Codes & Standards

Title AoIR Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research
Year 2012

The first version of the AoIR Ethical Decision-Making document was released in 2002, after two years of international and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The document and its guidelines emerged from a series of extensive dialogues among experienced researchers facing and resolving ethical issues in internet research, philosophers, and other members of AoIR's international, interdisciplinary community. The intention was to develop guidelines from the bottom up -- i.e., out of the day-to-day practices of researchers in a wide range of disciplines, countries and contexts, in contrast to a more usual top-down approach that tries to provide a universal set of norms, principles, practices, and regulations. This approach was crucial because the enterprise of internet research is expansive -- that is, globally informed -- but also situated in innumerable locales. The 2002 document has subsequently received much use, and has been cited and used in a wide range of publications by a diverse number of disciplines. The AoIR Guidelines document has also been used by research ethics boards (REBs) and institutional review boards (IRBs) when making decisions about internet research-based protocols.

Covered fieldsGeneral research (with Web sections)