a thoroughgoing philosophical investigation of writing studies as a public good.

    This engaging and timely exploration of research design will be an important resource for scholars and students of writing studies; rhetoric and composition; technical and professional communication; cultural rhetoric; literacy studies; research design; research methodologies; research ethics; IRBs; justice; and critical theory.

    Chapter 4 and Interchapter 4 of this book are freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/oa-mono/10.4324/9781003082002-9 under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Chapter 6 and Interchapter 6 of this book are freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/oa-mono/10.4324/9781003082002-13 under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


    First Interchapter: Defining and Historicizing Research with Human Participants

    Chapter One: Situating Justice in the Research Enterprise

    Second Interchapter: Surveys as a Data Collection Method in Writing Studies

    Chapter Two: Metadata: What We Know About Research with Human Participants

    Third Interchapter: "Medium" Data, Interviewing, and Corpus Analysis

    Chapter Three: All "Spun Up": Findings from Familiar and Unfamiliar Methods

    Fourth Interchapter: Collecting and Working with Census Data

    Chapter Four: Don’t be too WEIRD: Research for the Future of Writing Studies

    Fifth Interchapter: Revisions to the Common Rule

    Chapter Five: Ethical Praxis at Sites of Writing Studies Research

    Sixth Interchapter: Questions to Consider when Designing Justice-Driven Research

    Chapter Six: Centering Practical Ethics in Writing Studies Research


    Johanna L. Phelps, PhD, MPA, is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver. Her research on public policy’s impact on writing studies has appeared in venues such as IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication and Present Tense. Her scholarship on paradigms, programmatic research, and community engagement has been published with Technical Communication Quarterly and Reflections.