Observations on the Responsible Development and Use of Computational Models and Simulations

David J. Kijowski, Harry Dankowicz, Michael C. Loui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most previous works on responsible conduct of research have focused on good practices in laboratory experiments. Because computation now rivals experimentation as a mode of scientific research, we sought to identify the responsibilities of researchers who develop or use computational modeling and simulation. We interviewed nineteen experts to collect examples of ethical issues from their experiences in conducting research with computational models. We gathered their recommendations for guidelines for computational research. Informed by these interviews, we describe the respective professional responsibilities of developers and users of computational models in research. In particular, we examine whether developers should disclose the full computational codes, and we explain how developers and users should minimize harms from improper uses of models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages19
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Algorithms
  • Assumptions
  • Computational model
  • Disclosure
  • Responsible conduct of research (RCR)
  • Simulation
  • Validation
  • Verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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