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The Ethics of Studying Digital Contexts: Reflections From Three Empirical Case Studies
Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies (2020)
  • Aya Yadlin‐Segal, Hadassah Academic College
  • Ruth Tsuria, Seton Hall University
  • Wendi Bellar, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
The purpose of this article is to highlight important research‐related ethical issues and provide researchers with guiding questions for producing ethical research of digital contexts. We also suggest that research ethics can be understood as a bridge between the seemingly distinct subfields across digital media studies. The article discusses three empirical case studies that reflect three main subfields and three research methodologies—ethnography and cultural media studies, critical discourse analysis and digital humanities, and user experience (UX) methods and mobile media studies. These cases critically engage with three main ethical issues related to digital media research: privacy, ownership, and compensation. Based on the ethical dimensions discussed through the three case studies, the article inductively articulates a set of questions pertaining to research data and to the relationship between the researcher and the user/participant of digital media. These can help facilitate more scholarly collaborations and wider conversations between academic silos in the field of digital media studies, and lead an ethical internet research.
  • compensation,
  • digital ethnography,
  • lurking,
  • ownership,
  • privacy,
  • ratin,
  • research ethics,
  • solidarity,
  • textual analysis,
  • user experience (UX)
Publication Date
April, 2020
Citation Information
Aya Yadlin‐Segal, Ruth Tsuria and Wendi Bellar. "The Ethics of Studying Digital Contexts: Reflections From Three Empirical Case Studies" Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies Vol. 2 Iss. 2 (2020) p. 168 - 178
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