The Ethics of Researching Images found Online

Anna Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The sheer quantity of qualitative data that researchers can find online increases every day. In this chapter Anna Harris addresses ethical challenges of using this online material for research, principally images. She introduces how researchers have used found images online and the ethical issues already highlighted in the literature, before discussing her collaborative study of YouTube videos made by users of online genetic testing services. In this chapter Harris discusses ethical dilemmas she and her collaborators faced when engaging with this video material, their solutions and unresolved concerns. The discussion covers topics of borderless research, ownership of data, confidentiality and obtaining consent. As internet-based research escalates, and online encounters pervade everyday life, these are issues of importance to researchers, ethics committees and the broader public.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthics for Visual Research
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Methodologt and Practice
EditorsDeborah Warr, Marilys Guillemin , Susan Cox, Jenny Waycott
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-54305-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-54854-2, 978-1-349-71477-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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