Studying Online Communities: Ethics & Virtual Ethnography

Categories: Data Collection, Focus Series, Other, Qualitative, Research Ethics, Video

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Collaboration is a MethodSpace focus for December. We will look at the various types of collaboration that engage researchers and academic writers. 

Online communities offer opportunities to study ways people communicate and collaborate. Researchers have a number of logistical and ethical challenges to address when planning such studies. Considerations vary depending on whether the community appears to be public, or require a log-in, whether they occur on a social media site or part of an organization’s employee-only intranet. 

In this SAGE video, Researching Online Community Support Forums Using Virtual Ethnography, Kim Heyes explores steps and processes for using ethnographic methodologies to research online communities. Heyes examines the ethics around online participation and subject safety. 

Researching Online Community Support Forums
Using Virtual Ethnography

Learn more about research ethics on SAGE MethodSpace

Learn more about research ethics in online research: 

E-Research Ethics Map

Doing Qualitative Research Online (Salmons, 2016)
Section II: Becoming an Ethical Online Researcher

Qualitative Online Interviews (Salmons, 2014)
Chapter 8: Addressing Ethical Issues in Online Interview Research

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