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+ Ethical Research online Julia Davies The School of Education The University of Sheffield
+ Four Examples n Friends Re-united – people who have lost touch – keeping in touch with old school friends n Online Staffroom - people who (seem to) only know each other online n AYME – Children and young people who have a chronic medical condition n Facebook – Typically people who see each other every day
How did you know that?
What could we learn? • That while people ‘know’ the internet is public, they often have a specific audience in mind • That while some people realise the potential audience, they do not imagine others may read their comments • That people do not realise they want to keep something private – until the wrong people get hold of the info
A Cautionary Tale …. . Online Name: Time and Date stamp removed for anonymity Peter (hyperlink to email address) I am a lecturer in primary education. I am interested in carrying out research into teacher's lives. In particular I would like to research about traumas which may have impacted upon teacher's careers. I am particularly interested in teachers who have suffered domestic violence and those who have been wrongly accused of child abuse. I am also interested into researching the impact of sexuality on teacher's carreers. I intend to use life stories as my research tool. If you would like to get your story told I would be very interested in hearing from you. From a Teachers’ online ‘staffroom’
45 comments later …. Why do you think I provided my e mail address? Obviously you didn't think about it. I provided it so that teachers could tell their story to me. I never asked anyone to post their stories on the site did I? As for the english- mine is quite good. It was very late in the night when I was typing. 'Carreers' was obviously a typographical error due to the fact that it was spelt correctly the first time. Apostrophes- I can only assume it was due to the fact I was tired because I'm perfectly aware of the rules, thank you. Yes, lecturers do teach during the day and work at night too, just like you. I resent the anger from my colleagues. I taught for 10 years and only went into lecturing two months ago, so yes I do know about hard work just like you. I am not an 'airy fairy' researcher. And as for lazy research- what exactly do you mean? Can you define 'non-lazy' research? If you are not aware of the complexities of life history as a research tool and the problematic nature of analysisng the data, I don't really think you are qualified to say it's "lazy". It is just as complex and problematic as any other research methodology. Humans are 'storying beings'. We like to read stories about real lives and real people. Stories sell because people can relate to them. Please remember that you do not "own" this space- you should welcome everyone onto it who has something to say or ask their colleagues. Just because your personal problems may not have impacted upon your career does not mean that this is the same for everyone. Oh. . . I certainly hope that you are not as negative, sarcastic and rude to the pupils in your care. If you are, you are not worthy of being in the profession.
What can we learn? n n People in online spaces do not necessarily feel anonymous to each other …. They may have a bond you do not understand yet …. Yet they sometimes behave like angry car-drivers n You can hurt people online as much as as offline n Online spaces develop a cultural history with rules beyond those which are explicitly articulated n Just because you can get in, does not mean you know the ettiquette of the space.
n Give people reason to trust you; behave impeccably; learn about the space before you go in; n You need to respect on-line spaces as much as off-line spaces – don’t barge in n Consider whether researching something through an online medium is the best space to do that research
AYME: Association of Young People with ME • • I went in as a partial ‘insider’ Permission from Trustees Importance of honesty and openness Making information accessible Constant reminders Links to University website Online questionnaire Keeping in touch after the research was over
Issues: Association of Young People with ME Aymers had: • High Expectations of the research • Enjoyed the ‘listening’ aspect of the research • Often wanted me to ‘join in’ • Private messaged me to ask my opinion…
Cut and Paste: trainee hairdressers story their lives online
+ Facebook n Are you stalking? n Making boundaries clear n Connections beyond those who give consent n Images: ‘a different order of data’ (Prosser)
+ Public Sites / Private Spaces n Perceptions of users – sometimes do not realise who is reading n Being clear that you are a researcher n Hybridity of web 2. 0 spaces – the transformation of ‘read only’ sites n Permission from site owners – eg Mum’s Net; Times Educational Supplement n Rules for downloading screenshots. . e. Bay
+ Researching both ends n Online spaces n Face to face n Understanding the context (including different countries different rules – need to spot the invisible borders)
+ Privileged access – know the limits n just because you have access does not mean you can share anything you like e. g. ü ü n MOLE 2 Your blog Flickr Your Facebook Check with participants more than once – they easily forget