Workshop on Ethics for Digital Projects and Research for The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2018 Digital Research Institute.
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Ethics for Digital Projects and Research

This discussion-based workshop will address an array of ethical questions and concerns for folks doing digital projects or research with an emphasis on consent, personhood, confidentiality, political economy, the politics of knowledge production, and accessibility. In addressing these issues, this workshop will first provide a general overview of ethics for institutional research compliance - including the Belmont Report and Institutional Review Board - and then delve into an array of ethical issues that extend beyond institutional purview.

The approach of this workshop is premised on the understanding that there is no simple roadmap for practicing 'good ethics' and, indeed, what constitutes 'good' or 'ethical' for one individual may vary from the next and is often reflective of a scholar's political commitments and personal background. Nonetheless, this workshop will foreground key ethical questions to ask (and keep asking!) when designing and doing digital projects or digital research, and key concepts to draw upon when thinking through these questions.


Institutional Ethics
Belmont Report
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Ethics Beyond Compliance
Levels of Impact
Level of Impact #1
Level of Impact #1 cont.
Level of Impact #2
Level of Impact #3
Range of Impact

In this workshop, we (workshop participants) will:

  • consider ethical practices to satisfy institutional needs (IRB) and working with “human subjects,”
  • explore ethical questions and levels of impact to consider when doing various forms of digital research and using digital tools,
  • review alternative approaches and case examples,
  • envision and discuss the ethics of workshop participants' own projects and methodologies - see the corresponding worksheet here

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