Topical Collection on COVID-19

Ethics and Information Technology

We invite submissions for a Topical Collection of Ethics and Information Technology on COVID-19.

We welcome articles on how information technologies can help tackle the immediate health risks of the pandemic, how these technologies can safeguard human well-being, as well as rights and freedoms in a post-COVID world. Information technologies have a unique role to play in mitigating some of the worst ef­fects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but they also introduce new ethical dilemmas. Many of these technologies could have long-term transformative effects for our society. Ethical refection and analysis is therefore indis­pensable. Ethics and Information Technology investigates the ethical challenges of information technologies, so contributions will be prioritised that relate these challenges to the COVID-19 crisis, especially those that help us to identify ways to move beyond dilemmatic choices and argue for responsible digital innovations. Topics include:

Ethics of COVID-19 track-and-trace apps (especially privacy).GDPR and emergency data sharing regulations.AI-enabled forecasting systems.Data-driven mapping and modelling.Remote working and diagnostic tools.Computational predictions of SARS-CoV-2 protein structure.Digital architecture for well-being.Engineering Social Technologies for a responsible digital post pandemic society.The key themes on the DDfV website (

On account of the urgent and highly disruptive nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will publish a series of short-form articles that focus on the most pressing ethical issues of the crisis in terms of information tech­nology. We also invite synopses of state-of-the-art data-driven technologies that are currently being enlisted in the fight against the virus (apps, diagnostic tools, chatbots, remote-working platforms). In addition to this, we welcome research statements, both from individuals and leaders of research projects, outlining how their work can illuminate the ethical challenges that COVID-19 presents.

We invite submissions in the following three formats:

Short-form articles (max. 5000 words)

We invite short-form articles that deal with the ethical issues of the digital, online, and information-based solutions that have been offered to mitigate the ethical, social, and political effects of COVID-19.

Synopses of state-of-the-art pandemic technologies (max. 5000 words, excluding graphs, etc.)

We invite descriptive synopses of digital technologies that have been used in the fight against COVID-19, especially those that raise ethical issues (tracking apps, diagnostic tools, computational predictions, etc.)

Research statements (around 1000 words)

We invite researchers to contribute a statement on how their work (or their research projects) con­tributes to understanding the ethical challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. This aims to provide an initial impetus for future connections and research networks between those who work on this topic.

To expedite the publication process, submissions will initially be reviewed by the editor-in-chief and the
guest editors. External reviewers will be consulted as required.

Articles will be published on the Springer website as “Quick Response Articles” by June 2020.
Extended Deadline: 21st May 2020