Ethical issues for qualitative research in on-line communities

Charlotte Brownlow, Lindsey O'dell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in Internet technologies, which offer new possibilities for researching hard to reach groups. However, research guidelines, which could aid research in this new forum, have not yet been fully developed. The focus of the article will be ethical issues that may arise from using the Internet as a research tool if we are to protect and respect our participants. Questions surrounding gaining informed consent, privacy of participants and new power differentials, which may arise through interaction in an on-line forum, are raised. These are supplemented by reflections from work conducted by the authors using on-line discussion formus as method of research with people with autism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-694
Number of pages10
JournalDisability & society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


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