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New methods in human subjects research: do we need a new ethics?

[working paper]

Weber, Karsten

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Further Details
Corporate Editor Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten (RatSWD)
Abstract "Online surveys and interviews, the observations of chat rooms or online games, data mining, knowledge discovery in databases (KDD), collecting biomarkers, employing biometrics, using RFID technology -even as implants in the human body- and other related processes all seem to be more promising, cheaper, faster, and comprehensive than conventional methods of human subjects research. But at the same time these new means of gathering information may pose powerful threats to privacy, autonomy, and informed consent. Online research, particularly involving children and minors but also other vulnerable groups such as ethnic or religious minorities, is in urgent need of an adequate research ethics that can provide reasonable and morally justified constraints for human subjects research. The paper at hand seeks to provide some clarification of these new means of information gathering and the challenges they present to moral concepts like privacy, autonomy, informed consent, beneficence, and justice. Some existing codes of conduct and ethical guidelines are examined to determine whether they provide answers to those challenges and/or whether they can be helpful in the development of principles and regulations governing human subjects research. Finally, some conclusions and recommendations are presented that can help in the task of formulating an adequate research ethics for human subjects research." [author's abstract]
Keywords human sciences; method; research; research practice; research implementation; data capture; data documentation; data preparation; data quality; data protection; information capture; information technology; ethics; morality; research topic; analysis procedure; survey; interview; autonomy; privacy; Internet
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods; Philosophy of Science, Theory of Science, Methodology, Ethics of the Social Sciences; Interactive, electronic Media
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
City Berlin
Page/Pages 13 p.
Series RatSWD Working Paper Series, 80
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne