Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Socially responsible science – 10 rules

Ten simple rules for socially responsible science, PLOS Computational Biology, 23 March 2023

Alon Zivony, Rasha Kardosh, Liadh Timmins, Niv Reggev.


Guidelines concerning the potentially harmful effects of scientific studies have historically focused on ethical considerations for minimizing risk for participants. However, studies can also indirectly inflict harm on individuals and social groups through how they are designed, reported, and disseminated. As evidenced by recent criticisms and retractions of high-profile studies dealing with a wide variety of social issues, there is a scarcity of resources and guidance on how one can conduct research in a socially responsible manner. As such, even motivated researchers might publish work that has negative social impacts due to a lack of awareness. To address this, we propose 10 simple rules for researchers who wish to conduct socially responsible science. These rules, which cover major considerations throughout the life cycle of a study from inception to dissemination, are not aimed as a prescriptive list or a deterministic code of conduct. Rather, they are meant to help motivated scientists to reflect on their social responsibility as researchers and actively engage with the potential social impact of their research.

Read the full Methods Paper here.

Citation: Zivony A, Kardosh R, Timmins L, Reggev N (2023) Ten simple rules for socially responsible science. PLoS Comput Biol 19(3): e1010954. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010954

Editor: Russell Schwartz, Carnegie Mellon University, UNITED STATES

Published: March 23, 2023

Copyright: © 2023 Zivony et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This research was partially supported by the Israel Science Foundation, grant number 540/20, to N.R. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors report no competing interests.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.