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Title: Ethical issues in online educational research: Protecting privacy, establishing authenticity in email interviewing
Authors: James, N.
Busher, H.
First Published: Apr-2007
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: International Journal of Research and Method in Education Vol 30, No. 1, April 2007, pp.101-113
Abstract: Educational researchers have a responsibility to ensure that in whatever research paradigm they work, the research that is conducted is done so within an ‘ethic of respect’ to those who participate. This implies a number of responsibilities on the part of the researcher that include ensuring trust, dignity, privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. When research uses the Internet as the medium of investigation, these ethical responsibilities become more complex for the educational researcher. This paper discusses such complexities by examining the ethical dilemmas of using the Internet as a site for qualitative research. It will draw on two educational studies that used email interviewing, and will specifically focus on two ethical challenges the researchers faced when using this method: protecting participants’ privacy and anonymity, and establishing authenticity in online environments, including the way in which ownership of online research conversations and identities are experienced and expressed. In discussing such dilemmas, the paper concludes by questioning whether these issues can be addressed in an effort to construct the unattainable but pursue the utopian: fully ethical educational research.
DOI Link: 10.1080/17437270701207868
ISSN: 1743-727X
eISSN: 1743-7288
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in International Journal of Research and Method in Education 05 Mar 2007
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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