Ethics and integrity

Summary of the School ethics pages, including the School's ethics and integrity code, ethics procedure and ethics panel membership.

The Informatics ethics procedure is in place to ensure that all research conducted in the School abides by the required ethical standards. To this end, the School follows a code of ethics which is in line with that of the College and University.  There is more information on the School's ethics and integrity code under the tab of the same name.

Ethics and integrity code

Since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, the School is making increased efforts to ensure any project working with personal data takes the appropriate steps to ensure secure handling of personal information. For a summary of the relevance of the GDPR in ethical research, see Ethics and the GDPR.

Ethics and the GDPR

Each project in the School of Informatics needs to be reviewed by the Ethics panel. Since June 2019, this can be done by completing the online Informatics ethics form. The form guides the PI through mandatory questions and a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) as required, as well as prompting the user to produce relevant documents (e.g. consent forms). Once submitted, the panel will aim to reply within 10 working days. The online form as well as a PDF reference are available under the Ethics procedure tab.

Ethics procedure

If you are working with human participants, you will need to provide a participant information sheet (PIS) and consent forms to complete you ethics application. For any type of research project, it is further adviseable that you create a data management plan (DMP) before you begin collecting data. School-specific templates for PIS and consent forms, as well as more information and advice on writing a DMP, are available under Ethics resources. 

Ethics resources

Informatics ethics panel

The Informatics ethics panel reviews each ethics application submitted in the School. They are available to answer any questions not answered here, and to advise on your ethics application as you prepare it. 

The ethics panel is chaired by Peggy Seriès and currently has the below membership:

  • Peggy Seriès (chair)
  • Alexandra Birch-Mayne
  • Chris Lucas
  • Arno Onken
  • Kami Vaniea
  • Maria Wolters

The Ethics panel can be contacted on inf-ethics@inf.ed.ac.uk. 

Contact the Informatics Ethics panel