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Guidelines

Ethics Guidelines for Internet-Mediated Research (2017)

10 April 2017

As advances in technology extend the opportunities for psychological research they may also introduce additional complexities around our adherence to established ethical principles, often in ways which may not be immediately obvious.

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 guidelines have been collected under four distinct sets of principles, which are:

  1. Respect for the Autonomy, Privacy and Dignity of Individuals and Communities
  2. Scientific Integrity
  3. Social Responsibility
  4. Maximising Benefits and Minimising 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.

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