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.

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.

4 months ago
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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.

7 months ago
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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
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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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Fake news on screen

Behavioral Science Can Be Used to Win War with Fake News

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged his company’s responsibility in helping create the enormous amount of fake news that plagued the 2016 election – after earlier denials. Yet he offered no concrete details on what Facebook could do about it. Fortunately, there’s a way to fight fake news that already exists and has behavioral science on its side: the Pro-Truth Pledge project.

3 years ago
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