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A presentation about cyber-space ethics

A presentation about cyber-space ethics

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  • 1. Stranger in a Strange Land : the issues and challenges of cyber-space research Carol Haigh Professor in Nursing Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 2. The focus of this presentation will be ……
    • To explore the potential of the virtual world to contribute to research
    • To debate the effects of cyber space on respondents
    • To outline the ethical issues that are inherent within techno-research
  • 3. Research in cyberspace
    • Cyberspace is a potentially useful tool for nursing research because it is;
      • Generationally appropriate
      • Allows for large international samples to be accessed
      • Cost effective
      • Speedy responses
    • But there are specific issues attached to this new research medium…
  • 4. Representativeness
    • Techno-population
    • Use of pseudonyms
    • Use of Avatars
  • 5.
    • Virtual persona Vs Hard’ identity
    • Identity of participants
    • Disinhibition
    • Verification issues
    • De-brief Interviews
    • Plagiarism
    Associated issues are ethical concerns …..
  • 6. Analysis of online information
    • Copyright status of WWW information
      • Publicly archived information
      • Password protected archives
      • Site policy
      • Topic sensitivity
  • 7. Consent
    • Electronically if participants are >18
      • Only if risk is low
      • Step-by-step online consent form
      • Safeguard e-consent from accidental erasure
      • Consent process should not be disruptive
    • Parental consent <18
      • Paper format
      • Verbal acceptable if risk is low
      • F2F interview for parental consent for online interviews with minors
  • 8. Public versus private conversations
    • Cyberspace defies locality
      • Is a chat room a public place?
      • ‘ Public’ and ‘private’ are metaphors in cyberspace (Waskul,1996)
      • The act of observing disturbs the observed
      • Virtual reality pseudonyms are as important as ‘hard world’ identities
  • 9. Privacy and Confidentiality
    • More stringent personal data security in EU
      • Protection in instances where data is shared across national boundaries (AoIR, 2002)
    • Subject identity (Bruckman’s 4 levels of disguise)
      • No disguise
      • Light disguise
      • Moderate disguise
      • Complete disguise
  • 10. The ethical layers of cyberspace
    • Cyberspace is multi layered
    • There are different levels of ethical concern attached to each cyber-layer
    • Deeper immersion in cyber-reality requires greater complexity of ethical consideration
    • Like this….
  • 11. Level Environment Participant ID Privacy Data Reliability Research Methods Ethical dilemmas 1 Public (e.g. web space) Accessible real world ID None Strong Neutral Superficial 2 Semi-public (e.g. e-mail) Controlled real world ID Light Strong Overt participation Minimal 3 Semi-private (e.g. listserv) Accessible virtual world ID Light moderate Moderate Overt non- participation Moderate 4 Private (e.g. Chatroom) Controlled virtual world ID Moderate Weak Covert participation Significant 5 Virtual (role-playing) Complete virtual world immersion Heavy Unreliable Covert non- participation Highly significant
  • 12. Sources of Information
    • Association of Internet Reserachers (2002) Ethical Decision Making and Internet Research. Recommendations from the AoIR ethic working committee . www.aoir.org
    • Bruckman, A (2002) Ethical guidelines for research online www.cc.gatech.edu/-asb/ethics/
    • Haigh, C Jones, N (2005) An overview of the ethics of cyber-spece research and the implications for nurse educators. Nurse Education Today 25 3-8
    • Waskul, D (1996) Ethics of online research: considerations for the study of computer mediated forms of interaction.
    • http://venus.soci.niu.edu/-jthomas/ethics/tis/go.dennis