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Hi All,

Just a reminder for a Sunbelt XXXV Workshop taking place on 23rd June, 2015:

::Research ethics for SNA researchers::

As network research methodogies are increasingly adopted in a variety of academic fields with different institutional mechanisms for research governance, this workshop aims to give an overview of the research ethical review process and principles, and provides an introduction to specific issues of ethical concerns that are of particular relevance to network researchers.

In this workshop, we will introduce participants to key ethical principles governing research conducted with human beings, and how these are usually translated into practices of research governance in a variety of academic fields, using health and education as primary examples.

Attention will be paid to specific issues such as:

**How to ensure voluntary participation?
**What is meant by “informed consent” in research practice?
**What are the usual steps for ensuring data confidentiality?

The questions of how to translate standard research practices for ensuring these ethical principles in the context of social network research will be teased out.

We will share examples of how previous SNA researchers have tackled these challenges in specific network research projects, and discuss whether and how these practices may or may not be appropriately translated to other academic fields or into other research contexts.

Instead of claiming to offer examples of universal best practices, we aim to use this workshop to open up discussions about the ways in which these practices can be deemed appropriate or inappropriate in fulfilling the principles of research ethics in particular research contexts.

****A special SNA Research Ethics Resource Pack will be given to all workshop particpiants.****

****We encourage participants to contribute to peer learning by bringing up examples of their own ethics experiences relevant to network analysis as part of the session, where we hope to organise break-out sessions if numbers permit.****

We are particularly interested in tackling ethical questions on the construction of consent in SNA research whereby participation may be by default rather than volunteered in the era of Big Data.

We will close our session by encouraging participants to imagine what would be an ideal research ethical governance framework for network research, one that could provide meaningful and sufficient safeguards to research participants in the era of Big Data, yet still enabling SNA research to be conducted and the full potential of the methodology to be realised.

This workshop is designed to be complementary to the Round-Table on Research Ethics and SNA that is part of the main Sunbelt Conference.

Our goal for this workshop is that it will become part of the “bottom-up” sensitisation of research ethics issues for SNA researchers, so that participants would not be afraid to air concerns or share issues they may find problematic as SNA researchers trying to comply with formal research ethical governance guidelines.

Intended Audiences: SNA resarchers new to research ethics and/or interested in sharing their learning and experiences in tackling specific issues relating to research ethics in their own projects with fellow researchers. 

Interested participants are encouraged to email the organisers ahead of the workshop to nominate key issues of practical research ethics problems they would be interested in discussing.

Mandy S. Lee (Trinity College Dublin) [log in to unmask]
Filipa M. Ribiero (University of Porto) [log in to unmask]
(Members of EUSN Working Group on SNA and Research Ethics)

We gratefully acknowledge the support by Prof. Michael Schoennuth (University of Trier), Prof. Jose-Luis Molina (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona), and Dr. Miranda Lubbers (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) in the development of this workshop.

Online Reference Materials for the Workshop:

Reading Recommendations:

If participants would like to get ahead and read around on the workshop’s topic, we suggest the following key articles:

•       Borgatti, S.P. and Molina, J-L (2005). Toward Ethical Guidelines for Network Research in Organizations. Networks, 27(2), 107-117.
•       Kadushin, C. (2005). “Who benefits from network analysis: ethics of social network research” Social Networks 27 / 2, pp.139-153.
•       Breiger, R.L. (2005):, “Ethical Dilemmas in Social Network Research: Introduction to Special Issue.” Social Networks 27/ 2  89 – 93.

We encourage participants to visit some of the below websites prior to the workshop, to become familiar with the larger research governance contexts within which SNA research are conducted:

•       Ethics Web

•       EU Data Protection Resources Website:

•      European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies:
o (new site with only brief description)
o (archived since November 2014 - detailed information about the Group and downloadable reports)
•      List of the EGE publications are archived here:
o      The following Reports by the EGE group may be of interest:
    (2011) The protection of fundamental ethical principles in international research and innovation programmes
   (2012) The governance of large research and medical databases in clinical and multi-centre trials
    (2012) Ethical implications of Information Communication Technology (ICT) (old address)
   (2014) Opinion n°28 - 20/05/2014 - Ethics of Security and Surveillance Technologies

•      Research Legislation and Governance - UK Health Research Authority

•       National Consent Policy (2014). Health Service Executive. Ireland

•       American Sociological Association Code of Ethics (1999 reprinted 2008)

•       Protecting Respondent Confidentiality in Qualitative Research (Kaiser, 2009) -- highlights issue of "deductive disclosure" in social research and possible ethical responses

•       British Psychological Society (2013). Ethics Guidelines for Internet-mediated Research. INF206/1.2013.

This workshop is part of the XXXV Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) June 23 – June 28, 2015

More information on registration, accomodation and others:

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