Fabricating Data, Undermining Trust, or

Why We Omitted Work from Our Digital Archive

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Marie Sandberg University of Copenhagen

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Monique Scheer University of Tübingen monique.scheer@uni-tuebingen.de

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In a world increasingly haunted by fake news, email scams and trolls on the internet deliberately emotionalizing debate and making unfounded attacks, trust is perhaps more endangered than ever. Trust is an essential feeling in social life. Without it, relations towards anyone, from our politicians to our teachers and doctors, not to mention among longtime neighbours as well as new arrivals in town, cannot work. This is also true for academia, where a certain amount of control for safeguarding scientific reliability and rigor is the mechanism for establishing trust in the quality of data. The humanities and social sciences have long relied on source criticism and methodological reflexivity in order to ensure transparency and scientific reliability. These research ethics still count, and were joined some decades ago by the double-blind peer-review system, which today serves as the prime guarantor of research quality. But even this system has its flaws, and so it has recently become common at European universities to provide whistle-blowers with a place to go without fear of being revealed: named persons, ombudspersons and ethics committees

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