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Enhancing the ethics of user-sourced online data collection and sharing

Social media and other internet platforms are making it even harder for researchers to investigate their effects on society. One way forward is user-sourced data collection of data to be shared among many researchers, using robust ethics tools to protect the interests of research participants and society.

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Fig. 1: NIO ethics interventions, mapped to the ends each serves.


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For very helpful conversations, we thank the members of NIO’s Ethics Advisory Board: M. Doerr, N. Kass, J. McNealy, A. Rubel, E. Vayena and P. Williams. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 2131929 (PIs D.L., C.W. and D.C.). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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D.L., D.C. and C.W. conceived and acquired funding for the project described here (NIO). M.N.M. and J.B. conceived the ethics framework for NIO. M.N.M., J.B. and D.L. wrote the first draft. All authors read, revised and approved the paper.

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Correspondence to David M. J. Lazer.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Nature Computational Science thanks Katie Shilton, Sarah Gilbert, and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Meyer, M.N., Basl, J., Choffnes, D. et al. Enhancing the ethics of user-sourced online data collection and sharing. Nat Comput Sci 3, 660–664 (2023).

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