Solidarity and care during COVID-19 has been designed as both a public platform and a collective research archive. The latter will in time become a resource resembling a data repository, where the contributions would be available for consultation and re-use.
As such, we have designed the project to be ethically compliant. Our understanding of ethical practice is one that seeks to protect those taking part in the research against exploitation. Broadly, our ethics of care seeks to protect the vulnerable and those those who may not feel they can speak; that recognises that there are those who may, for a variety of reasons want to retract what they have said; and that acknowledge that there are those who do not want to be identifiable or traced.
Standard ethics procedures grant automatic anonymity to those taking part in research. However, we know some people strongly advocate waiving their anonymity so that their words, material, creative products can be attributed to them; in Solidarity and Care during COVID-19, we are giving you the choice over whether you want your contribution anonymised. We believe our systems are robust enough to protect you, even if you change your mind at a later stage. As such, the project team will be available to consult with contributors about the appropriate acknowledgement of authorship relating to their contributions.
Data management, privacy and data security
Our ethics of care also stretches into consideration of data management, privacy and security.
At The Sociological Review more generally we have spent time and dedicated resources to protecting our community in the digital realm. This included building a bespoke, open source submission system that does not harvest and sell on your personal data. The Solidarity and Care during COVID-19 platform, submission portal and archive have been designed with these principles in mind.
Where we collect personal data, we have in place a privacy notice that explains how and what purposes these data may be used.
In terms of day-to-day data management, electronic data files will be stored on an encrypted, password-protected online file server that is accessible only to the research team. The encrypted data will be backed up regularly to a secondary file server, to enable the data to be shared within the project team. A local copy of the electronic data files will be stored on an encrypted, password-protected computer, backed up regularly to an encrypted hard drive accessible only to the project team.
Eventually, it is our ambition to deposit the archive in an open access repository for future consultation, sharing and reuse; before depositing this data, it will be standardised and cleaned in line with the appropriate guidance.