Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Research ethics: Check list for regulatory ethics

Along with Johnny Unger, David Barton and Michele Zappavigna, I'm writing a new student text book for Routledge: Researching the Language of Social Media.

I'm in the process of writing the chapter on ethics.  This feels like quite a responsibility to get right!  Each section of the chapter will end with a series of questions which students can use to reflect on their decisions made at different parts of the research process.

Here are the questions which I have drafted for the section on 'regulatory ethics'.  Are there any other questions about regulations that I should include?

  • ·         Are you carrying out your work in a context which requires your project to be approved by an institutional committee or review board?
  • ·         Will you be collecting data which is subject to data protection or copyright legislation?
  • ·         Have you consulted the best practice guidelines for your discipline?
  • ·         What ethical decisions did other researchers make about similar projects, and was this satisfactory?
  • ·         Is the material you want to study governed by site-specific regulations? Do these regulations restrict how you represent yourself, interact with others, collect or reuse data from the site?
  • ·         Who are the people in your academic community with whom you could discuss ethical decision-making?


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