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ILS 230: Data Science & Society: Ethical, Legal, Social Issues

This guide is for students completing assignments in ILS 230

Project Proposal Components

Your project proposal should be 100-200 words, and should include:

  1. an explanation of the subject you would like to investigate;
  2. how your subject relates to data science as a field of practice or study;
  3. why you believe the subject you've chosen is worthy of investigation;
  4. the main research question guiding your research project

Tips for Identifying Your Research Topic

You have several options for finding and developing a topic. These include:

  • identifying a real world case that interests you (a person, phenomenon, event, object, etc.)
  • locating a previously conducted case study in a peer-reviewed journal and summarize the case study

You can use your own experiences or popular sources in order to identify your subject of study. However, your explication of the case under investigation must be research-based. This means that you must cite reliable sources when providing your explication. At least one of these sources must be a peer-reviewed, scholarly publication.

Research topics may include:

  • the use of data science in targeted advertising
  • the use of data science in sports analytics
  • the use of data science in self-driving vehicles
  • the use of data science in recommendation systems
  • the use of data science in pandemic control 
  • a non-profit organization using data science
  • data cleaning
  • algorithmic fairness
  • the use of data science in job listings
  • the use of data science in education
  • data collection on social media applications
  • the COMPAS recidivism algorithm


Popular Sources



News Sources

  • FactivaA global information resource, providing full-text access to top national and international newspapers (including full text of the Wall Street Journal), newswires, business journals, market research reports, analysts reports and web sites. Contains over 8000 publications with content from 118 countries in 22 languages. Updated daily. 
  • ABI/INFORM - Focuses on local and regional business news coverage of large corporations, privately held companies, local start-ups, executive profiles, marketing, finance, and industry news. Contains news and analysis, information on local markets, and more gathered from major business tabloids, magazines, daily newspapers, wire services, and city, state, and regional business publications.
  • Science Online - Full-text access to Science, First Release (the preprint version of Science, formerly called ScienceExpress), three virtual knowledge environments, Science Now, and other web sites. Coverage: Science available from 1997 - current

Reference Works

Scholarly Databases