Ethical and legal aspects of informatics research

Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen

2016 | 85 pages | ISBN 978-90-6984-710-8 | free

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has recommended the installation of ethical review boards for informatics research, based on experience gained in the field of medicine. Cooperation, mutual learning and knowledge-sharing between such boards would give rise to a common review mechanism that is both transparent and distinguishable as such.

According to the advisory report, the presence of an ethical review board would not discharge individual researchers from the responsibility of addressing potential ethical and legal dilemmas in their work. The report recommends a number of ways to raise awareness among researchers, for example by drawing up a code of conduct, appointing an ethical adviser, and making training in ethics and academic integrity a compulsory part of a researcher’s education.

The Academy expects that instituting ethical review mechanisms in informatics research will inspire other disciplines to follow suit.