Direkt zum Inhalt

OECD. (2016). Research Ethics and New Forms of Data for Social and Economic Research (No. 23074957; OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 34, p. 57). OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/5jln7vnpxs32-en


Overview The variety and volume of the New Forms of Data that are available with potential to inform research in the social sciences is rapidly expanding. Much of this falls in the category of 'Big Data' which are characterised by their size and complexity and the fact that they are often not amenable to the more traditional forms of statistical analysis used in social science research. However, size is not everything, and New Forms of Data can include relatively small datasets. New Forms of Data that are of interest for social sciences research include a diverse range of data and data sources, such as information on internet usage and commercial transactions, data derived from tracking systems, and government information (see Appendix 2). In this new era for research, traditional distinctions between public and private data, or public and private use, are increasingly blurred as massive amounts of data on the web are generated by the public but theoretically owned by companies. These data increasingly cross national (or disciplinary) boundaries which can add to the complexity of the issues. Research using New Forms of Data, which is often collected for purposes other than research, raises novel and important ethical issues. These issues are evolving as technology progresses and cannot be fully addressed by legislative action. There is a need for robust ethical guidance that enables important research to continue and at the same time safeguards the interests of all parties. Because of the novelty and complexity of the issues raised by New Forms of Data, there is a need to re-visit fundamental philosophical and ethical principles and develop guidance for all those involved in the social science research endeavour. In order to be effective, such guidance must complement existing legal and regulatory frameworks. This report summarises the discussion and recommendations of an international Expert Group relating to: ethical principles; governance; legal frameworks; and critical topics such as privacy, consent, anonymity, commodification of data, data sharing and security, and public engagement. In addition to guidance and recommendations targeted at specific stakeholders, the report identifies a number of opportunities for facilitating good practice in the era of New Forms of Data that require collective agreement and action.