Research Ethics

Blog posts and resources relating to research ethics in the social sciences. To start a new discussion on ethics, visit the forum via the above link.

To Study Zika, They Offered Their Kids. Then They Were Forgotten

“We feel diminished,” says Alessandra Hora dos Santos. “It’s like we were lab rats. They come in nicely, collect information, collect exams on the child, and in the end we don’t know of any results. It’s like we are being used without even knowing why that is being done.”

2 weeks ago
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NAS logo

NAS Creates Council to Address Research Integrity and Trust

A new blue-ribbon council convened by the United States’ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine aims to tackle questions about nettlesome issues like conflict of interest, measuring impact and handling retractions.

2 weeks ago
213
Art with Maori themes

Let’s Do Research With First Nations Peoples, Not On Them

The authors of a new book on community-led research ask how to move research ‘done to’ and ‘on people’ towards ‘for and with people.’ It features both community and academic voices and reflects on research that foregrounds non-academic priorities.

3 months ago
805
paper folder for errors

Can We Encourage Public Self-Correction in the Scientific Record?

Correcting mistakes in light of new data and updating findings to reflect this is often considered to be a key characteristic of scientific research. Commenting on the ‘Loss-of-Confidence Project’, a study into self-correction amongst psychologists, Julia M. Rohrer, suggests that in practice self-correction of published research is, infrequent, difficult to achieve and perceived to come with reputational costs. However, by reframing and changing the static nature of academic publications, it may be possible to develop a research culture more conducive to self-correction.

6 months ago
764
Men with clipboards in field

‘Bukavu Series’ Addresses Power Dynamics in Fieldwork

Research has long highlighted the importance of research associates and assistants in the production of knowledge, and the importance of locally embedded expertise – though often without giving them a voice. An online project seeks to address that.

9 months ago
848
Peer review

Junior Scientists are Often Underused as Peer Reviewers

Their paper about the evolution of malaria was in review for what seemed like an eternity. Every month, Susan Perkins and her then-graduate student Spencer Galen would check in with the editors. The problem seemed to be a lack of peer reviewers …

2 years ago
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Reproducibility and Replicability in Science

NAS Takes Detailed Look at Reproducibility and Replicability

This Tuesday at 9 a.m., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will be hosting a national symposium in response to the 200-page report: Reproducibility and Replicability in Science. The symposium will feature discussions on actions taken or contemplated in response to the report’s findings. Learn more or find out how to watch live.

2 years ago
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The Civic Responsibility of Ethnographers

What duty do social scientists have to report illegal activity that they witness as part of their fieldwork? If you answered quickly, you may not have thought about the issue all that deeply.

3 years ago
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Replication in Humanities Just as Desirable as in Sciences

Some scholars claim that replication, in the humanities, is not possible. The reasoning is that the humanities search for cultural meaning that can yield multiple valid answers since research objects are people and interactive entities. This may be true but it does not automatically follow that replication is not possible. Its a desirable feature for studies in the humanities to be replicable.

3 years ago
645
Social Science Research Council

Collaboration Imbues SSRC’s ‘To Secure Knowledge’ Report

In launching its first-ever task force report on Monday, the 95-year-old Social Science Research Council made clear it gets by with a little help from its friends. Collaboration, said sociologist Alondra Nelson Nelson, the president of the SSRC, is the byword of the report, To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good.

3 years ago
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