Dr Sara Helen Wilford

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Research group(s): Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)116 250 6294

E: sara@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

I am module leader for final year modules in: Computer Ethics, Computer Ethics and Professional Practices, Privacy and Data Protection, and for the Msc Module, Research, Ethics and Professionalism. I also supervise final year projects and have a number of PhD supervisions.

Publications and outputs 

  • First line steps in requirements identification for guidelines development in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
    First line steps in requirements identification for guidelines development in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Wilford, S. Responsible research and innovation (RRI) considers the impact of research and development on those who are likely to be directly or indirectly impacted by those activities, and provides a direction for the future of research practices in science and technology for the greater good. In the practical world of the lab or research group therefore, guidelines to assist researchers and scientists in the application of those RRI principles are needed. However, this paper is not concerned with the creation of guidelines themselves, but presents an RRI approach to identifying the requirements for guidelines. This is a first step that is often overlooked or presented as a fait accompli and yet it provides an essential factor in the eventual success or failure of guidelines, created for any purpose. What is required in a set of guidelines however, is not only dictated by the preferred outcome, but is also reflected in the process of its creation. Therefore, an RRI approach to identifying those requirements should also practice what the resulting RRI guidelines preach. Whilst initially developed for the production of guidelines for researchers in an EU RRI project, these approaches and principles can be applied across all disciplines when a set of guidelines need to be developed. The approach taken here, utilized several steps in its implementation. Firstly, through a review of the literature and an examination of guideline development in several research projects, a set of indicative requirements were created. A workshop/focus group with researchers from a range of disciplines, career stages and institutions led to the production of the second iteration, which then received further input from both experts in the field of RRI, philosophy and ethics. This led to the creation of the table of requirements for guidelines. By utilizing the core principles of RRI and through a critical and reflexive approach, this work presents a new technique for identifying first line steps in the creation of guidelines. The practical and flexible nature of this approach means that researchers and policy-makers are invited to use this method in their own guideline development The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Guidelines for Responsible Research and Innovation
    Guidelines for Responsible Research and Innovation Wilford, S.; Fisk, Malcolm; Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968- Guidelines for Responsible Research and Innovation
  • Analysis of the relationship between Saudi Arabia parents' education and economic level parental control of internet usage
    Analysis of the relationship between Saudi Arabia parents' education and economic level parental control of internet usage Almogbel, A.; Begg, M.; Wilford, S. Abstract This paper examined the relationship between parents’ educational level in Saudi families and the level of their control of their children’s internet usage. It also broadly Identified the impact of Saudi families’ economic level on their control of internet use by their children. . This study also tried to describe and explain the problem and its impact on the family. By analysing these two social variables, the paper clarified the conflict between conservative Islamic way of bringing children up against their exposure to the wild posibilities of internet surfing. The technological revolution continues to be a bone of contention in an Arabic speaking country where social norms are governed by tight religious teachings. The paper used the descriptive method to interpret phenomena. Several methods were used to collect data; questionnaires for younger and older participants and interviews for parents only. The study sample consisted of parents from different social backgrounds and primary school children from different parts of Riyadh. The results of this study will help policy makers to understand parental education and economic levels and how these influence children’s surfing habits. This is a preliminary scientific study for children and the Internet in Saudi Arabia to discuss these variables in detail.
  • What is required of requirements? A first stage process towards developing guidelines for responsible research and innovation
    What is required of requirements? A first stage process towards developing guidelines for responsible research and innovation Wilford, S. Responsible research and innovation (RRI) considers the impact of development on stakeholders and provides a direction for the future of science and technology. Therefore, in the practical world of the lab, what is needed is a set of guidelines to assist in the application of those RRI principles. However, to ensure that any guidelines are usable and acceptable, it is important to engage with those who would actually be expected to implement them. Stakeholders are often asked to evaluate a set of guidelines or recommendations without having any say in how they are constructed, what they should look like or what they should contain. The process of stakeholder engagement in the development of a set of ‘requirements’ therefore provides insight from which a set of guidelines can be developed. In this way, acceptance is fostered through stakeholder involvment in the process, which has been built from the core principles of RRI.
  • Protecting of Children Online in Saudi Arabia.
    Protecting of Children Online in Saudi Arabia. Almogbel, A.; Begg, M.; Wilford, S. Modern society is inundated with an array of attractive technological gadgets, most of which are used by young children. This information and technology revolution poses challenges to humanity, especially young people. However, the advent of this revolution means that people’s lives have been made easier in many different ways. Many countries and organizations in the world are concerned about the risks coming from the Internet on children, such as sexual harassment and exposure to inappropriate content like violence and sexual activities. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the Middle East that experiences this rapid revolution of the internet. With the increase in the number of Internet users in Saudi Arabia, especially children, and the use of social networking sites like Facebook as well as the ease of sharing photos and inappropriate content all this continues to increase the chances of children's exposure to risk is increasing.
  • Perceptions of ethics in IS: How age can affect awareness
    Perceptions of ethics in IS: How age can affect awareness Wilford, S.; Wakunuma, Kutoma Purpose – This aim of this paper was to highlight the awareness of ethical issues across the group of information systems (IS) professionals from a range of geographical regions. Design/methodology/approach – An initial survey was conducted that informed in-depth interviews with 26 IS professionals from across the globe. The study identified that around 70 per cent of the sample were over 50 years old. This provided an opportunity to consider age-related differences in perception regarding ethical awareness of both current and emerging technologies. Findings – The project revealed that the more mature IS professionals had a significantly higher level of awareness and perceived understanding regarding the importance of ethical issues than the younger IS professionals. Research limitations/implications – The research was limited to IS professionals and so the findings do not generalise further. Future research would be beneficial to find out if the higher level of ethical awareness is also evident across older people in general or whether it is specific to technology professionals. Practical implications – IS professionals need to be exposed to high standards and expectations of ethical behaviour from senior colleagues, as well as embedding this within technical education. Social implications – Caution with regards to youth culture and youthitisation of the workforce needs to be exerted to avoid rash decision-making and short-termism, which could undermine progress and development. A change in the view of employers to older workers will also require a change in attitudes across Western society, particularly as demographics continue to skew towards an aging population. Originality/value – This paper provides new insight into the ethical awareness of older employees and goes some way to dispel the myths surrounding stereotypes of older workers as being fearful of technology and resistant to change.
  • Responsible innovation across borders: tensions, paradoxes and possibilities
    Responsible innovation across borders: tensions, paradoxes and possibilities Macnaghten, P.; Owen, R.; Stilgoe, J.; Wynne, B.; Azevedo, A.; de Campos, A.; Chilvers, J.; Dagnino, R.; di Giulio, G.; Frow, E.; Garvey, B.; Groves, C.; Hartley, S.; Knobel, M.; Kobayashi, E.; Lehtonnen, M.; Lezaun, J.; Mello, L.; Monteiro, M.; Pamplona, J.; Rigolin, C.; Rondani, B.; Staykova, M.; Taddei, R.; Till, C.; Tyfield, D.; Wilford, S.; Velho, L. In March 2014 a group of early career researchers and academics from São Paulo state and from the UK met at the University of Campinas to participate in a workshop on ‘Responsible Innovation and the Governance of Socially Controversial Technologies’. In this Perspective we describe key reflections and observations from the workshop discussions, paying particular attention to the discourse of responsible innovation from a cross-cultural perspective. We describe a number of important tensions, paradoxes and opportunities that emerged over the three days of the workshop.
  • A Normative Theory of the Information Society
    A Normative Theory of the Information Society Wilford, S. This is a book review, no abstract.
  • Maturity, Ethics and The IS Professional: Does Age Matter When it Comes to Ethical Issue Awareness
    Maturity, Ethics and The IS Professional: Does Age Matter When it Comes to Ethical Issue Awareness Wilford, S.; Wakunuma, Kutoma
  • A Dependencies Mapping Method for Personal Health Monitoring
    A Dependencies Mapping Method for Personal Health Monitoring Rogerson, Simon; Wilford, S.; Fairweather, N. Ben, 1966- This chapter discusses the research undertaken in developing a comprehensive dependencies map for Personal Health Monitoring (PHM). Included is a discussion of the underlying research approach adopted and how this was operationalized. A new dependencies mapping method has been developed and this is described in detail. Illustrations of the derived tools are given using the PHM analysis undertaken. A summary of the analysis outcomes and the resulting recommendations are discussed. The chapter concludes with some suggestions of ways in which this type of data set can be used in practice to deliver fit-for-purpose PHM systems.

Click here to view a full listing of Sara Wilford's publications and outputs

Research interests/expertise

Computer Ethics including Privacy

Data Protection

Personal Health Monitoring and Public Policy Aspects of Information Systems

Social Media

Surveillance and Social Control

Workplace Surveillance

Emerging Technologies

Privacy Theory

Research Methods

Responsible Research and Innovation

Areas of teaching

Computer Ethics

Privacy & Data Protection

Research, Ethics and Professionalism

Qualifications

PhD Computer Ethics and Public Policy

PGCert(HE) Teaching Certificate

Certificate in Research Supervision

BA(Hons) Public Administration & Management

HND Public Administration

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