Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: July 29, 2022, 6:46 a.m. Humanist 36.113 - pubs cfp: Internet research ethics

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 113.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-07-27 11:49:42+00:00
        From: Charles M. Ess <>
        Subject: CfP: Comunicazioni Sociali

On behalf of my co-editors, Elisabetta Locatelli and aline shakti
franzke, I am very pleased to call your attention to the following CfP
(and with the usual apologies for the usual cross-postings) for a
special issue of the journal Comunicazioni Sociali, to be published in
September, 2023. (For more information on the Journal, please see below.)

Internet Research Ethics in the Platform Society: Theoretical
Reflections, Research Experiences, and Open Questions

Edited by Charles M. Ess, aline franzke shakti, Elisabetta Locatelli

Since the late 1990s, Internet Research Ethics (IRE) has emerged as a
burgeoning field, fueled by an ever-growing variety of ethical
challenges and concerns (Zimmer and Buchanan, 2016). To name but a few,
questions include how to minimize risks for researchers and research
subjects, and issues surrounding informed consent and intersecting
interests between corporations and academic approaches: both emphasize
the importance of the integrity of researcher but also add challenges to
Ethics Committees, who aim to confirm what research can or cannot be
conducted (franzke et al., 2020). In recent years, the societal and
technological landscape has changed and expanded still again: platforms
such as social media and apps aggregate a significant number of users,
generating new social, cultural, and media practices to study. Research
into these realms is stimulating and challenging but further implies
methodological and ethical issues surrounding both qualitative and
quantitative approaches. Both ethnographies and big data approaches in
particular have different but compelling ethical issues to consider
(Zimmer, Kinder-Kurlanda, 2017; Zook et al, 2017). Actually, there is
the need to study and comprehend users' behaviors and their
socio-cultural implications but users need to be more aware of what may
happen to the data they posted and also about the research they are
involved into. Moreover, the complex nature of AI technology and
platform logics has evoked thunderous academic debates surrounding
buzzwords such as fake news, and the importance of taking up
misinformation, hate speech and ethical reflection in social media
research is more compelling than ever before. In addition to these
changes, the role and importance of internet research ethics has grown
for over a decade and the approach of having it incorporated by design
into the research projects is increasingly more common (Ibiricu, Van Der
Made, 2020). For example, when participating in public grants and
fundings such as Horizon Europe, the evaluation of the ethics of
research is an aspect required from the very beginning also for social
sciences and humanities. This entails a specific attention to privacy
and developing a new attitude and best practices also for these
disciplines, with consequences for how research projects are developed
and carried out, including ethics assessments from its very beginning
through its dissemination. Among the new challenges there is also the
need of making research data open, requiring a further level of reflection.
Considering this landscape, the present issue of Comunicazioni Sociali.
Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies focuses on the
new challenges of the ethics of social media and internet research
through eliciting papers addressing theoretical reflections and research
projects across the world especially related to social sciences, media
studies, performing arts, and cultural studies. This topic is consistent
with the tradition of the journal and its attention to the research on
media and its context.

The aim is to make a collection of research experiences as well as
theoretical reflections that can serve as useful examples and references
for the academic community.

The call for papers invites submission of abstracts regarding the
following topics of internet and social media research ethics; abstracts
on other topics related to internet research ethics are also welcome:

●       Informed consent;
●       Possible harms to research subjects (especially when dealing with
vulnerable subjects such as children, immigrants and people at the
margins, and sensitive issues, such as gender and health);
●       Potential harms vis-a-vis the safety and integrity of the researcher;
●       Privacy and data protection with small data (e.g., ethnographies,
interviews) and big data;
●       The role of the research participants in the research project (e.g.,
considering them as active subjects, as in research with children or in
research-action projects);
●       Internet Research Ethics across countries (e.g., comparative studies,
the role(s) of Ethics Review Boards, etc.);
●       Ethics by design and the design of the research process;
●       Dissemination of the research and open data.

Submission details

Please send your abstract and a 150 words biographical note by September
16, 2022 to:


Abstracts should be between 300 to 400 words of length (in English). All
submissions should include: 5 keywords, name of author(s), institutional
affiliation, contact details and a short bio for each author. Authors
will be notified of proposal acceptance/rejection by September 30, 2022.

If the proposal is accepted, the author(s) will be asked to submit the
full article, in English, by February 17, 2023.

Submission of a paper will be taken to imply that it is unpublished and
is not being considered for publication elsewhere.

Articles must not exceed 5’000/6’000-words (including references)

For editorial guidelines, please refer to the section “Guide for the
authors” on the Comunicazioni sociali website

Contributions will be submitted to a double-blind peer review process.

The issue number 2.2023 of Comunicazioni Sociali will be published in
September, 2023.

“Comunicazioni Sociali” is indexed in Scopus and it is an A-class rated
journal by ANVUR in: Cinema, photography and television (L-ART/06),
Performing arts (L-ART/05), and Sociology of culture and communication


Franzke, aline shakti et al. (2020) Internet Research : Ethical
Guidelines 3.0 Association of Internet Researchers. Available at:

Ibiricu, B., & van der Made, M. L. (2020). Ethics by design: a code of
ethics for the digital age. Records Management Journal, 30(3), 395–414.

Zimmer, M. and Buchanan, E. (2016) Internet Research Ethics, Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available at:

Zimmer, M., & Kinder-Kurlanda, K. (Eds.). (2017). Internet Research
Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts. Internet
Research Ethics for the Social Age. New York: Peter Lang (Digital
Formation series).

Zook, M., Barocas, S., Boyd, D., Crawford, K., Keller, E., Gangadharan,
S. P., … Pasquale, F. (2017). Ten simple rules for responsible big data
research. PLoS Computational Biology, 13(3), 1–10.

We would be grateful for your distributing this CfP to potentially
interested colleagues and lists.

Many thanks and all best,
- charles

Professor Emeritus
University of Oslo

3rd edition of Digital Media Ethics now available:

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