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The Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory

The Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory brings together stories, questions, provocations and proposals from researchers, archivists, publishers, community organizers and artists grappling with the ethical challenges of

  • building equitable research relationships and reciprocal research cultures,
  • digitizing, archiving, publishing and other forms of “onlining” previously not-online minoritized cultural heritage materials and practices, and
  • researching social media and other user-generated content, networks and socialities.

Indigenous research communities are leading the fields of digital ethics, cultural protocols and heritage, archives and publishing and DREC foregrounds Indigenous knowledges, decolonial and decolonizing methods for the study and circulation—especially the online circulation—of all minoritized cultural materials. DREC emerges from Cowan and Rault’s research investments in the methods, ethics and protocols developed within feminist, transgender, queer, anti-racist and critical disabilities scholarly, creative, political, social and sexual worlds. DREC understands that academic research—even justice-oriented research—is shaped by the conventions, conditions, contexts and legacies of colonial knowledge production and resource extraction.

DREC works from the recognition that the current conditions of digital scholarship—the augmented scale, reach, exposure, access—offer research communities the opportunity to defamiliarize and denaturalize our participation in long-standing systems of exploitation and to reorient our work towards non-extractive research habits, protocols and relationships.

We want DREC to be a place where research communities—people being researched as well as people doing research—talk to each other about how to build reciprocal, accountable, non-extractive, non-dispossessive research norms and values, online and offline.

Stay tuned for research stories, coming soon.


DREC is supported by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).


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