Ethics

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Setting the Norms of Internet-based Survey Research

A decade ago, Elizabeth Buchanan and Erin Hvizdak set forth, in the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, some of the key elements that have since guided guiding ethical academic use of internet research methods.

3 months ago
1409

Leon Redbone, Fact Checking, and Ethnography

In recent popular music, there have been few if any performers as enigmatic as the late Leon Redbone, who died on May 30. With a vintage repertoire featuring tunes from ragtime, blues, vaudeville, and Tin Pan Alley, and always appearing in dark glasses and a Panama hat, he looked like a figure straight out of the 1920s.

5 months ago
183

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.

11 months ago
117
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How Do We Head Off the Collateral Damage of Big Data?

Hamish Robertson and Joanne Travaglia argue that big data quantification is now not only a mechanism for extracting information but has become an idea with social and political power in its own right. The lack of critique of quantitative methods and their application contributes to the existing and potentially coercive power of digital information systems and their attendant methods, and enhances the potential for collateral damage.

2 years ago
51

Sexual Harassment and Universities

Developing an effective response to sexual harassment in the academic industry — by no means a new phenomenon, notes Robert Dingwall — requires us to consider questions about institutional memory, occupational cultures, and organizational silos, rather than badly behaved individuals.

2 years ago
92
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Report Offers Guidelines for Ethics of Technology Design

The big questions posed by our digital future sit at the intersection of technology and ethics. This is complex territory that requires input from experts in many different fields, including the social sciences, if we are to navigate it successfully. A new report makes an effort to give a first draft of that necessary input.

2 years ago
37
Andreas Georgiou

Greece’s Honest Statistician Pays Price for Ethics

In a case that outrages statisticians and partisans of good government, a Greek appeals court has convicted the former president of the Hellenic Statistical Authority of violation of duty for his actions in recalculating national statistics and showing that Greece’s financial situation was much more dire than had been advertised.

2 years ago
82
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Common Rule Reform – A Botched Job

The rush to publish a revised Common Rule for federally funded human research in the United States has created a flawed regulatory regime, says Robert Dingwall., Time to tear the whole edifice down and start over, he suggests.

3 years ago
99

Existing Career Incentives Are Often Bad for Science

A culture of bad science can evolve as a result of institutional incentives that prioritize simple quantitative metrics as measures of success, argues Paul Smaldino. But, he adds, not all is lost as new initiatives such as open data and replication are making a positive difference.

3 years ago
51
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Common Rule Revision – The Ethics Police Fight Back

Revisions to the U.S. government’s regulations on ethical treatment of human research subjects that would exempt some experiments from direct oversight by institutional review boards are facing pushback from paternalistic guardians, says our Robert Dingwall, who don’t seem to believe subjects are competent to make decisions on their own.

4 years ago
69
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