[Air-l] open source ethics...

Charles Ess cmess at drury.edu
Tue Apr 26 11:55:32 PDT 2005

Dear AoIR-ists,

I was privileged to serve as a resource person for an IRB training event
yesterday at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio), as organized
by their Office for Research Compliance (thanks to Denise Turso and
Christian LaMantia for their kind invitation).

In open-source style, I've now posted the obligatory PowerPoint slides as
well as a references/resource list on the web - to be found at

If you have time and interest in browsing through, you'll see some familiar
names - including our very own Caroline Haythornthwaite, Jeremy Hunsinger,
Elizabeth Buchanan, Mark Johns - even Steve Jones!

Beyond the quotable quotes from Mark and Steve - Elizabeth Buchanan was kind
enough to share a sample protocol for IRBs looking at Internet research, and
Caroline Haythornthwaite was equally generous with elements from her
forthcoming article (co-authored with Susan Shoemaker) in the second AoIR
Research Annual.

As always, comments and suggestions welcome.

in particular, I was struck by one of the comments made by IRB members
vis-à-vis my characterization of human subjects protections as pursued in
the States as focusing solely on individual subjects - in contrast with the
Norwegian guidelines which require protection of confidentiality, anonymity,
etc., for both the research subject _and_ his/her web of close
relationships.  They were insistent that they as IRB members likewise
worried about the latter.
Any comments and suggestions on pursuing that aspect of IRB review?

Thanks to everyone, especially the AoIR ethics working committee (past and
present), for their work and contributions - I hope I have re-presented this
here in a way that is both faithful to your intentions and insights and
useful to IRB members struggling to understand the various ethical
dimensions of Internet research.


Charles Ess

Distinguished Research Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Drury University
900 N. Benton Ave.              Voice: 417-873-7230
Springfield, MO  65802  USA       FAX: 417-873-7435

Home page:  http://www.drury.edu/ess/ess.html
Co-chair, CATaC: http://www.it.murdoch.edu.au/catac/

Exemplary persons seek harmony, not sameness. -- Analects 13.23

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