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.

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.

4 years ago
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.

4 years ago
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.

4 years ago

Academic Researchers Need Support and Incentives to Share Data

Making data available for other researchers to find, use, reuse, ultimately makes research more efficient and effective. Yet despite policies that encourage and require data sharing, researchers in the UK and US report lower percentages of data sharing than average. Grace Baynes suggests researchers be given incentives, expert support, and training to make it easy to share data.

4 years ago

How Do You Feel About Companies With Personal Data

The recent revelation that Cambridge Analytica was able to acquire the Facebook data led to a surge of interest and questions around what companies do with people’s data. Amidst all of this, little attention has been paid to the feelings of those whose data are used, shared, and acted upon.

4 years ago

Study Shows Lack of Female Authors in Academic Writing

Like it or loathe it, publishing in highprofile journals is the fast track to prestigious positions in academia. Yet somehow, in the search to understand why women’s scientific careers often fail to thrive, the role of academic writing has received little scrutiny. So to examine the representation of women within academic writing, Ione Fine, Alicia Shen, Jason Webster & Yuichi Shoda review 166,000 articles (between 2005-2017) to see how many are by women.

5 years ago

Academy of Management Report on Measuring Scholarly Impact

Usha Haley shares findings of a recent Academy of Management report that sought to answer the impact of scholarly research. By surveying 20,000 members & conducting a selection of interviews, most scholars felt the present system of evaluation and rankings has led to an over reliance on traditional techniques and methodologies, and even “junk science”.

5 years ago

Are Ethnographers Ever Wrong?

Steven Lubet, the author of ‘Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters,’ explains the importance of his approach to investigating the discipline — to ‘put it on trial’ — and to reiterate the idea that accuracy matters in social science. Spurring on his restatement is a recent review on Social Science Space that Lubet argues missed his point entirely.

5 years ago
dialog bubbles with five stars and four star ratings symbols inside

Cry from Publons: Let’s End Reviewer Fraud

Peer review has become a major editorial challenge for publishers worldwide, but options do exist to help tackle fraudulent peer reviewers. In this post from the Publons blog, some options for what publishers can do are examined.

5 years ago

Is There a Need for Novelty in Science?

In a recent survey of over 1,500 scientists, more than 70 percent of them reported having been unable to reproduce other scientists’ findings at least once. Reproducibility of findings is a core foundation of science and realizing how difficult it is to assess novelty should give funding agencies and scientists pause. Progress in science depends on new discoveries and following unexplored paths – but solid, reproducible research requires an equal emphasis on the robustness of the work.

5 years ago