Covid-19 and the onlineification of research: kick-starting a dialogue on Responsible online Research and Innovation (RoRI)

Journal of Responsible Innovation 3 (7):680-688 (2020)
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Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis opened up discussions on using online tools and platforms for academic work, e.g. for research (management) events that were originally designed as face-to-face interactions. As social scientists working in the domain of responsible research and innovation (RRI), we draft this paper to open up a dialogue on Responsible online Research and Innovation (RoRI), and deliberate particular socioethical opportunities and challenges of the onlineification in collaborative theoretical and empirical research. An RRI-inspired ‘going online’ approach would mean, we suggest, trying to make academic events and research activities more inclusive, researchers’ attitude to their work more reflective and suggest processes that are more responsive to societal needs and ethical concerns. For such systematic reflection, we suggest using the RRI-heuristic provided by Owen et al., and applying the dimensions of ‘Anticipation, Inclusion, Reflection and Responsiveness’ (AIRR) in order to identify and reflect on the dilemmas involved in ‘going online’ in one’s research.

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Vincent Blok
Wageningen University and Research

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