Personal Data, Public Knowledge and Research Ethics19 January 2011Cambridge

The drive to make research data accessible to the widest possible scholarly community through archiving and data-sharing mandates proposed by funding bodies and academic journals raises new ethical, technical and methodological challenges.

Does the ease with which digital data can be re-used, shared, searched and combined make it impossible for research participants to give their fully informed consent, as they cannot know how information about them will be used in future? Can the need to ensure efficient use of public funds by sharing and archiving publicly-funded research data be balanced with the demands of data protection and individual privacy? Can researchers build ethics into their relationship with data so that their work respects the privacy of research participants while creating knowledge for the public good?

This seminar brings together researchers, research co-ordinators, and data managers to discuss their experiences in finding practical ways of dealing with issues of consent, confidentiality, research design and relations with stakeholders. The seminar will consist of a mixture of short presentations followed by a panel discussion. Speakers are Louise Corti and Libby Bishop.