Blurring the Boundaries: Ethical Considerations for Online Research Using Synchronous CMC Forums

Blurring the Boundaries: Ethical Considerations for Online Research Using Synchronous CMC Forums

Danielle Lawson (Queensland University of Technology, Canada)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-152-0.ch005
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Abstract

As use of the Internet has grown, so to has the amount of research concerning various aspects of computer-mediated communication (CMC). In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of research projects dealing with Internet-based, synchronous chat programs. Although timely, this increased research interest in synchronous chat media is problematic due to potential ethical dilemmas regarding data gathering and research publication. This paper examines the ethical problems related to subject identity, privacy and “chat copyright” in synchronous online research. Additionally, it addresses possible strategies for minimizing ethical conflict, while maintaining research integrity.

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