What is special about the ethical issues in online research?
Abstract: In the analysis of the ethical problems of online research, there is much to be
learned from the work that has already been been done on research ethics in the social sciences and
the humanities. I discuss the structure of norms in the Norwegian ethical guidelines for research
in the social sciences with respect to their relevance for the ethical issues of Internet research.
A four-step procedure for the ethical evaluation of research is suggested. I argue that even though,
at one level, the problems of online research are very similar to those we find in traditional areas
of social scientific research, there still are some issues that are unique to research online. A general
model for the analysis of privacy and data protection is suggested. This model is then used to
characterize the special problems pertaining to the protection of privacy in online contexts, and
to argue that one cannot assume a simple distinction between the private and the public when researching
in such contexts.
Ethical Issues of Online Communication Research
Representations or People?
Ethics of Internet Research: Contesting the Human Subjects Research Model