Internet-mediated research (IMR) in particular can raise challenges in adhering to existing ethics principles.
In this document we outline some of the key ethics issues which researchers and research ethics committees are advised to keep in mind when considering implementing or evaluating an IMR study, as well as what special considerations may apply.
The issues addressed in the attached pdf include:
- the public/private domain distinction
- confidentiality and security of online data
- procedures for obtaining valid consent
- procedures for ensuring withdrawal rights and debriefing
- levels of researcher control
- implications for scientific value and potential harm
This document is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of all the potential issues which you may encounter when conducting internet-mediated research however, and we encourage all Society members to take into account the fundamental principles of research ethics as laid out in the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct and the BPS Code of Human Research Ethics when designing and performing their studies.