FSD Bulletin

Issue 19 (1/2006)

ISSN 1795-5262

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FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


Finnish Social Science Data Archive
E-mail: fsd@tuni.fi

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Book on Research Ethics

Hannele Keckman-Koivuniemi

Arja Kuula's book Tutkimusetiikka (Research Ethics) is part of a three-year project which aims to create learning materials to support research and teaching. It is available only in Finnish.

The book is restricted to a narrow, but very important area: the ethical and legal aspects of data acquisition, processing and preservation. It begins with an insight into ethics, research ethics and values of science.

In connection with the treatment of research subjects, Kuula states that the ethical norms of medicine and humanities rest upon four principles: beneficence, non-maleficence (i.e. avoidance of harm), respect for autonomy and justice. The book includes a checklist which pertains to the planning phase of data collection. The list contains aspects of research which research participants need to be informed about, for example, research goals, authors, voluntariness of participation, data collection and preservation, and the protection of confidential information.

The book also has a practical approach to legislation which is related to datasets, in particular issues concerning data protection, Data Protection Act and copyright. A separate chapter is dedicated to the use of the Internet for research purposes from the viewpoint of data protection and research ethics.

At the end of the book, research officer Arja Kuula examines data archiving, data protection in the archiving process, data documentation and the benefits of secondary use. She points out that cultural heritage which accumulates in the form of datasets is necessary for the research of human beings, social life and the development of society - regardless of the area of study.

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