Abstract: Social media, such as social network sites and blogs, are increasingly being used as core or ancillary components of educational research, from recruitment to observation and interaction with researchers. However, this article reveals complex ethical dilemmas surrounding consent, traceability, working with children, and illicit activity that we have faced as education researchers for which there is little specific guidance in the literature. We believe that ethical research committees cannot, and should not, be relied upon as our ethical compass as they also struggle to deal with emerging technologies and their implications. Consequently, we call for researchers to report on the ethical dilemmas in their practice to serve as a guide for those who follow. We also recommend considering research ethics as an ongoing dialogical process in which the researcher, participants, and ethics committee work together in identifying potential problems as well as finding ways forward.
Henderson M, Johnson N F and Auld G (2013) Silences of ethical practice: dilemmas for researchers using social media. Educational Research and Evaluation, Vol. 19, No. 6, 546–560. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13803611.2013.805656 (accessed 7 January 2016).
(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.)