New Book: “Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts”

I am extremely happy to announce the publication of “Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts“, which I was lucky to co-edit with Dr. Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda at the GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and the Institute for Web Science and Technologies at Koblenz University.

The book was published by Peter Lang, in the “Digital Formations” series edited by Dr. Steve Jones (UI-Chicago). We will be officially launching the book at the 2017 Association of Internet Researchers Conference in Tartu, Estonia later this fall, and it is available to order at Amazon now.

A free PDF version is also available, which is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

From our introduction:

Our goal with Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts is to directly engage with these discussions and debates, and to help stimulate new ways to think about – and work towards resolving – the novel eth- ical dilemmas we face as internet and social media-based research continues to evolve. The chapters within this volume – which present novel ethical challenges, case studies, and emerging research contexts from a collection of global scholars and researchers – accomplishes this in three critical ways:

First, as internet tools and social platforms continue to evolve at a rapid pace, Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age highlights new research contexts and case studies that introduce readers to unique uses – and related ethical concerns – of the current state-of-the-art technologies and platforms, including crowdsourcing on Amazon Mechanical Turk, the health sharing platform PatientsLikeMe, new forms of data visualization and facial recognition platforms, and automated tools for flagging potentially suicidal behavior online.

Second, Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age recognizes the broad disci- plinary terrain impacted by internetbased research, and brings together discussions of ethical issues from the familiar domains of the social sciences (such as commu- nication studies, sociology, and psychology) alongside perspectives from computer science, data science, gender studies, museum studies, and philosophy. The result is a more inclusive umbrella of domains that can learn from each other and collab- orate to confront the challenges of internet research ethics.

Third, Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age provides a global approach to the challenges of internet research ethics, bringing together contributions from researchers in diverse regulatory environments, as well as those dealing with the complex ethical dimensions of researching platforms and users in geographically diverse locations. Global regions and cultures represented within the volume include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Asia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


In order to include the broadest range of voices, perspectives, and research domains, Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts has three main forms of contributions: Challenges, Cases, and Contexts.

The opening Challenges section features nine chapters, each providing an in-depth discussion of new conceptual challenges faced by researchers engaging in internet and social media-based research, organized into three categories of Conceptual Challenges, Data Challenges, and Applied Challenges. In an attempt to highlight that many of the addressed issues are subject to ongoing, lively and often controversial discussions within various research communities and to ensure the broadest set of viewpoints, each of the ten Challenges is followed by a brief reaction. These reaction pieces were provided by leading thinkers in the field, who often looked at the issue from a complimentary – or even contrasting – point of view. The second part of the book includes ten Cases, brief discussions of unique social media and internet-based research projects that generated novel ethical challenges for the investigators. The final section, Contexts, presents five short descriptions of new research contexts that describe emerging technologies and platforms that present new ethical dilemmas for researchers.

We were privileged to work with over 40 world-class contributors, and couldn’t be happier with the results. Here’s the table of contents:

Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Challenges, Cases, and Contexts (Table of Contents) by michaelzimmer on Scribd

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