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10th Webinar on Ethical Challenges in Digital Research: Issues & Concern in Academia (July 04, 2020)






July 04, 2020 at 11.00 a.m.


National Law University Delhi, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla and Association of Indian Law Libraries (AILL) organized a webinar on “Ethical Challenges in Digital Research: Issues & Concern in Academia July 04, 2020 at 11.00 a.m. The webinar was organized at ZOOM Pro platform and live streaming was also made on other social media platforms.


 Dr. Priya Rai, Director, AILL Webinar Series in her opening remarks whole heartedly welcomed Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi, Prof. (Dr.) Nishtha Jaswal, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla and Shri G.R. Raghavender, Joint Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice for sparing their valuable time and agree to magnify this webinar with their auspicious presence. Dr. Rai very well mentioned that research ethics are developed to ensure the equitable, just and respectful treatment of research participants and protect them from incurring harm through their involvement in research. She in detail explained the quality of a good research viz. consent, privacy and confidentiality, ownership and authorship, governance and custodianship, data sharing: assessing the social benefits of research.  Dr. Rai also apprised that ever-changing development of digital technologies and digital infrastructure makes it necessary for researchers to change approaches to digital research within the humanities and these kind of webinar are the need of the hour to find various questions based on ethical issues involved while doing research, based on digital research tools including open domains, commercial stuffs and archives maintained by librarians and publishers in off line mode.


Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi during the inaugural address pronounced that ethical issues are very important for any research and suggested that Ethical committees are required to formulate certain policies for conducting the . the authentic research. He also strongly recommended that research ethics govern the standards of conducts of researchers and is important to abide by three principles viz. respect for persons in research, research should be beneficial for community and confidentiality while conducting the research.  He also spoke about ethical governance guidelines by social science research institutions should be taken care and national and international protocols should be maintained in this regard. His inaugural address pronounced a perfect blend of ethical practices and various guidelines to be adopted by researchers specifically in the digital environment.


The webinar also witnessed and recorded a proud moment of inauguration of the book “Public Digital Estate: Role of Commons in Legal Education and Research” authored by Dr. Akash Singh and Dr. Priya Rai inaugurated by Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, NLU Delhi.



Dr. Akash congratulated Team AILL being the first publication of the Association and informed all the connected participants that the book is also available on Amazon for procuring a print copy or kindle edition.


Prof. (Dr.) Nishtha Jaswal, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla in her Keynote address very nicely elaborated certain guidelines to be followed for ethical research in this digital era. She mentioned that data security, privacy should be well taken into consideration while conducting a research. She stressed that institutions must have Research Ethical Boards where researcher will be monitored and suggested to follow all the norms and guided that the respondent’s data should be protected and identity of respondents will not be shared in any case. She also highlighted that though the researchers are now a days allured by the glamour of internet however at the same time the ethics in research must not be overlooked due to this. She very well recalled the role of elementary education in enhancing the value of ethics to be inculcated since childhood. At the end madam very nicely concluded the importance of ethical research in digital era by a Hindi verse:


“ Rab ne banaye the niyam jab bheja tha dharti par,  mata pita ko diya aadesh raho sanskar dene mein tatpar,

Janma se le aaj tak jo kiya hota inn niymo ka palan,  nahi dhundhte firte anusandhan hetu koi sadhan,

Aachar sanhita banani hai shodh digital ho ya non-digital, shudh karna hai shodh banane ko isse safal,

Baat guno ki karo ya ganana ki, shodh karo tum, ekant surakshit karo mera magar akela na chodo tum,

gopneey rakhne hain jaroori mere vichaar aur soochna, vishwas jeet mera soochit sahmati se poochna,

mere aur apne astitva ka karna maan, sachet rahna na ho kisi online ya offline manch par apmaan,

main nahi chahti meri soch aur vishleshan ho kalankit, ganana mein karo shamil, na karo mujhe prakashit, gyaanwardhan tumhara haq hai, gyaan ka vinaash nahi, tumhari soch mohtaj hai kisi aur soch ka yeh vikas nahi,

rab bhi to shodh karta hai vinaash kar srijan karne ko, magar sawaanrta hai, sudharta hai sabhyatao ke punarjanma ko , rab de budhdhi budhijeeviyo ko ek baar, shayad tere srijan ke niyamo ke ullanghno se hi aate hain Corona se kahar”


Shri G.R. Raghavender, Joint Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice in his special address mentioned that unethical research tarnish the image of researcher in this digital era. He discussed in detail about the issues of copyright and plagiarism in research and basically spoke about the plagiarism issues in detail. He stressed about various legal implications on ethical research and availability of various laws to protect the work. His talk also presented a comprehensive overview of various national and international treaties for copyright protection. He very nicely elaborated a variety of challenges for research in digital era such as lack of understanding, lack of planning, poor English and lack of critical analysis. He articulated that in copyright violation author is cheated, however in plagiarism along with author, the users are also cheated as they don’t know whose work they are referring or using in their research.


Dr. Akash Singh, Convener AILL Webinar Series, pronounced the concluding remarks wherein he supported the statement of Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh that research ethics should be followed in any industry be it medicine or education or so on. Dr. Akash also mentioned the views of Prof. (Dr.) Nishtha Jaswal about the process of research with digital tools and highlighted that only positive attitude of researcher in digital era is very much needed. Dr. Akash on behalf of AILL, congratulated Prof. (Dr.) Nishtha Jaswal madam for being conferred ‘International Extraordinary Women Award 2020’. Dr. Akash also thanked Shri G.R.Raghvender for his special address wherein he rightly shared his views on adoption of various international treaties which were incorporated in Copyright amendment act 2012 formulated by Sh. Raghvender. Dr. Akash in his concluding remarks heartily congratulated to Dr. Priya Rai, Director, AILL Webinar Series and whole organizing team of webinar namely Dr. Arjun, Technical Coordinator, AILL Webinar Series, Ms. Sonam Singh, Report Coordinator, AILL Webinar Series, Mr. Shivjee Prasad, Media Coordinator, AILL Webinar Series and Mr. Arun Kumar Webinar Coordinator HPNLU, Shimla for working hard to make the webinar successful.