Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Human Subjects Review in an Online World
Mali Bunde & Jerry Suis
The World Wide Web has had a substantial impact on research methodology in counseling psychology and in the social and behavioral sciences in general. Indeed, the Internet offers opportunities for research in content areas where traditional methodologies have struggled and special samples have previously been difficult to recruit. However, the Internet also presents many challenges for the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects. There are two primary types of research utilizing the Internet: online survey research and observational research. Online surveys, created by either the researcher or outside agencies, allow researchers to collect self-report data via an Internet Web page as opposed to more conventional methods (e.g., in person, via mail). Observational research involving chat rooms and discussion boards on the Internet is the second type; here researchers monitor the social behavior of online groups by examining current or archived written communications (e.g., e-mails). Online data collection has several ...