Doing Research Online/Online Research
Doing research online does not excuse a researcher from following ethical protocols or filing IRB applications.
Whether you are doing research online or researching online communities you need to think carefully about what you are planning to do. Ethical issues such as informed consent and protection of privacy arise quickley. Is the community public or private? Are you researching persons or avitars? Can documentation of consent be waived? Is there potential of harm to an individual or the community?
Here are some links that may help you develop ethical online research.
- APA Psychological Research Online: Opportunities and Challenges
- AOIR - Association of Internet Researchers Recomendations from the AOIR ethics working committee (pdf)
- CASRO - Council of American Survey Research Organizations CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research
- Bruckner, Amy Ethical Guidelines for Research Online
- Jacobson, D., (1999) Doing research in cyberspace (pp. 127-145). Field Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
- Armstrong, Rebecca. "Human Subjects Research and the Internet: Ethical Dilemmas." Office of Research Administration,University of Texas, Research Review, March, 2003 http://www.utexas.edu/research/rsc/humansubjects/forms/ehtical_dilemmas_internet.pdf
- Weeks, Matthew. (Department of Psychology, Centenary College of Louisiana. ) "Issues in Web-based Research" in Web-Based Research Tools. Project Created by Matthew Weeks and funded by Associated Colleges of the South.
Eysenbach, G., & Till, J. (2001). Information in practice: Ethical issues in qualitative research on Internet communities. British Medical, 323, 1103-1105.