Research Ethics & Extant Data

Categories: Dissemination, Online Research, Other, Publishing, Research, Research Design, Research Ethics, Research Roles, Writing and Editing

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In the first quarter of 2021 we explored design steps, starting with a January focus on research questions. We continued to learn about the design stage in February by focusing on Choosing Methodology and MethodsThe March focus was on Designing an Ethical Study.


Download the open-access article here!

When I discovered this intriguing article, my first thought was: MethodSpace readers need to learn about this study! Ethical approval: none sought. How discourse analysts report ethical issues around publicly available online data” is highly relevant given that more of us are conducting research online given limitations in the Covid-19 era.


Based on what Wyke Stommel and Lynn de Rijk found, it is clear that we need to do a better job when it comes to designing ethical studies that include extant data collected online, and being transparent about choices made and why.


Wyke Stommel and Lynn de Rijk agreed to talk with me about their stunning research. We discussed the issues at hand and recommendations for researchers and methods faculty, editors and reviewers.

The Association of Internet Researchers Ethical Guidelines we mentioned are freely available online. You will note that there are multiple iterations: each builds on, but does not replace, the earlier set. I encourage you to look carefully at the 2012 and 2019 guidelines to learn more about ethical research with participants as well as extant or Big Data.


We will be discussing online research ethics and practices in the next MethodSpace Live webinar!

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Register now for the May 25 conversation about Blurring the Boundaries: A Research Conversation about Doing Research Online.


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