Ethics Process

Information on the PD-Net Ethics Framework are now available on the project website (read more).

Research involving public displays often faces the need to study the effects of a deployment in the wild. While many organizations have institutionalized processes for ensuring ethical compliance of such human subject experiments, these may fail to stimulate sufficient awareness for ethical issues among all project members. Some organizations even require such assessments only for medical research, leaving computer scientists without any incentive to consider and reflect on their study design and data collection practices. Faced with similar problems in the context of the EU-funded PD-Net project, we have implemented a step-by-step ethics process that aims at providing structured yet light-weight guidance to all project members, both stimulating the design of ethical user studies, as well as providing continuous documentation.

Here, we describe our process and our 3 years of experience using it. All materials are publicly available and we encourage other projects in the area of public displays, and beyond, to adopt them to suit their particular needs and to eventually re-share their experiences and material through this website. If you adopt any of the documents presented in your project we would appreciate if you reference our corresponding publication as follows:

Marc Langheinrich, Albrecht Schmidt, Nigel Davies, and Rui José (2013): A Practical Framework for Ethics – the PD-Net Approach to Supporting Ethics Compliance in Public Display Studies. In: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Pervasive Displays (Mountain View, CA, June 4-5, 2013). PerDis 2013. ACM, New York, NY.