Worksheet for Interactive Session on Ethics

Imagine you are a group that wants to perform research on the chosen topic, and you are preparing the research design. Go through each issue in the list below, listening to the different opinions in the group, and noting points of consensus and controversy.

For every issue (i) answer and justify why; (ii) indicate how this impact your research.

  1. Do we need to make participants aware that they are participating?
    Why? How does that impact our research?
  2. Do we need to manipulate the environment of the participants?
    Why? How does that impact our research?
  3. How should participants be recruited? Why? How does that impact ...?
  4. Do we need to use deception, explicit or by omission? Why? How …?
  5. Do we need to debrief participants after the study? Why? How …?
  6. Do we need to make sure all participants are adults? Why? How …?
  7. Do we need consent from the participants? Why? How …?
  8. Has this research secondary participants? Who are they? What ethical concerns do we have with respect to them? How do they impact our research?
  9. Do we need to collect personal data, i.e. data that allows to identify people, directly or indirectly? Why? How does that impact our research?
  10. Do we need to share data after the study, and if yes how should it be processed? Why? How does that impact ...?

Main questions for the plenary:

  1. What are the consensus/contentious points?
  2. What are your main ethical concerns regarding this project, or points of contention regarding these ethical concerns?
  3. Where would you place any "red lines" regarding the research, i.e. conditions under which you would rather not do this research?
  4. Are there any actions regarding ethical concerns that weaken or affect negatively your potential research outcomes?

ICWSM 2016 Tutorial: The Limits of Social Data