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Simply put, oral History collects memories and personal commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews. An oral history interview generally consists of a well-prepared interviewer questioning an interviewee and recording their exchange in audio or video format. Recordings of the interview are transcribed, summarized, or indexed and then placed in a library or archives. These interviews may be used for research or excerpted in a publication, radio or video documentary, museum exhibition, dramatization or other form of public presentation.
Recordings, transcripts, catalogs, photographs and related documentary materials can also be posted on the Internet. Under the concept of text rather than human subjects, Internet research rests on arguments of publication and copyright; consider the venue of a blog, which does not meet the definition of human subject as in 45 C.
A researcher need not obtain consent to use text from a blog, as it is generally considered publicly available, textual, published material. Context, intent, sensitivity of data, and expectations of Internet participants were identified in by Sveninngsson as crucial markers in Internet research ethics considerations.
By the mid s, with three major anthologies published, and a growing literature base, there was ample scholarly literature documenting IRE across disciplines and methodologies, and subsequently, there was anecdotal data emerging from the review boards evaluating such research.
Internet Research Ethics
In search of empirical data regarding the actual review board processes of Internet research from a human subjects perspective, Buchanan and Ess surveyed over United States ethics review boards, and found that boards were primarily concerned with privacy, data security and confidentiality, and ensuring appropriate informed consent and recruitment procedures Buchanan and Ess ; Buchanan and Hvizdak Recently, disciplines not traditionally involved in human subjects research have begun their own explorations of IRE.
For example, researchers in computer security are actively examining the tenets of research ethics in CS and ICT Aycock et al. A violation of privacy or breach of confidentiality presents a risk of serious harm to participants, ranging from the exposure of personal or sensitive information, the divulgence of embarrassing or illegal conduct, or the release of data otherwise protected under law.
Research ethics regulations express concern over subject privacy in terms of the level of linkability of data to individuals, and the potential harm disclosure of information could pose. For example, when discussing the possible exemption of certain research from human subject review, federal guidelines require oversight in these circumstances: The protection of privacy and confidentiality is typically achieved through a combination of research tactics and practices, including engaging in data collection under controlled or anonymous environments, the scrubbing of data to remove personally identifiable information PIIor the use of access restrictions and related data security methods.
Compliance with federal guidelines also rests on the definition of what kind of data are considered PII, and therefore triggering special privacy considerations. Internet research introduces new complications to these longstanding definitions and regulatory frameworks intended to protect subject privacy. For example, researchers increasingly are able continue to collect detailed data about individuals from sources such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs or public email archives, and these rich data sets can more easily be processed, compared, and combined with other data and datasets available online.
This points to the critical distinction between data which is kept confidential versus data that is truly anonymous. This reality places new pressure on ensuring datasets are kept, at the least, suitably confidential through both physical and computational security measures.
Similarly, new types of data often collected in Internet research might also be used to identify a subject within a previously-assumed anonymous dataset. For example, Internet researchers might also collect Internet Protocol IP addresses when conducting online surveys or analyzing transaction logs.
An IP address is a unique identifier that is assigned to every device connected to the Internet; in most cases, individual computers are assigned a unique IP address, while in some cases the address is assigned to a larger node or Internet gateway for a collection of computers.
Nearly all websites and Internet service providers store activity logs that link activity with IP address, in many cases, eventually to specific computers or users.
First, private information is that which subjects reasonably expect is not normally monitored or collected. Second, private information is that which subjects reasonable expect is not normally publicly available.
Conversely, the definition also suggests the opposite is true: These distinctions take on greater weight, however, when considering the data environments and collection practices common with Internet-based research.
Researchers interested in collecting or analyzing online actions of subjects—perhaps through the mining of online server logs, the use of tracking cookies, or the scraping of social media profiles and feeds—could argue that subjects do not have a reasonable expectation that such online activities are not routinely monitored since nearly all online transactions and interactions are routinely logged by websites and service providers.
Thus, it remains unclear whether Internet users truly understand if and when their online activity is regularly monitored and tracked, and what kind of reasonable expectations truly exist.
This complexity in addressing subject privacy in Internet research is further compounded with the rise of social networking as a place for the sharing of information, and a site for research. Users increasingly share more and more personal information on platforms like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. For researchers, social media platforms provide a rich resource for study, and much of the content is available to be viewed and downloaded with minimal effort.
It could be been meant to be visible to only a small circle of friends, but the user failed to completely understand how to adjust the privacy settings accordingly. Or, the information might have previously been restricted to only certain friends, but a change in the technical platform suddenly made the data more visible to all. The traditional definitions and approaches to understanding the nature of privacy, anonymity, and precisely what kind of information deserves protection becomes strained, forcing researchers and REBs to consider more nuanced theories of privacy Nissenbaum and approaches to respecting and projecting subject privacy Markham ; Zimmer As with any form of research, the population or participants is selected for specific purposes i.
Further, selection of participants must be fair, and risks and benefits must be justly distributed. This concept is challenging to apply in Internet contexts, in which populations are often self-selected and can be exclusive, depending on membership and access status, as well as the common disparities of online access based on economic and social variables.
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Moreover, basic ethical principles for approaching and recruiting participants involve protecting their privacy and confidentiality. Internet research can both maximize these protections, as an individual may never be known beyond a screen name or avatar existence; or, conversely, the use of IP addresses, placement of cookies, availability and access to more information than necessary for the research purposes, may minimize the protections of privacy and confidentiality.
Much recruitment is taking place via social media; examples include push technologies, a synchronous approach in which a text or tweet is sent from a researcher to potential participants. Geolocational status through mobile devices and push technology recruitment, in tandem, allow for novel forms of recruitment for such research as in clinical trials. Regardless of the means used, researchers must follow the terms of the site—from the specific norms and nuances governing a site or locale to the legal issues in terms of service agreements.
For example, early pro-anorexia web sites see Overbeke were often treated as sensitive spaces deserving spcicial consideration, and researchers were asked to respect the privacy of the participants and not engage in research Walstrom In the gaming context, Reynolds and de Zwart ask: How does the research project impact upon the community and general game play? Is the research project permitted under the Terms of Service?
Colvin and Lanigan38 suggest researchers Seek permission from Web site owners and group moderators before posting recruitment announcements, Then, preface the recruitment announcement with a statement that delineates the permission that has been granted, including the contact person and date received. Identify a concluding date deadline for the research study and make every effort to remove recruitment postings, which often become embedded within Web site postings.
Barratt and Lentonamong others, agree: It is critical, therefore, to form partnerships with online community moderators by not only asking their permission to post the request, but eliciting their feedback and support as well.
Mendelson and Smith and Leigh note that recruitment notices need to contain more than the typical flyers or advertisements used for newspaper advertisements. Mentioning the approval of moderators is important for establishing authenticity, and so is providing detailed information about the study and how to contact both the researchers and the appropriate research ethics board.
The Council of American Survey Research warns Research Organizations should take steps to limit the number of survey invitations sent to targeted respondents by email solicitations or other methods over the Internet so as to avoid harassment and response bias caused by the repeated recruitment and participation by a given pool or panel of data subjects. Researchers must ensure that recruitment methods do not lead to an individual being identified, and if such identification is possible, are there significant risks involved?
Providing informed consent typically includes the researcher explaining the purpose of the research, the methods being used, the possible outcomes of the research, as well as associated risks or harms that the participants might face.
The process involves providing the recipient clear and understandable explanations of these issues in a concise way, providing sufficient opportunity to consider them and enquire about any aspect of the research prior to granting consent, and ensuring the subject has not been coerced into participating. Gaining consent in traditional research is typically done verbally, either in a face-to-face meeting where the researcher reviews the document, through telephone scripts, through mailed documents, fax, or video, and can be obtained with the assistance of an advocate in the case of vulnerable populations.
The emergence of the Internet as both a tool and a venue for research has introduced challenges to this traditional approach to informed consent. In most regulatory frameworks, there are instances when informed consent might be waived, or the standard processes of obtaining informed consent might be modified, if approved by a research ethics board.
Some standards have emerged, depending on venue i. For example, a researcher may send an email to the participant with a link a separate portal or site information page where information on the project is contained.
Hudson and Bruckmanhighlighted the unique challenges in gaining consent in chat rooms, while Lawson offers an array of consent possibilities for synchronous computer-mediated communication.
There are different practical challenges in the consent process in Internet research, given the fluidity and temporal nature of Internet spaces. If documentation of consent is required, some researchers have utilized alternatives such as electronic signatures, which can range from a simple electronic check box to acknowledge acceptance of the terms to more robust means of validation using encrypted digital signatures, although the validity of electronic signatures vary by jurisdiction.
Regardless of venue, informed consent documents are undergoing a discursive change. While the basic elements of consent remain intact, researchers must now acknowledge with less certainty specific aspects of their data longevity, risks to privacy, confidentiality and anonymity see Privacy, aboveand access to or ownership of data.
Statements should be revised to reflect such realities as cloud storage see below and data sharing. For example, Aycock et al. The key [linking] subject names and these study identifiers will be kept in a locked file. Barratt and Lentonin their research on illicit drug use and online forum behaviors, also provide guidance about use of secure transmission and encryption as part of the consent process.
In addition to informing participants about potential risks and employing technological protections, U. However, these do not protect against release of data outside of the U. Given the reality of Internet research itself, which inherently spans borders, new models may be in order to ensure confidentiality of data and protections of data. Models of informed consent for traditional international research are fundamentally challenging due to cultural specificity and norms Annas ; Boga et al.
In addition, as more federal agencies and funding bodies across the globe mandate making research data publicly-available i. This is not an entirely new concept nor is it specific to Internet research, but it should be noted that new language is required for consent. Current data sharing mandates must be considered in the consent process. Alignment between a data sharing policy and an informed consent document is imperative. Both should include provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, and intellectual property.
There is general agreement in the U. Data use or data restriction agreements are commonly used and set the parameters of use for researchers. Data Archive provides guidance on consent and data sharing: Restricting access to data should never be seen as the only way to protect confidentiality. Obtaining appropriate informed consent and anonymising data enable most data to be shared: For confidential data, the Archive, in discussion with the data owner, may impose additional access regulations, which can be: The researcher claimed the data were public and thus, such sharing and use was unproblematic.
Zimmer was among many privacy and ethics scholars who critiqued this stance. The Danish researchers did not seek any form of consent or debriefing on the collection and use of the data, nor did they have any ethics oversight.
Many researchers and ethics boards are, however, starting to mitigate many of these ethical concerns by including blanket statements in their consent processes, indicating such precautions for research participants.
Despite these possibilities, I consent to participate. Please note that the online survey is hosted by Company ABC which is a web survey company located in the U. All responses to the survey will be stored and accessed in the U. This company is subject to U. Laws, in particular, to the U.
The security and private policy for Company ABC can be viewed at http: Age of consent varies across countries, states, communities, and locales of all sorts. For research conducted or supported by U.
Goldfarb provides an exhaustive discussion of age of majority across the U. Spriggs, from the Australian context, notes that while no formal guidance exists on Internet research and minors under the National Statement, she advises: Parental consent may be needed when information is potentially identifiable.
Identifiable information makes risks to individuals higher and may mean that the safety net of parental consent is preferable. There is also a need to consider whether seeking parental consent would make things worse e.
Spriggs30 To assist with the consent process, age verification measures can be used. These can range from more technical software applications to less formal knowledge checks embedded in an information sheet or consent document. Multiple confirmation points asking for age, later asking for year of birth, etc are practical measures for researchers.
Cloud computing describes the deployment of computing resources via the Internet, providing on-demand, flexible, and scalable computing from remote locations. Examples include web-based email and calendaring services provided by Google or Yahoo, online productivity platforms like Google Docs or Microsoft Officeonline file storage and sharing platforms like Dropbox or Box.
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Alongside businesses and consumers, researchers have begun utilizing cloud computing platforms and services to assist in various tasks, including subject recruitment, data collection and storage, large-scale data processing, as well as communication and collaboration Allan ; Chen et al. As reliance on cloud computing increases among researchers, so do the ethical implications.
Among the greatest concerns is ensuring data privacy and security with cloud-based services. Jimmy lay there, hoping that his imagination was just running wild. He decided to go and find out what was going on. Tiptoeing his way around the creaking floorboards he peeked in through the keyhole to see his mother wiping the floor and his father leaned over his bed. Jimmy opened the door slowly.
His mother hopped up, hiding her hands behind her back. Jimmy fell asleep easily, safely tucked between his parents.
After dinner they put him to bed without a word. He realized that his bed felt very lumpy and wondered if his father had re-sewn it incorrectly. He went to find his parents, but the door was locked.
He banged on it, but eventually made his way back to his lumpy bed and fell asleep.[GUESS THE SONG] 90's Rock Songs
He questioned his parents the next morning about the bed and the door and his father sternly replied that he was too old to be afraid of monsters and they would be locking him in his room at night until he had gotten over it. That night was cold, and sleep did not come quickly.
Laying under his blanket he noticed that even with the fan blowing, something was beginning to smell. He tried to ignore it, but ended up sleeping on the floor. He convinced his parents to check his bed the following morning, but they found no smell or strange lumps.
For lying, his father locked Jimmy in his room for the day. Time passed slowly and by late afternoon Jimmy was nauseous with hunger, made worse by the potent smell coming from his bed in the afternoon heat.
Determined to find the smell, he cut open the line of stitching his father had sewn. There, surrounded by stuffing, were the decaying but recognizable, bodies of his parents.
He began to scream at the sight of their rotting skin. He kept screaming until a knock came on the door. Earlier that day he had found himself in a tiny mom-and-pop record shop in North Seattle, just poking around looking for gems, as was his Friday custom. He was looking in the classical section, when he came across the record now playing on his stereo system. He carefully took the record out of its sleeve, and examined it, followed by the sleeve, and saw the mark.
Yes, this was it! This was the record he had given away by accident all those years ago. He hugged it close to his chest and proceeded to the checkout line, paid the teenage cashier with two crisp dollar bills and went home.
His thoughts broke as Side A ended. He got up slowly, clutching his lower back and stretching as he walked across the now dark room to the record player. With trembling hands full of excitement and fear, he opened the glass on the player, gently removed the record and flipped it to Side B.
The man gently set the record down on the player and lowered the needle to the fourth black groove, closed the glass top and sat back in his chair as that familiar crackling hiss came from the speakers.
Muffled screams emanated from the speakers this time, along with a second voice: A muffled shriek, followed by cries of pain echoed from the speakers and through the house. By the time we got to our cabin it was very dark and an intense storm rolled in, drenching us with rain. The place was larger than I thought and it had some interesting works of art in the back by the fireplace. The largest being a man riding on a smallish horse.
A clap of thunder woke me up, but Ariana was already awake and staring at the statue with a look of pure terror, not making a sound. From where we sat the head of the man on the horse was staring directly at us. The horse and part of the torso of the man appeared to be bronze, but his head seemed crafted from other materials, it looked too real. Ariana got up and stood behind me holding one of her large scarfs in her hand.
Long drawn out drones and almost backwards-sounding demonic garbling accompanied the initial wailing. Ariana put her hands over her ears and also began screaming and had a wild look in her eyes. We eventually fell asleep in the rain underneath a tree until morning. When I went back inside the cabin in the daylight, the statue had no man riding it.
It was just a smallish bronze horse. The Itch I can feel it again. I can feel the pervasive, crawling itch. The kind of itch everyone gets from time to time. The kind of itch that causes an instinctive scratch, with no conscious thought driving the motion. Pure reflex, a dig with the fingernails, and the itch is relieved. And looking at the spot after scratching shows nothing. Unblemished skin, and slowly developing red streaks where the nails have been dragged.
I looked, and I saw … something. Something with legs and hairs and pincers and mandibles. From disappearing into my flesh. I can feel the itch again.
I can feel it. This time, the itch is coming from the inside. My mind is made up. I ring the doorbell at 6: Then one clean shot to the head, execution style. Quick, and hopefully painless. My wife and I are eating dinner accompanied by our usual silent tension, eyes on our plates instead of each other.
As she pushes back her chair to get up, I stop her with an outstretched palm.