In academic research, ethics is an important part of the work conducted. There are several books and articles on the matter. In Sweden one important guideline for research ethics comes from the Swedish Research Council.
This project is one part of MMSS1 FoU focusing on a study of local participatory innovation practices. Here I have three field studies:
- Media Events
- Social Media
- Interviews with companies
In media events I analyse all official material from the organizer, mostly from the conferense web site. I also make use of my own experiences from the event, as field notes. I do not use any conversations with any participants from the events. Only the official presentations from the conference speakers is referred to.
In social media I analyze Twitter focusing on its possibilities for participatory innovation. I follow open Twitter accounts looking and being part of the talk of interest and following hashtags: so I do not analyze persons but what becomes talk of interest. To publish something referring to persons tweeting I will ask for consent.
In interviews with companies, every interview has been introduced by a moment of talk and consenting to me recording the interview and using it as confidential material. It is only me that listens to and transcribes the material. To publish material I go back to interview persons for consent again.
All of this has been part of my work since I started August 2009. The reason for a blog post on the issue now, is that I am starting to try some analytic thoughts on Twitter with hashtag #PSfoproj from the media events study. And I want to be sure that people reading it can trust me. This post was triggered to be published one week earlier beacuse of an article on research ethics in the local daily newspaper.
For research ethics to really work it needs a vibrant ever present discussion and conversation. Please do no hesitate to comment and or ask questions.