This paper offers an ethical framework to guide decision-making when using online methods to collect qualitative data. With the introduction of the internet, a range of new ways to collect data have emerged, each of which involves sets of ethical issues and concerns. From a review of these concerns, the paper presents a framework that may facilitate decision-making when faced with ethical challenges. The framework is based on reviews of three internet-mediated qualitative methods used to collect qualitative data on human life and behavior: online interviews, online focus groups, and online observation. Based on his review, a conceptual framework is developed. The framework conceptualizes ethical decision making as (a) situational, (b) casuistic, (c) reflexive, and (d) phronetic.


internet-mediated qualitative research, ethical decision-making, framework

Author Bio(s)

Søren Kristiansen, PhD (sociology), ( https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7211-8882) is a professor in the department of sociology and social work at Aalborg University, Denmark. His primary research interests are research ethics, qualitative methods and analysis, gambling studies, and youth culture. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Søren Kristiansen, Dept. of Sociology and Social Work, Fibigerstraede 13, 9220 Aalborg Oest, Denmark. Email: prodekan-ssh-forsk@aau.dk

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