After reading this journal article regarding ethics of internet research, I have discovered different viewpoints of research and determined some ethical concerns. As this type of “web-based” research grows, researchers will face ethical concerns that are different from traditional research ethical issues, (Denissen, Neumann & Van Zalk, 2010)
The main attribute of internet research, as I see it, is the ability to have a global footprint; meaning almost any one that has a computer and connectivity can access all types of information and data. Along with this power, comes great responsibility. The web can be a wonderful tool which can afford individuals, organizations, communities, and others tremendous access into good and bad places. This access can afford humans into medical breakthroughs, how to guides on repairs and building, how to get from city to city, and a multitude of positive ways to learn and grow. Internet research use is growing at a fast pace and consequently, is creating ethical dilemmas.
At the same time, it can be a way to link terrorists’ organizations, promote child pornography etc. As you can see, internet research can be used for the greater good, or to our detriment. This is where the ethics comes into play, and guidelines are set up to monitor ethical issues which occur due to this process. Institutional Review Boards at institutions conducting this type of research need specific guidelines for researchers to follow in order to maintain the integrity of research. (Williams) 2012)
Denissen, J. J. A., Neumann, L. & van Zalk, M. (2010). How the internet is changing the implementation of
traditional research methods, people’s daily lives, and the way in which developmental scientists conduct research. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 34, 564-575. DOI: 10.1177/0165025410383746.
Williams, S. G. (2012). The Ethics of Internet Research. Online Journal Of Nursing Informatics, 16(2), 38-48.