[Air-L] Conducting qualitative research on Facebook
sequinton at brookes.ac.uk
Wed Feb 7 00:52:56 PST 2018
You should check the QUT Ethics committee's policies as sensibly suggested
You also might want to consider both the context of your research, i.e. the
sensitivity of the phenomenon you are researching ( is it discussions about
gardening or is it content about being a carer for someone with long term
illness) and also the vulnerability of the Facebook participants you wish
to include in the research ( obviously there are limits to what you can
determine about these people's vulnerability but it is worth thinking
about, is the group in any way self identifying as vulnerable or
identified by others/researchers as vulnerable?).
You may also wish to consider anonymising the content without fundamentally
altering the meaning ( again depending on what you need from the data and
how you will be analysing it) if you are thinking about reproducing it
anywhere in your research, so that it is more difficult to trace back to
the poster/originator through search engines. This is another approach to
'protecting' the Facebook participants.
I am sure other members of AoIR will have valuable comments too.
On 7 February 2018 at 05:59, Sharon Greenfield <s3417013 at student.rmit.edu.au
> Hello Virginia,
> I would suggest reading up on Mary L Gray's many pieces on ethics in online
> In addition, what does the QUT Ethics Committee recommend?
> On 7 February 2018 at 16:38, Virginia Balfour <virginiabalfour at hotmail.com
> > Hello
> > I would value advice on the ethics of collecting data from an Open
> > Facebook page and the best ways to mitigate them.
> > My research is looking at an open Facebook page and it is likely that I
> > will want to use data from conversations between commenters and
> > made by commenters as part of my research. While most observations will
> > generalised and made anonymous, there may be some conversations where it
> > pertinent to identify the commenters and/or identifiable comments.
> > In particular I am interested in whether people think it is necessary or
> > advisable to contact individual commenters to ask if their comments can
> > used in the research?
> > Are their any risk mitigation strategies that anyone has used in the past
> > that they could recommend?
> > regards
> > Virginia Balfour
> > QUT researcher.
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Dr Sarah Quinton FHEA MIDM
Chair of Oxford Brookes University Research Ethics Committee
Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Business School, Room CLC G.14
Oxford Brookes University
Oxford. OX3 0BP
+44 1865 485694
*Please note that from October 2017 Dr Karen Handley is now the Business
Faculty Ethics Officer and she can be emailed at khandley at brookes.ac.uk
<khandley at brookes.ac.uk> concerning PhD student or staff research ethics
*Out Now*: Quinton, S., and Reynolds, R. (2018*),The Ethics of Online
Research. *Ed Kandy Woodfield, The changing roles of researchers and
participants in digital and social media research, chap 3, 53-78.
Quinton, S., Canhoto, A., Molinillo, S., Pera, R. & Budhathoki, T.
a digital orientation: antecedents of supporting SME performance in the
digital economy, *Journal of Strategic Marketing*, 1-13.
Quinton, S. and Simkin, L. (2016). The Digital Journey: reflected learning
and emerging challenges, *International Journal of Management Reviews, *
*Current research project* - Sharing photographs online and on social media
by older people: a mitigator of social isolation and loneliness. Funded by
the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, in partnership with The Open University.
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