Ethical issues of e-research from a health perspective

by DAMES e-Health group: Nadine Dougall, Alison Dawson, Margaret Maxwell, Paul Lambert, Clare Leadbetter, Susan McCafferty, Patrick Clark, and Richard Sinnott on 18 January 2011

The growing potential of health informatics and the use of linked datasets offer opportunities for a new wave of health research which can track large numbers of individuals or populations across different datasets. However, such study designs exhibit substantial differences from the models of clinical trials which have informed previous narratives on research ethics. The [...]


Inventing enlightened ways of relating to e-environments

by Ekaterina de Vries on 3 January 2011

Written by
Ekaterina de Vries,
PhD at the Center for Law, Science, Technology & Society Studies (LSTS)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2 /1050 Brussel

To invent enlightened ways of relating to e-environments may mean playing on their actual affordances and constraints[1].
Relating to the new
The last decades a wide variety of e-environments (online and off line data [...]


Ethical issues in digital data archiving and sharing

by Natasha Mauthner and Odette Parry on 15 October 2010

The development of a manifesto on ethics of e-research assumes that e-research differs from other research approaches, therefore requiring its own set of ethical guidelines. In considering the distinctiveness of e-research, it is helpful to differentiate between e-research as tool or method and e-research as site or ‘field’. Our own discussion focuses on e-research as [...]



by David De Roure on 15 October 2010

In the early days of e-Research there was much talk of the data deluge (from new scientific instruments, sensor networks, online transactions…) and how researchers couldn’t cope: manual triaging of available data into manageable chunks would lead to failure to discover results and an inability to see patterns in the overall picture.
The ‘obvious’ answer was [...]


In the framework of the project ‘e-research ethics’, a workshop will be held in Amsterdam on 12 October 2010. In the course of the afternoon, participants will discuss and reflect on the issues around ethics of e-research and the role of researchers in addressing them. Debate around these issues was initiated in Oxford in July [...]


Agile Ethics

by Webmoor on 22 July 2010

I advocate an agile research principle for working in the digital social sciences. This is a mode of engagement, a sensibility for good practice, more than a formal list of procedures or protocols. An agile research approach emerged as an attitude within design driven software development. It is form fit for the broad programme of [...]


Challenges in internet research are part of a broader landscape of change in the production, dissemination and status of knowledge. Such shifts include the blurring of producer and consumer, the moving perimeters of private and public, and the changing forms and value of information and knowledge. In this sense issues in internet research ethics also [...]


Computation, digitisation and the source of social values

by Annamaria Carusi on 21 July 2010

When the word ‘ethics’ is used in an e-research context, very often it is closely followed by the word ‘regulation’. This is understandable, since many of the capabilities of e-research technologies leave us perplexed as to whether to go on applying existing regulations or whether to make a change, and if so, which changes. But [...]


by Sabina Leonelli
ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis)
University of Exeter
Web interactions and ICTs enable the production and dissemination of huge masses of data of different types. On the one hand, this leads to the proliferation of new data types, which were not available to social scientists before the advent of Internet and information technology. [...]


Researching the public web

by Michael Thelwall on 12 July 2010

by Mike Thelwall,
Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group,
University of Wolverhampton, UK.
I would like to make the case that academic researchers should not have any restrictions placed on the kinds of (legal) data that they investigate on the public web. In particular, researchers should be allowed to investigate personal information in the public web, such as social network [...]

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Call for Position Pieces

by Clifford Tatum

Dear Colleagues,
New computational, digital and web-based tools and techniques are increasingly being developed for use in social science research of all kinds allowing for new methodologies of social science research. There are undoubtedly methodological and epistemological challenges to be met. There are also very important ethical challenges to be met. Some of these challenges have [...]

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