This week, we are delighted to introduce a guest blog from our CaSMa intern, Levi Rickman! Levi is in the closing stages of her Psychology degree at Nottingham Trent University, and is currently working with us on Phase II of the “Exploring Academic Attitudes to Social Media Research Ethics” project.
When I started my Internship with CaSMa a few weeks ago, I had a limited understanding of the ethical issues surrounding social media
research and, therefore, this was the main area for me to focus on. Having studied Psychology for five years, I have grown accustomed to the ethical guidelines that researchers must consider in order to have their projects approved by ethic committees, including informed consent, minimisation of potential harm to participants, and so on. These ethical issues can easily be dealt with when researching individuals in a laboratory setting, but pose a slightly more difficult challenge when trying to apply the same set of codes to research online, and particularly data produced on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.