Cogprints

Ethical Issues in Empirical Studies of Software Engineering

Singer, Janice A. and Vinson, Norman G. (2002) Ethical Issues in Empirical Studies of Software Engineering. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

[img]
Preview
PDF
120Kb

Abstract

The popularity of empirical methods in software engineering research is on the rise. Surveys, experiments, metrics, case studies, and field studies are examples of empirical methods used to investigate both software engineering processes and products. The increased application of empirical methods has also brought about an increase in discussions about adapting these methods to the peculiarities of software engineering. In contrast, the ethical issues raised by empirical methods have received little, if any, attention in the software engineering literature. This article is intended to introduce the ethical issues raised by empirical research to the software engineering research community, and to stimulate discussion of how best to deal with these ethical issues. Through a review of the ethical codes of several fields that commonly employ humans and artifacts as research subjects, we have identified major ethical issues relevant to empirical studies of software engineering. These issues are illustrated with real empirical studies of software engineering.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Additional Information:this article is intended for software engineering researchers
Keywords:software engineering, ethics, empirical studies, human subjects research, legal issues
Subjects:Philosophy > Ethics
ID Code:3299
Deposited By:Vinson, Norman G.
Deposited On:04 Dec 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

1. ACM Executive Council, “ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 36, No. 2, 1993, pp. 99-105. See also http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html

1. American Anthropological Association, Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association, 1998. http://www.aaanet.org/committees/ethics/ethcode.htm

2. American Psychological Association, “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct,” American Psychologist, Vol. 47, No. 12, 1992, pp. 1597-1611. See also http://www.apa.org/ethics/code.html

3. R. Anderson, “Social Impacts of Computing: Codes of Professional Ethics,” Social Science Computing Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, 453-469, 1992.

4. R. E. Anderson, D. G. Johnson, D. Gotterbarn, and J. Perrolle, “Using the New ACM Code of Ethics in Decision Making,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 98-107, 1993.

5. Archaeological Institute of America, “Code of Professional Standards,” http://www.archaeological.org/pdfs/AIA_Code_of_Professional_StandardsA5S.pdf

6. U. Becker-Kornstaedt, “Descriptive Software Process Modeling – How to Deal with Sensitive Process Information,” Empirical Software Engineering, Vol. 6(4), 2001

7. Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), “CAUT Responds to Tri-Council Code”, CAUT Bulletin, November 1997. See also http://www.caut.ca/english/bulletin/97_oct/tricouncil.htm

8. Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process, Volumes 1 & 2, Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1992, 1993.

9. Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, On Being a Scientist, Second Edition, Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1995.

10. B. du Toit, “Ethics, Informed Consent, and Fieldwork,” Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 274-286, 1980.

11. R. R. Faden, T. L. Beauchamp, N.M.P King, A History and Theory of Informed Consent, Oxford University Press, 1986.

12. C.E. Garza, “Studying the Natives on the Shop Floor”, Business Week, Sept. 30, 1991, pp 74 & 78.

13. C.E. Garza, “The Touchy Ethics of Corporate Anthropology”, Business Week, Sept. 30, 1991, p 78.

14. D. Gotterbarn, K. Miller, and S. Rogerson, “Software Engineering Code of Ethics is Approved,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 42, No. 10, 1999, pp. 102-107.

15. IEEE Board of Directors. IEEE Code of Ethics, IEEE, 1990. http://www.ieee.org/about/whatis/code.html

16. IEEE-CS/ACM Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices. Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, 1998. See also http://www.acm.org/serving/se/code.htm

17. D.R. Jeffries and L. Votta. “Empirical Software Engineering: Guest Editor’s Special Section Introduction,” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 435-437, 1999.

18. D. Johnson. Computer Ethics, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993.

19. J. Katz, Experimentation with Human Beings. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 1972.

20. P.H. Mervis & S.E. Seashore, Creating Ethical Relationships in Organizational Research", in The Ethics of Social Research, J. Sieber, ed., New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, pp. 79-104, 1982

21. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans. Canberra: AusInfo, 1999. See also http://www.health.gov.au/nhmrc/publications/synopses/e35syn.htm

22. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Humans Subjects of Research, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1978. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Publication No. (OS) 78-0012. See also http://ohrp.osophs.dhhs.gov/humansubjects/guidance/belmont.htm

23. R. Penslar. Personal Communication. 2000.

24. T. Puglisi. Quoted with permission from MCWIRB, an IRB listserv, June 9, 2001.

25. Register of Professional Archaeologists, Code of Conduct and Standards of Research Performance. http://www.rpanet.org

26. Society for American Archaeology Ethics in Archaeology Committee, Principles of Archaeological Ethics. Society for American Archaeology, 1996. http://www.saa.org/Aboutsaa/Ethics/prethic.html

27. S. Sedgley, Personal Communication. Director, Policy & Planning, Australian Research Council, 2000.

28. J. E. Sieber. Planning Ethically Responsible Research, Newbury Pk, CT: Sage Publications,1992.

29. J. E. Sieber, "Protecting Research Subjects, Employees and Researchers: Implications for Software Engineering", Empirical Software Engineering, 6(4), 2001.

30. R. Spinello. Case Studies in Information and Computer Ethics, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.

31. Society for American Archaeology, “Principles of Archaeological Ethics,” http://www.saa.org/AboutSAA/Ethics/prethic.html

32. J. Thomas, “Introduction: A Debate about the Ethics of Fair Practices for Collecting Social Science Data in Cyberspace”, The Information Society, Vol. 12(2), pp. 107-117, 1996.

33. Tri-Council, Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, Ottawa, Canada: Public Works and Government Services Canada 1998, Catalogue No: MR21-18/1998 E. See also http://www.nserc.ca/programs/ethics/english/policy.htm

34. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), “Protection of Human Subjects,” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Part 46, 1990.

35. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, Office for Protection from Research Risks. Protecting Human Research Subjects: Institutional Review Board Guidebook. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1993. See also http://ohrp.osophs.dhhs.gov/irb/irb_guidebook.htm

36. D. Waskul and M. Douglass, “Considering the Electronic Participant: Some Polemical Observations on the Ethics of On-Line Research”, The Information Society, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 129-139, 1996.

37. J. Weckert and D. Adeney. Computer and Information Ethics, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1997.

38. C. Whitbeck. “Teaching Ethics to Scientists and Engineers: Moral Agents and Moral Problems,” Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 299-307, 1995.

39. C. Whitbeck. Ethics in Engineering Practice and Research, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

40. World Medical Association, “World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects,” as amended by the 52nd WMA General Assembly, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2000. See also http://www.wma.net/e/policy/17-c_e.html

Metadata

Repository Staff Only: item control page