Advice and Resources

On these pages, we have collected information for researchers at the faculty of Informatics to guide them in making ethical choices in their work.

Quick Self-Check

Check if your planned study will need a more extensive engagement with ethics

Sounding Board

Get advice on a case-by-case basis from experienced colleagues at the IGW

Principles

Guiding principles on human participation in research

Resources

Links to literature, guidance documents and best practice examples

Why Ethics Matters

All research impacts in one way or another on people, whether they are participants in a study, users of a system or simply on ourselves as the ones who conduct the work. Ethics is concerned about the wellbeing of these people and society as a whole. Ethical issues can range from protecting the privacy of participants to considering the psychological harm for researchers or critically reflecting on possible unintended uses of research results by others.

Generally, there are two aspects of ethics which increasingly get intertwined:

  • Research Ethics is concerned about how we conduct our research in an ethically appropriate way.
  • Responsible Research is bigger in scope and includes questions about the impacts of science on society and the environment.

These pages address primarily the area of Research Ethics, but also aim to open a discourse and raise awareness about doing Responsible Science.

Ethics matters not only in an ideological way, but also in very practical terms. Increasingly international and national funding bodies require researchers to demonstrate that they are aware of ethical issues relevant to their work and how they safeguard and protect their participants and potential future users.

Also, professional and scientific communities are becoming more alert to how scientific results are obtained and used, and many representational bodies, like the ACM or the IEEE, have published codes of ethical conduct. Conferences and Journals also increasingly require authors to disclose their ethics processes and it has become common to reject manuscripts on the basis of poor research ethics.

To get research funded and published, a pro-active engagement with ethics is becoming mandatory.

Contact

These pages have been created by the Insitute for Design and Assessment of Technology (IGW) and are an ongoing effort to promote ethics as an indispensible and integrative part of our research culture at TU Wien.

To contact us, write an email to ethics@igw.tuwien.ac.at