Research Ethics

The research is intended to gain knowledge of how social media is used by community media volunteers. As well as observing community media volunteers in action, as they produce media content, this research will also ask questions about the different types of identities and roles that are fostered by volunteers in different community media groups and organisations.

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary and in this instance involves being observed either in an online social media community, or within a physical social media space.

In the future this study may ask participants to respond to a weblog, a questionnaire or one-to-one interviews, but these are at the planning stage at the moment.

All participants contributions will be treated as confidential and will be recorded anonymously.

If you are a student at De Montfort University, your participation in this study is not connected to any assessment, formal record or directed activity based on you being a student at DMU.

Along with the De Montfort University and Faculty of Technology codes of research practice, this research will observe the following:

BSC Code of Conduct
Social Research Association (SRA) Ethical Guidelines
Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Ethics Framework
Association of Internet Researchers

At different times I may ask for clarification of points later after each period of observation, discussion or questions, but you are not obliged in any way to clarify or participate further, and I will not seek any further contact with you about this unless you agree.

If you request, the information you provide can be considered confidential, except that with your permission anonymised quotes may be used.  If you request confidentiality, beyond anonymised quotes, information you provide will be treated only as a source of background research, alongside book and web-based material.

If you request, your name or any other personal identifying information will not appear in the final report or any publications resulting from this study; neither will there be anything to identify your place of work or business.

Notes collected during this study will be retained for the duration of the research in a secure location and then destroyed, if requested.  The information gained will only be used for the objectives stated and will not be used for any other purpose nor will be recorded in excess of what is required.

There are no known or anticipated risks to you as a participant in this study (unless you mention issues of illegality), but there is no intention of doing this!

If you have any questions regarding this study or would like additional information please contact me at any time.

I can further assure you that this study has been reviewed and approved by the University ethical research body.

For students at De Montfort University,  Dr Ben Fairweather has agreed to act as an independent moderator should any questions about the study be raised. (0116 207 8098

Participation in the weblog confirms acceptance of the study ethics and policy.

Rob Watson
0116 257 7057

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