Sols Research 2021
Sol asks us to be allowed to research over four years the Haecksen. What are our aims, visions? How do we work together? What are the drivers behind the group, behind individual members? And how does this compare to Argentinian communities?
[..] I am conducting research on women's and LGBTQ+ communities in the IT field, including women's and minority communities in Germany (as well as bootcamps and other initiatives) that are dedicated to attracting, making visible and empowering these groups in the IT sector. I am interested in learning about the reasons or motives for creating such communities, how they grow, what activities they carry out, how they interact with other similar groups and if they have contact with groups that are not IT, but recognise themselves as feminists or if they support feminist causes that go beyond the IT sector. My aim is to write my PhD thesis comparing Argentinean and German communities (I am already in contact with one community in my country), to identify similarities and differences, characteristics and effects of the contexts, as well as to enhance transatlantic contact.
In order to reach my goal I would like to interview those members of die Haecksen who are interested in collaborating with my research (hopefully there is at least one person) by telling me about their personal experiences and their participation in the group, and also to carry out what is known as participant observation, that is, to follow the group on social networks, join the mailing list and online activities and, when there are face-to-face events to take part in them. This is a long term work, so I estimate that it will take about 4 or 5 years.
Can/would you help me? Obviously, any interview will have a request for informed consent, in case of interacting in their social networks I will inform of my status as a researcher, as well as in on- and offline activities, and whenever I observe any intervention that I consider useful for my research before quoting comments in my work, I will first ask permission for it. That is, I want people to feel comfortable with me and also respect their desire for privacy. I hope to turn this thesis into a collaborative work, where I write and reflect, but with the cooperation and constant exchange with the community.
sciency way of asking
"Research on gender and ICT (and more generally STEM) has been profuse and acknowledged the particular difficulty that women and LGBTQ+ face when trying to participate in the IT field. In order to increase diversity many women and allies’ groups flourished at the beginning of the XXI century, demanding diversity in technology for reasons such as joy, agency, empowerment, and equality with agendas that are distinctive from those of higher education, governments, or companies due to their voluntaristic character (Dunbar-Hester 2019). Although there is scholarship inquiring into their values, ideals, motivations, and practices as well as the infrastructures of care (Dunbar-Hester, 2020) they create, these analyses are based on groups located in the Global North, mainly in the USA and Canada. Therefore, I propose to research similar initiatives in other places of the Global North and in the Global South, where the performativity of infrastructures as a form of action, practice and relation that requires continuous attention and care is apparent (Alam & Houston, 2020; Smedberg, 2019; Nguyen, 2016). Thus, I endeavour to study diversity advocacy groups in Argentina and compare them with communities in Germany. In this presentation I would like to tell you more about what this research entails, how I plan to approach the topic and field work, what type of empirical data I want to gather, and the role of the “subjects” of the study— in order words, you. My hope is to turn my PhD thesis into a collaborative work, where I write and reflect, but with the cooperation and constant exchange with the communities."
The most important statement is, that the Haecksen determine in which ways the research can take place and won't be a passive object of observation. Any interaction in this research is based on consent, ethics in research will be applied and an ethics screening will take place. Sols research is subervised by a professor and her institue that checks that state of the art ethics guidelines are followed throughout the research. These include that the information needs to be given with written consent and can be removed at any point in time later on. If we identify misconduct, we can raise the problem with her supervising research institution.
Like any other scientific work, Sols research is guided by principles of ethical research. In this case she follows the [draft for Ethics in Social Science und Humanities https://wolke.haecksen.org/apps/files/?dir=/Projekte/sols_research_request_2021&openfile=9737] by the European Commission. It describes for example an outline how informed consent can be achieved between the researcher and the participants. In general it says: "As a researcher you have an over-riding obligation to protect participants’ welfare and safety and to ensure they are treated fairly and with respect." In the initial stage, the researcher has to open up about any important information like the research request, the approach, the data of interest, the form and place of publication etc. It has to be clear what happens, when it happens, how it happens and why it happens (that way). Rules will be set up between Sol and the Haecksen that clearly define how both sides can work together. This includes beside certain rules also rights that will be given to Sol for taking part in the actions of the Haecksen.
So the questions are: How will the research be conducted with an emphasis on consent and psychological safety? Which rules and rights will be negotiated betwenn the Haecksen and Sol?
We propose to set up a small group of Haecksen, that stays in regular contact with Sol. This group can also be contacted if something seems problematic, if certain rules are unclear or if any questions arise by any Haeckse or Sol.
In general we propose:
- Timeframe to get to know each other: maybe after 8 weeks first feedback round if the agreed rules work out and after 6 month a first check on the research
- general consultation with die Haecksen every 6 months to renew the consent of the group and to continue her research - in case of withdrawal of consent, the researcher will immediately cease her activities (see document: Code of Conduct)
- The researcher commits herself to answer any questions that may arise during her research time (see document: Code of Conduct)
- She can join every public and internal meeting and communication channel of the Haecksen unless indicated otherwise for the next four years (this includes rocket, wolke, pads, mailinglist, geekend, assembly, village and bbb meetings that are accessible for all Haecksen - private chat channels only when invited)
- Sol will always announce her presence and ask if she is allowed to visit the meeting for taking notes on interactions.
- A safe word is proposed that will signal to other Haecksen that the participation of Sol in the meeting is not preferred. They can then handle the situation for the person needing to use the safe word.
Guiding principles we propose:
- It is her job to always make us aware of our rights - anything else would violate the ethics standard.
- All information can be retracted at any time in the process.
- CCC interna should not be part of Sols publications.
- Single people voicing discontent with either the research or any other topic in the Haecksen will not be singled out. The research focus should be on the general notion of the group.
- Interviews with specific people are only possible after giving written consent (document: Infrastructuring care-Consent form_die Haecksen), the participant and the researcher as well will have to sign this document
- In addition to the maintopic interviews with members can also cover: personal experiences, reasons for their participation in the group and their main activities in the community (see document: Code of Conduct)
- People will not be cited without giving a consensual interview - context-less citations will not be done
- Naming persons will not be done (anonymous handling, if not possible pseudonyms will be used (see document: Infrastructuring care-Consent form_die Haecksen/Code of Conduct))
- Participation is completely voluntary, questions can be skipped (right to not answer specific questions) and can be stoped at any time (see document: Infrastructuring care-Consent form_die Haecksen)
- To mitigate this risk the recording and notes of the interviews will be stored only by the researcher on a private encrypted and password protected server for a specific period (see document: Infrastructuring care-Consent form_die Haecksen)
- Sol needs to present her work in adequate distance before a conference to the Haecksen or the research Haecksen group to increase transparency
- Also she must present her work to the Haecksen before she will publish her work, so that the Haecksen kann give final consent on the parts about the Haecksen
- The information collected will only be used for the above-mentioned research. This includes the publication of a PhD thesis, peer-reviewed articles in academic journals, presentations at conferences and workshops, and dissemination material for Digilog (see document: Code of Conduct/Informed consent for participation in interviews)
other organizational details
Questions in and for the live session with Sol: https://haecksen.pads.ccc.de/930 (not public anymore)
Feedback pad: https://haecksen.pads.ccc.de/phd-research-haecksen (not public anymore)
All of Sols additional pdfs like presentation slides, consent form, articles ... https://wolke.haecksen.org/apps/files/?dir=/Projekte/sols_research_request_2021&fileid=9736
draft paper that a panel of experts wrote at the request of the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) for projects financed by the EU but can also apply for smaller projects and contain the main ethical principles and dimensions that should be considered when working on social sciences research. Concept of ethical research: https://wolke.haecksen.org/s/LyGR3tiMEJCrmBA
- translate answers in the private pads to content of this page
- draft block about consent based on the material we have
- add comparable work into the wiki
- ask for another internal Haecksen meeting
The page should answer the questions
- what Sol would like to research
- why is it relevant
- why should, could Haecksen participate
- how will the research be conducted with an emphasis on consent and psychological safety