Adolfo Estalella‘s recently completed PhD dissertation gave rise to a series of interactions that were ethically laden. Similarly, my recent fieldwork in a women’s studies group in a university in the Netherlands meant rethinking some of my assumptions about the proper way of going, being and leaving the field. Thinking through these issues together, we realised that some of the difficulties and our attempts at working through them could also be important for other scholars. On the basis of these experiences and of our discussions about them, we wrote an article called Rethinking Research Ethics for Mediated Settings. It will be published in a special issue of Information, Communication and Society, edited by Annamaria Carusi.
We adress questions like: What does it mean to anonymise digital and networked data? Who has the power to do this? What are we really trying to achieve through anonymisation? And what kind of accountability can we formulate and enact when working in mediated settings?
In considering these questions, we also characterize mediated settings in terms of contiguity and traceability–two features that that challenge many of our traditional assumptions about what it means to go into the field, ethically.
A website that presents the collection through gorgeous visuals is now considered a must for any self-respecting museum. Photographs of objects, of exhibitions and of the museum itself are increasingly common interfaces, linking museums, visitors, experts, collections.
How are users engaged by these interfaces? Which skills and strategies are needed for this engagement? What are the consequences of visually mediated interfaces for users of digital knowledge in/about/from museums, archives, and other collections? These developments are discussed in terms of their consequences for how museums view their role, in a recent article written with Sarah de Rijcke, Image as Interface: consequences for users of museum knowledge. It appears in a special issue of the journal Library Trends on ‘Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Digital Knowledge in Libraries, Archives, and Museums.’
A pleasant and productive collaboration with Mette Høybye led to the following chapter, which just appeared in the The Handbook of Emergent Technologies in Social Research, edited by Sharlene Hessse-Biber, Oxford: Oxford University Press.