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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Exploring ethical issues associated with using online surveys in educational research (Papers: Roberts and Allen 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on January 10, 2016
 

Abstract: Online surveys are increasingly used in educational research, yet little attention has focused on ethical issues associated with their use in educational settings. Here, we draw on the broader literature to discuss 5 key ethical issues in the context of educational survey research: dual teacher/researcher roles; informed consent; use of incentives; privacy, anonymity, and confidentiality; and data quality. We illustrate methods of addressing these issues with our experiences conducing online surveys in educational contexts. Moving beyond the procedural ethics approach commonly adopted in quantitative educational research, we recommend adopting a situated/process ethics approach to identify and respond to ethical issues that may arise during the conduct, analysis, and reporting of online survey research. The benefits of online surveying in comparison to traditional survey methods are highlighted, including the potential for online surveys to provide ethically defensible methods of conducting research that would not be feasible in offline education research settings.

Roberts L D, and Allen P J (2015) Exploring ethical issues associated with using online surveys in educational research. Educational Research and Evaluation 21 (2): 95-108.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13803611.2015.1024421?journalCode=nere20

(Additional reading list item from the updated Booklet 37 of the Griffith University Research Ethics Manual. Perpetual licences are available for use by all researchers within an institution. Institutions have used the GUREM as the basis for producing their own research ethics manual, as a professional development resource and a teaching and learning materials for HDR candidates.)

Ethical Issues in Conducting Qualitative Research in Online Communities (Papers: Roberts L 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on January 10, 2016
 

Abstract: Increasingly, psychologists are extending their research to include online methods of data collection. Psychologists’ use of qualitative data obtained or generated online for research purposes poses unique challenges because of the “traceability” of quotes, often sensitive content of data and potential impact on both individuals and online communities. In this article, working within a framework that goes beyond “procedural ethics” to examine “ethics in practice,” ethical issues associated with conducting qualitative research within online communities are identified. These include tensions over public/private space, authorship versus human research participants, informed consent, anonymity and pseudonymity, covert research, deceptive research identities, reactions to being researched, and the quality of data obtained. Prior to conducting qualitative research in online communities, researchers have an ethical obligation to identify and weigh possible risks and benefits to both the community and community members. Sensitivity to the specific online community and continued ethical consideration throughout the conduct and reporting of the research are required.

Roberts L D (2015).“Ethical Issues in Conducting Qualitative Research in Online Communities.” Qualitative Research in Psychology 12 (3): 314-325.
http://espace.library.curtin.edu.au/R?func=dbin-jump-full&local_base=gen01-era02&object_id=230825

(Reference from the updated Booklet 37 of the Griffith University Research Ethics Manual. Perpetual licences are available for use by all researchers within an institution. Institutions have used the GUREM as the basis for producing their own research ethics manual, as a professional development resource and a teaching and learning materials for HDR candidates.)

Six Provocations for Big Data (Papers: Boyd and Crawford 2011)0

Posted by Admin in on January 9, 2016
 

Abstract: The era of Big Data has begun. Computer scientists, physicists, economists, mathematicians, political scientists, bio-informaticists, sociologists, and many others are clamoring for access to the massive quantities of information produced by and about people, things, and their interactions. Diverse groups argue about the potential benefits and costs of analyzing information from Twitter, Google, Verizon, 23andMe, Facebook, Wikipedia, and every space where large groups of people leave digital traces and deposit data. Significant questions emerge. Will large-scale analysis of DNA help cure diseases? Or will it usher in a new wave of medical inequality? Will data analytics help make people’s access to information more efficient and effective? Or will it be used to track protesters in the streets of major cities? Will it transform how we study human communication and culture, or narrow the palette of research options and alter what ‘research’ means? Some or all of the above?

This essay offers six provocations that we hope can spark conversations about the issues of Big Data. Given the rise of Big Data as both a phenomenon and a methodological persuasion, we believe that it is time to start critically interrogating this phenomenon, its assumptions, and its biases.

(This paper was presented at Oxford Internet Institute’s “A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society” on September 21, 2011.)

Boyd D and Crawford K (2011), Six Provocations for Big Data. A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society, September 2011. Retrieved from SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=1926431 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1926431 (accessed 15 March 2015)

(Reference from the updated Booklet 37 of the Griffith University Research Ethics Manual. Perpetual licences are available for use by all researchers within an institution. Institutions have used the GUREM as the basis for producing their own research ethics manual, as a professional development resource and a teaching and learning materials for HDR candidates.)

Exploring Ethical and Methodological Issues in Internet-Based Research with Adolescents (Papers: Heather Battles 2010)0

Posted by Admin in on January 9, 2016
 

Abstract: Internet-based research is a relatively new and growing field that presents a number of ethical challenges regarding privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent. In light of a study examining discussions regarding the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine on a publicly viewable Internet message board among primarily American, Australian, and Canadian female adolescents and young adults, the author discusses the methodological and ethical concerns surrounding Internet-based qualitative research with youth. The author first provides some contextual background about the study and issues surrounding the HPV vaccine. She describes her methods of data collection and analysis and provides a summary of the results. The author then explores a number of ethical issues that arise in Internet-based research and examines her own ethical decision-making as informed by existing discussions and guidelines in this area.

Keywords: Internet, methodology, ethics, online research, adolescents, HPV, vaccination

Battles HT (2010) Exploring Ethical and Methodological Issues in Internet-Based Research with Adolescents. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 9(1): 27-39. Available at: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/IJQM/article/viewFile/5017/6480 (accessed 23 December 2013).

(Reference from the updated Booklet 37 of the Griffith University Research Ethics Manual. Perpetual licences are available for use by all researchers within an institution. Institutions have used the GUREM as the basis for producing their own research ethics manual, as a professional development resource and a teaching and learning materials for HDR candidates.)

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