Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies

Workshop: Research Ethics for    
Data & Digital Methods


New data resources and novel tools for analysis provide opportunities and challenges for researchers. The use of social media in research practices, or the disputed Facebook study, the leaked Ashley Madison data set or the Cablegate database are only few of many example that pressure researchers to revisit research ethics. In response to the changing practices for collecting and (re)using data for research, this workshop will revisit ethical standards for researchers. Speakers from the field of ethics in general and from the field of data research and digital humanities in particular will kick-start our discussion on various ‘ethical minefields’ and how to apply ethical guidelines.

For whom

You are interested in research ethics, digital methods, digital humanities and using data, social media or web platforms for your research, this workshop is for you. If you use any kind of data for your Ph.D. or post-doctoral research, and if you face questions of research ethics,  you are warmly invited to take part in this workshop.

Participation is free of charge but seats are limited. Please register through sending a brief motivation of your interest or a brief summary of the data you use and the immediate ethical questions you have to our workshop coordinator Aline Franzke: aline@dataschool.nl


10:00 Doors open, coffee

10:15  Introduction by Nele Heise: “Revisiting research ethics”

10:30  What is a process oriented framework for research?  (Nele Heise)

What are the different contexts in which research takes place? What are the legal frameworks and how to deal with online data? What are the communication principles that guide academic research? Nele Heise will present a process oriented, context sensitive approach to research ethics.

11:30 Discussion

12: 00 Lunch

12:45 Group work: Applying the framework to everyday practices

Which ethical problems researcher face? What are the most urgent topics and themes? Participants form groups according their interest and apply and discuss the presented framework. For example: One group that is mostly interested in problems of qualitative/ qualitative research, reviewing processes.

13:30 Coffee break

13:40 Groups present their results

14:40 Coffee break

14:55 Intervention by Dr. Ingrid Hoofd “How to implement ethical guidelines?”

Ingrid Hoofd about pitfalls, other concerns and practical experience in Singapore to implement ethical reflection. Should it ethical reflection be obligatory Does it enfoster culture of surveillance? What does it mean to be liable as a faculty?

16:00 Discussion: Next steps in revisiting research ethics and informing policy.

17:00 Drinks

Biographical notes

Aline Franzke is a junior researcher at Utrecht Data School and the Institute for Cultural Inquiry. She obtained an MA in Applied Ethics at Utrecht University. Aline investigates data practices in public management and consults municipalities on data ethics.

Nele Heise is a digital media and communication researcher, working at   the Institut für Journalistik und Kommunikationswissenschaften at the university of Hamburg. Nele is involved in developing online research ethics conferences and guidelines. Her Ph.D. project sheds light on the technological and social conditions of media participation in the digital age. Besides her academic endeavour, Nele is active in communicating media research to a broader public audience via blogs, radio and television.

Dr. Ingrid Hoofd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Culture. Her research revolves around issues of representation, feminist and critical theories, philosophy of technology, and information ethics. She is the author of Ambiguities of Activism: Alter-Globalism and the Imperatives of Speed. Her research generally analyses the ways in which alter-globalist activists, as well as left-wing academics, mobilize what she calls ‘speed-elitist’ discourses and divisions in an attempt to overcome gendered, raced, and classed oppressions worldwide.

Image cc by amk713

Date November 2016 Category News

The Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) in cooperation with Utrecht Data School (UDS) is organizing a workshop on Research Ethics for Data and Digital Methods. The workshop will take place on 29 th of November 2016 in the Sweelinckzaal from 10a.m - 5p.m.

2000 - 2022 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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