[Air-L] blogs and confidentiality

Burcu Bakioglu bbakiogl at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 07:03:20 PST 2011

OK, my "not nuanced" comment was for the reference made earlier to password
protected sites only. In other words, if a site is password protected, IRB
is going to ask that you use your informed consent form even if the
password protection is "weak" and it takes 10 seconds to sign up. In other
words, they won't consider whether it is easy to sign up or hard to sign
up. When confronted with the option, IRB chooses the more conservative
ground and say "It is better to be safe than sorry" so distribute your
consent forms even if you think that anyone can access it in 10 seconds. In
that regard, they don't see the distinction. i am not saying this is good
or bad, I am saying this is usually the case.

However, I do agree that IRB is not a monolithic entity and each
institution is different (a comment made earlier). And I do agree with what
Jeremy said in his previous email.


On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM, Porter, James E. Dr.
<porterje at muohio.edu>wrote:

> >> Rather than entering the research enterprise with the above points as
> >> assumptions, I would advise researchers to begin the process with these
> >> points as questions: For example, Are there members of my institution's
> >> who actually have experience with Internet research and who could not
> only
> >> understand my research but actually productively help advise its
> design? Did
> >> the writers of this blog actually *intend* to publish this work for
> public
> >> display and circulation?
> >
> > i don't think this is a valid test, you can't get to the information you
> want
> > without intervening and thus breaking the model of research.  Intent in
> any
> > case is mutable, they might intend it today and not intend it tomorrow.
> I agree, intent is tricky. But I was not proposing intent as a litmus test
> or ethical prescription. I was proposing it as a question to be asked as
> part of the process of research ethics. If the answer happens to be, "No,
> as
> far as I can tell from available information, the writer did not intend"
> ...
> well, that doesn't necessarily mean consent is required or the data cannot
> be used. Not at all. There may be other compelling reasons in force, such
> as
> the ones you mention (e.g., document already exists in a publicly available
> archive). Again, my point is not an ethical prescription, it's a point
> about
> research process: (1) ask the question, and (2) answer the question in
> terms
> of particular circumstances. Your follow-up questions are just the kind of
> circumstantial questions I think researchers should be asking.
> > The question I'd ask here is less intent but
> > 'where can i find the data?'  Is it in a search engine, is it in an
> archive,
> > is it in the library of congress archive, etc. etc.  Has it been
> referenced or
> > referred to by other people?  in other words is there clear evidence
> that the
> > public is using this published document?
> Best,
> Jim Porter
> ------------------------------------
> James E. Porter, Professor
> Department of English and
> Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies
> Director of Composition
> Department of English
> Bachelor Hall 356A
> Miami University
> Oxford, OH  45056
> email: porterje at muohio.edu
> twitter: http://twitter.com/reachjim
> web:
> http://www.units.muohio.edu/english/People/Faculty/I_P/PorterJames.html
> ------------------------------------
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Burcu S. Bakioglu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow in New Media
Lawrence University


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