After reading this journal article regarding ethics of internet research, I have discovered different viewpoints of research and determined some ethical concerns. As this type of “web-based” research grows, researchers will face ethical concerns that are different from traditional research ethical issues, (Denissen, Neumann & Van Zalk, 2010)
The main attribute of internet research, as I see it, is the ability to have a global footprint; meaning almost any one that has a computer and connectivity can access all types of information and data. Along with this power, comes great responsibility. The web can be a wonderful tool which can afford individuals, organizations, communities, and others tremendous access into good and bad places. This access can afford humans into medical breakthroughs, how to guides on repairs and building, how to get from city to city, and a multitude of positive ways to learn and grow. Internet research use is growing at a fast pace and consequently, is creating ethical dilemmas.
At the same time, it can be a way to link terrorists’ organizations, promote child pornography etc. As you can see, internet research can be used for the greater good, or to our detriment. This is where the ethics comes into play, and guidelines are set up to monitor ethical issues which occur due to this process. Institutional Review Boards at institutions conducting this type of researchneed specific guidelines for researchers to follow in order to maintain the integrity of research. (Williams) 2012)
Denissen, J. J. A., Neumann, L. & van Zalk, M. (2010). How the internet is changing the implementation of
traditional research methods, people’s daily lives, and the way in which developmental scientists conduct research. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 34, 564-575. DOI: 10.1177/0165025410383746.
Williams, S. G. (2012). The Ethics of Internet Research. Online Journal Of Nursing Informatics, 16(2), 38-48.
2.With the rapid increase of technology has come tremendous opportunity. Information is more easily accessible than ever before, which also creates ethical concerns. This week’s lecture describes research that is ethical as one “that the researchers are protecting the privacy of the participants and any research data collected about them.” The journal article, “The Ethics of Internet Research” examines internet research and the ethical issues that arise.
The advantages of internet research over traditional methods are that it is less costly, less of a time commitment, more controlled by the researcher, higher accuracy in data collection, and the ability to easily provide follow up and feedback (Williams, 2012). In a lot of aspects, internet research can be more efficient and less costly. However, there are many disadvantages that the article addresses on internet research. One is lack of control over the test setting (Williams, 2012). It is difficult to verify if the subject is in fact who they say they are. There are also ethical concerns about the data trail that is left behind (Williams, 2012). Personal information could end up being used in a public forum when the study is complete.
The article concludes with strategies on how to address particular ethical concerns. One significant challenge is that research that is global has different privacy and freedom values from country to country (Williams, 2012). The Association of Internet Research (AOIR) offers guidelines on ethics in internet research (Williams, 2012). As internet research continues to grow, ethical considerations must be investigated in order for the research to carry the same weight as traditional methods.
Williams, S. G. (2012). The ethics of internet research. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 16(2). Retrieved from http://ojni.org/issues/?p=1708