ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
Search
Generic filters
Exact text matches only
Search into
Filter by Categories
Research integrity
Filter by Categories
Human Research Ethics

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyAbout Us

ResourcesHuman Research EthicsDetecting, Preventing, and Responding to “Fraudsters” in Internet Research: Ethics and Tradeoffs (Papers: Jennifer Teitcher et al 2015)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Detecting, Preventing, and Responding to “Fraudsters” in Internet Research: Ethics and Tradeoffs (Papers: Jennifer Teitcher et al 2015)

 


View full details | Go to resource #1, resource #2


Abstract:  Internet-based health research is increasing, and often offers financial incentives but fraudulent behavior by participants can result. Specifically, eligible or ineligible individuals may enter the study multiple times and receive undeserved financial compensation. We review past experiences and approaches to this problem and propose several new strategies. Researchers can detect and prevent Internet research fraud in four broad ways: (1) through the questionnaire/instrument (e.g., including certain questions in survey; and software for administering survey); (2) through participants’ non-questionnaire data and seeking external validation (e.g., checking data for same email addresses, usernames, passwords, and/or fake addresses or phone numbers; (3) through computer information, (e.g., IP addresses and cookies), and 4) through study design (e.g., avoid lump sum compensation and interviewing participants). These approaches each have pros and cons, and raise ethical, legal, and logistical questions, given that ethical tensions can emerge between preserving the integrity of research vs. protecting the privacy and confidentiality of study respondents. While past discussions concerning the ethics of online research have tended to focus on the participants’ ability to trust the researchers, needs now arise to examine researchers’ abilities to trust the participants. This analysis has several critical implications for future practice, policy, and research.

“Research that recruits and surveys participants online is increasing, but is subject to fraud whereby study respondents – whether eligible or ineligible – participate multiple times. Online Internet research can provide investigators with large sample sizes and is cost efficient. Internet-based research also provides distance between the researchers and participants, allowing the participant to remain confidential and/or anonymous, and thus to respond to questions freely and honestly without worrying about the stigma associated with their answers. However, increasing and recurring instances of fraudulent activity among subjects raise challenges for researchers and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).2 The distance from participants, and the potential anonymity and convenience of online research allow for individuals to participate easily more than once, skewing results and the overall quality of the data.”

Detecting, Preventing, and Responding to “Fraudsters” in Internet Research: Ethics and Tradeoffs. Available from: .

Teitcher J, Bockting W, Bauermeister J, Hoefer C, Miner M, Klitzman R (2015) Detecting, Preventing, and Responding to “Fraudsters” in Internet Research: Ethics and Tradeoffs The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 43(1).  pp. 116-133, .
Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274459694_Detecting_Preventing_and_Responding_to_Fraudsters_in_Internet_Research_Ethics_and_Tradeoffs (accessed Feb 17, 2016].
Publisher: https://www.aslme.org/index.php/detecting-preventing-and-responding-to-fraudsters-in-internet-research-ethics-and-tradeoffs.html



Related Reading

Resources Menu

Research Integrity


Human Research Ethics

0