Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Public domain or private data? Developing an ethical approach to social media research in an inter-disciplinary project.

Stevens, Gemma; O'Donnell, Victoria L.; Williams, Lynn

Authors

Gemma Stevens

Victoria L. O'Donnell

Lynn Williams



Abstract

This paper discusses the ethical issues faced in undertaking research about the role of learning in the subjective experience of chronic illness, where data were taken from social media. Drawing on psychology and education, this paper discusses the ways in which authors from these disciplines are laying the groundwork for legitimate online research by actively debating the public versus private nature of online spaces. The paper explains how this debate informed the development of an ethical approach to research. Relevant ethical guidelines and previous research are used to support the argument that individuals' informed consent is not necessary in online contexts where data exist within the public domain, and where risk of harm to users is low. This paper provides an insight into one educational researcher's journey through the process of doing ethical social media research, and suggests ways forward for others embarking upon that same journey.

Citation

STEVENS, G., O'DONNELL, V.L. and WILLIAMS, L. 2015. Public domain or private data? Developing an ethical approach to social media research in an inter-disciplinary project. Educational research and evaluation [online], 21(2), pages 154-167. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/13803611.2015.1024010

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 14, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 14, 2015
Publication Date Apr 30, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 10, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 10, 2018
Journal Educational research and evaluation
Print ISSN 1380-3611
Electronic ISSN 1744-4187
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 154-167
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13803611.2015.1024010
Keywords Social media research; Online ethics; Public domain; Private data; Cyberspace
Public URL http://hdl.handle.net/10059/2870

Files




You might also like



Downloadable Citations