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Www.sccjr.ac.uk Ethical Considerations for Doing and Presenting Research Online Sarah Armstrong Senior Research Fellow (Glasgow University)

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Presentation on theme: "Www.sccjr.ac.uk Ethical Considerations for Doing and Presenting Research Online Sarah Armstrong Senior Research Fellow (Glasgow University)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethical Considerations for Doing and Presenting Research Online Sarah Armstrong Senior Research Fellow (Glasgow University)

2 Research & the Internet Advantages: access to large groups of people in your work Disadvantages: access of large groups of people to your work

3 Methods of research ethnography, participant observation textual analysis quantitative analysis online interviews Etc.

4 Modes of presentation Electronic version of print journal Online journal (peer or non-peer reviewed) Research websites (ssrn, local institutional) Own website Social networking tools, sites

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6 Risks of using the Internet to Present Research/Have a Research Presence Control of your work, image Invasion of your privacy Copyright issues: last draft revision prior to submitted version can be published online (e.g. on your own website, or elsewhere like SSRN)

7 In research, can be object or medium As data collection tool (surveys and online data collection) As place where research data is stored (statistical datasets, Google map, comments) As site of social interaction under study (facebook, chatrooms) As subject of research itself (internet traffic to particular sites, studies of the dark web, online media representations of crime, particular websites)

8 Main ethical issues for research Privacy and confidentiality Consent understanding how data/research will be used and disseminated Underlying principles are: not harming or tricking people But is this human subject model workable for internet research? Lets look at key ethical issue for different uses…

9 As data collection tool: CONSENT Do people know what the survey is for, how it will be used and how to get in touch with the researcher?

10 As place where research data is stored: ATTRIBUTION Is there a legal or moral duty to acknowledge where the data is from? (copyright and fair use)

11 As site of social interaction: PRIVACY, CONSENT, SAFETY --Do people know the research is happening throughout the course of the research interaction? --What happens if someone is about to be harmed? --AGE concerns

12 As subject of research itself: PRIVACY Should websites be treated like people or places?

13 Summarizing: Blurred public/private divide Interactivity Time and Space control issues Online identity vs. offline identity The traditional ethical concerns of research (consent, anonymity/confidentiality, privacy and research use) are supplemented and complicated by internet-specific issues:

14 References Bassett, E.H., and ORiordan, K. (2002) Ethics of Internet Research: Contesting the Human Subjects Research Model, Ethics and Information Technology, online at: Walther, J.B. (2002) Research Ethics in Internet-Enabled Research: Human Subjects Issues and Methodological Myopia, Ethics and Information Technology, 4(3): online at: Madge, C. (2007) Developing a geographers' agenda for online research ethics Progress in Human Geography (October) vol. 31 no. 5, Internet Journal of Internet Research Ethics:


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