Research Integrity and Responsible Scholarship


Course Objective

Learning about codes of conduct and ethics review at the Faculty of
Social Sciences contributes to knowledge and understanding of research
design (KU3) and of norms about working with funders and stakeholders
outside university (LS14). Plenary discussions and discussions in
diverse groups about re-search ethics and data management contribute to
effective teamworking in international and diverse contexts (LS16).
Completing the ethics review self-check, writing a data management plan,
the discussions about ethical dilemmas and the final paper make you
reflect on ethics in all phases of the re-search process (JF10), and
specifically on the social and ethical aspects of big and small data
(JF11). Writing the paper also develops your writing skills (C12).

Course Content

This course seeks to contribute to a reflection and discussion on the
normative consequences of the abstract ideals of science and an
awareness of standards of good conduct and the responsibility of
researchers in the social sciences. This course helps to ensure that the
privacy safeguards built into the law and regulations at VU and the
Faculty of Social Sciences are taking effect in practice of social

For the social researchers of the future it is of key importance to be
aware of the ethics of data and to uphold the rights of research
participants. As the stream of Big Data swells, what are the appropriate
procedures to ask for consent with participation in social research?
When can research be conducted legitimately in the absence of explicit
consent? What are the ethical limits to the use of publicly available
data? What rights do people have with respect to their data, according
to Dutch law and European regulations?

Teaching Methods

In this course, you meet in three different types of settings:
- Interactive meetings to discuss public values, codes of conduct, and
ethics review procedures;
- Breakout sessions in 2 groups for the workshop to discuss ethics
- Small group meetings (2 or 3 persons) to discuss peer feedback on
draft research questions and Data Management Plans.

Method of Assessment

Assessment includes seven assignments and active participation in Peer
Group Learning.


See course manual.

Target Audience

Students Research Master Societal Resilience

Recommended background knowledge

This courses focuses on research integrity and responsible scholarship.
The course supposes that you have collected data in previous research
and have written research reports. You will need the knowledge you gain
in this course about ethics review and research data management for your
internship and the master thesis in year 2.

General Information

Course Code S_RIRS
Credits 3 EC
Period P6
Course Level 600
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. R.H.F.P. Bekkers
Examiner prof. dr. R.H.F.P. Bekkers
Teaching Staff prof. dr. R.H.F.P. Bekkers
prof. dr. G. de Graaf

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group, Reading