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Research Ethics for Social Media, Big Data and Digital Methods: 
A One-day Workshop

24. Januar 2018

Time 10am – 5pm

Room AH 211 (Am Herrengarten 3)
Workshop Leader Roger Norum

The goal of this participatory workshop is to explore some of the difficult and often unanswered ethical questions surrounding these tensions, with the aim of discussing some best practices for social media and big data research, and of implementing these into our own research ‘toolkit’. Several readings will be assigned in advance of the workshop and participants will be encouraged throughout to engage with their own research data. Key topics and questions we will address include:

How can we clearly define what we mean when we speak of “public” (e.g. the public, publics) as it relates to data and researched media?

What should we define as a human subject? People are human subjects; the information they share with us is human subjects’ data. But what about the information they share publicly online which we have access to (often without their knowledge).

If information shared online is human subjects’ data, where is obtaining informed consent appropriate and where is it inappropriate, irrelevant or unnecessary?

In what ways should we be concerned with the relational and associational harms associated with online data?

How might we account for the expectations of users in these discussions, particularly given that digital literacy and technical know-how is inconsistent across populations.

How can we address—not just guard against—the use of stolen, leaked, or deleted data in our research?


24. Januar 2018