The human subjects researchmodel is increasingly invoked in discussions ofethics for Internet research. Here we seek toquestion the widespread application of thismodel, critiquing it through the two themes ofspace and textual form. Drawing on ourexperience of a previous piece ofresearch, we highlightthe implications of re-considering thetextuality of the Internet in addition to thespatial metaphors that are more commonlydeployed to describe Internet activity. Weargue that the use of spatial metaphors indescriptions of the Internet has shaped theadoption of the human subjects research model.Whilst this model is appropriate in some areasof Internet research such as emailcommunication, we feel that researchers, whennavigating the complex terrain of Internetresearch ethics, need also to consider theInternet as cultural production of texts.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Janet Abbate. Inventing the Internet. MIT Press, Cambridge and London, 1999.
M.H. Abrams. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1941.
AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers). AoIR Ethics Working Committee - A Preliminary Report, 2001 (retrieved June 25, 2002 from http://aoir.org/reports/ethics.html).
Roland Barthes. Death of the Author. In Image Music Text (trans. Stephen Heath). Fontana Press, London, 1977.
Caroline Bassett. The Arc and the Machine Graduate Research Seminars. In Media and Cultural Studies Series. University of Sussex, 23rd October, 2001.
Nancy K. Baym. Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom, And Online Community. Sage Publications, London, 2000.
David Bell and Barbara Kennedy, editors. The Cybercultures Reader. Routledge, London and New York, 1999.
Michael Benedict. Cyberspace: First Steps. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993.
Katherine Borland. That's Not What I Said': Interpretive Conflict in Oral Narrative Research. In S.B. Gluck and D. Patai, editors, Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History. Routledge, New York and London, 1991.
Amy Bruckman. Community Support for Constructionist Learning. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 7: 47–86, 1998.
Vannavar Bush. AsWe May Think. Atlantic Monthly, July 1945, pp. 47–61.
Judith P. Butler. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. Routledge, London, 1993.
Edward A. Cavazos. Cyberspace and The Law: Your Rights and Duties in the On-Line World. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1994.
Susan Clerc. Estrogen Brigades and ‘Big Tits’ Threads: Media Fandom Online and Off. In Cherny and Wiese, editors, Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace. Seal Press, Washington, 1996.
Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 (c.48) (retrieved April 18, 2002, from http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Ukpga_19880048_en_3.htm(mdiv16)
James Curran and Jean Seaton. Power without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain. Routledge, London, 1997.
Brenda Danet. Cyberpl@Y: Communicating Online. Berg, Oxford, 2001.
T. Dowling. Chatroom of the Week. The Guardian, G2, April 18, 2002, p. 23.
Terry Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Blackwell, Oxford, 1983.
Michel Foucault. The Archaeology of Knowledge. Tavistock, London, 1972.
Mark S. Frankel and Sanyin Siang. Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research on the Internet: A Report of a Workshop June 10-11, 1999. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), November, 1999 (retrieved April 1, 2002 from http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/sfrl/projects/intres/report.pdf).
S.B. Gluck and D. Patai. Introduction. In S.B. Gluck and D. Patai, editors, Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History. Routledge, New York and London, 1991.
Stine Gotved. Newsgroup Interaction as Urban Life. AoIR: State of the Interdiscipline, Conference Paper. University of Kansas, September 14-18, 2000.
Cees J. Hamelink. The Ethics of Cyberspace. Sage, London, 2000.
Donna Haraway. Primate Visions. Verso, London, 1992.
Sandra Harding. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Cornell University Press, Ithica, 1991.
Katherine N. Hayles. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics. Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1999.
Susan C. Herring. Linguistic and Critical Analysis of Computer-Mediated Communication: Some Ethical and Scholarly Considerations. The Information Society, 12(2): 153–168, 1996.
Susan C. Herring, editor. Computer-Mediated Communication: Linguistic, Social and Cross-Cultural Perspectives. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 1996.
Matthew Hills. Virtually Out There: Strategies, tactics and Affective Spaces in On-line Fandom. In S.R. Munt, editor, Technospaces: Inside the New Media. Continuum, London, 2001.
Christine Hine. Virtual Ethnography. Sage, London, 2000.
M. Jolly. Editor's Note. In Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, London and Chicago, 2001.
Robert Jones. The Ethics of Research in Cyberspace. Internet Research, 4(3): 30–35, 1994.
Fred Kaplan. Dickens: A Biography. Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1988.
Lori Kendall. MUDer? I Hardly Know’ Er: Adventures of a Feminist MUDer. In Cherny and Wiese, editors, Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace. Seal Press, Washington, 1996.
Storm King. Researching Internet Communities: Proposed Ethical Guidelines for the Reporting of Results. The Information Society, 12(2), 1996.
George Landow. Hypertext 2.0: the Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. John Hopkins Press, London and Baltimore, 1997.
J. Lye. The ‘Death of the Author’ as an Instance of Theory, 1996 (retrieved April 24, 2002 from http://www.brocku.ca/english/courses/4F70/author.html).
G.E. Marcus and M. Fischer. Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1986.
Annette Markham. Life Online: Researching Real Experience in Virtual Space. Altamira Press, London, 1998.
Vicki Mayer. When the Camera Won't Focus: Tensions in Media Ethnography. Feminist Media Studies, 1(3), 2001.
Hugh Miller and Jill Arnold. Breaking Away from Grounded Identity? Women Academics on the Web. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 4(1): 95–108, 2001.
Laura Miller. Women and Children First: Gender and the Settling of the Electronic Frontier. In Brooks and Boal, editors, Resisting the Virtual Life. City Light Books, San Francisco, 1995.
Hans Moravec. Rise of the Robots. Scientific American, 124–135, December 1999.
Sally R. Munt. Heroic Desire: Lesbian Identity and Cultural Space. Cassell, London, 1998.
Sally R. Munt, editor. Technospaces: Inside the New Media. Continuum, London, 2001.
Sally R. Munt, Elizabeth H. Bassett and Kate O'Riordan. Virtually Belonging: Risk, Connectivity and Coming Out On-Line. The International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, 7(2), 2002.
Robert Pepperell. The Post-Human Condition. Intellect, Oxford, 1995.
Howard Rheingold. The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1993.
Paul Ricoeur. Hermeneutics and Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action, and Interpretation, J. Thompson, editor. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1981.
C. Salazar. A Third World Women's Text: Between the Politics of Criticism and Cultural Politics. In S.B. Gluck and D. Patai, editors, Women's Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History. Routledge, New York and London, 1991.
Theresa M. Senft. Homecam Heroines: Gender, Celebrity and Performance on the World Wide Web. Peter Lang Publishing, New York. Forthcoming: Spring 2002.
S. Seidman, editor. Jurgen Habermass on Society and Politics: A Reader. Beacon Press. Boston, 1989.
Barbara Sharf. Beyond Netiquette: The ethics of Doing Naturalistic Discourse Research on the Internet. In Steve Jones, editor, Doing Internet Research: Critical Issues and Methods for Examining the Net. Sage, London, 1999.
Beverley Skeggs, editor. Feminist Cultural Theory: Process and Production. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1995.
Liz Stanley, editor. Feminist Praxis: Research Theory and Epistemology in Feminist Sociology. Routledge, London and New York, 1990.
Richard Stallman. The GNU Operating System and the Free Software Movement. In Chris Dibona, Sam Ockman and Mark Stone, editors, Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. O'Reilly, London, 1999.
Allucquere Rosanne Stone. The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1995.
Malin Sveningsson. Creating a Sense of Community: Experiences from a Swedish Web Chat. In Linkoping: Linkoping Studies in Art and Science, 2001.
T. Minh-Ha Trinh. When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender, and Cultural Politics. Routledge, New York, 1991.
Tiziana Terranova. Post-Human Unbounded: Artificial Evolution and High-Tech Subcultures. In Bell and Kennedy, editors, The Cybercultures Reader. Routledge, London, 2000.
David Tetzlaf. Yo-Ho-Ho and a Server of Warez: Internet Software Piracy and the New Global Information Economy. In Andrew Herman and Thomas Swiss, editors, The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory. Routledge, London and New York, 2000.
Sherry Turkle. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996.
Nina S. Wakeford. Sexualised Bodies in Cyberspace. In W. Chernaik and S. Deegan, editors, Beyond the Book: Theory, Text and the Politics of Cyberspace. University of London, London, 1996.
A. Ward. Copyright and Oral History, Oral History Society (retrieved April 5, 2002, from http://www.oralhistory.org.uk/ethics).
Kevin Warwick. Cybernetic Organisms: Our Future? Proceedings IEEE, 87(2): 387–389, 1999.
Margaret Wertheim. The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet. Virago, London, 1999.
William Wimsatt and Munroe Beardsley. The Intentional Fallacy. In David Richter, editor, The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Bedford, Boston, 1954.
About this article
Cite this article
Bassett, E.H., O'Riordan, K. Ethics of Internet research: Contesting the human subjects research model. Ethics and Information Technology 4, 233–247 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021319125207
- human subjects