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Our anonymous online research participants are not always anonymous: Is this a problem?

Dawson, Phillip 2014, Our anonymous online research participants are not always anonymous: Is this a problem?, British journal of educational technology, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 428-437, doi: 10.1111/bjet.12144.

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Title Our anonymous online research participants are not always anonymous: Is this a problem?
Author(s) Dawson, PhillipORCID iD for Dawson, Phillip orcid.org/0000-0002-4513-8287
Journal name British journal of educational technology
Volume number 45
Issue number 3
Start page 428
End page 437
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014-05
ISSN 0007-1013
Summary When educational research is conducted online, we sometimes promise our participants that they will be anonymous—but do we deliver on this promise? We have been warned since 1996 to be careful when using direct quotes in Internet research, as full-text web search engines make it easy to find chunks of text online. This paper details an empirical study into the prevalence of direct quotes from participants in a subset of the educational technology literature. Using basic web search techniques, the source of direct quotes could be found in 10 of 112 articles. Analysis of the articles revealed previously undiscussed threats from data triangulation and expert analysis/diagnosis. Issues of ethical obliviousness, obscurity and concern for future privacy-invasive technologies are also discussed. Recommendations for researchers, journals and institutional ethics review boards are made for how to better protect participants' anonymity against current and future threats.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/bjet.12144
Field of Research 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Socio Economic Objective 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, British Educational Research Association
Free to Read? Yes
Free to Read Start Date 2016-06-01
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30070539

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.