Online Discussion Boards as Research Data; Exploring the Ethical Issues

Authors: Bond, C.S. and Hewitt-Taylor, J.

Conference: Medicine 2.0

Dates: 18-19 September 2011


People living with enduring health conditions (EHC) are increasingly turning to social networking websites to share their experiences, As well as the primary purpose of enabling interaction between people living with an EHC, many of these websites contain material of potential use to researchers. How the established principles of ethical research can or indeed should be applied to research happening in the ‘online world' rather than the ‘real world' is a challenge to researchers. It has been questioned whether people contributing in this environment are best understood as research subjects or as authors whose texts are intended as public writing. Without any agreed framework to draw on researchers are making their own decisions about how to address the ethical issues. This conference abstract explores some of the issues, and approaches adopted.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Jaqui Hewitt-Taylor