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From Data Archive to Ethical Labyrinth

Qualitative Research, Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 285, 2009

14 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2011  

Annamaria Carusi

University of Copenhagen; Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Marina Jirotka

University of Oxford - Oxford e-Social Science (OeSS) Project

Date Written: March 17, 2009

Abstract

Researchers in the social sciences are increasingly encouraged or obliged to deposit data in digital archives for greater transparency of research or for secondary use by other researchers. However, digital archives raise many ethical challenges at the institutional, disciplinary and personal level, and researchers can find themselves caught between conflicting requirements. This article considers the ethical challenges of qualitative data in particular showing what specific ethical challenges qualitative researchers face. There is generally a lack of policy or guidelines as to how to deal with digital data, or else there are conflicting requirements set by funding and academic institutions and by the law. In the face of this, researchers themselves need to be aware of the ethical and legal dimensions of their data, so that they are in the best position to enter into negotiations concerning whether and how it is archived. The options for archiving are outlined, and an interdisciplinary approach is recommended.

Keywords: archive, data, ethical guidelines, ethical requirements, ethics, qualitative, social science

Suggested Citation

Carusi, Annamaria and Jirotka, Marina, From Data Archive to Ethical Labyrinth (March 17, 2009). Qualitative Research, Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 285, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1929485

Annamaria Carusi (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Denmark

Norwegian University of Science and Technology ( email )

Trondheim NO-7491
Norway

Marina Jirotka

University of Oxford - Oxford e-Social Science (OeSS) Project ( email )

Oxford e-Research Centre
7 Keble Road
Oxford, OX1 3QG
United Kingdom

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